Sri Lanka has seen a big improvement in the global peace index for 2017 going up 17 places to number 80.
The 2017 global peace index has rated Iceland as the most peaceful country in the world.
The index notes that ongoing consolidation of power undertaken by Sri Lanka’s government led by the President, Maithripala Sirisena, has allowed it to undertake structural political reforms for improved governance, which are reflected in improved performance in the indicators measuring political instability, likelihood of violent demonstrations and political terror.
Sri Lanka saw its score improve by 0.116 points which propelled it 17 places to 80th—the largest jump in the rankings this year. Sri Lanka benefited primarily from improvements in the Societal Safety and Security as well as Militarisation domains.
In particular, financial contributions to UN peacekeeping missions improved sharply, and there were also visible gains in reducing political terror, likelihood of violent demonstrations, and to a lesser extent, political instability and the impact of terrorism.
Much of this is due to a strengthening of political stability following the end of a decades-long civil war in 2009 and efforts by the ruling coalition composed of the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to address long-standing concerns among the electorate about the political and human rights landscape.
Nevertheless, ethnic tensions between the Tamil minority and the Sinhalese majority remain latent, and could hinder attempts to achieve national reconciliation. On the downside, the number of homicides per 100,000 people rose modestly although it is still at a relatively low level, while the number of armed services personnel per 100,000 people has risen sharply to one of the highest levels in the world.
In South Asia, Bhutan has been identified as the most peaceful country, followed by Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Bhutan ranks 13th, Sri Lanka 80th, India 137th, Pakistan 152nd and Afghanistan 162nd. (Colombo Gazette)