Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Is Sri Lanka Running in Place

Or falling behind?

by Rohan Samarajiva, Lanka Business Online, June 22, 2007

In case that does not make an impression, try saying these sentences aloud:

• Rwanda, a country that saw crimes verging on genocide in the 1990s, is considered less likely to become a failed state than Sri Lanka.

• Liberia, still an example for a failed state in common usage, has clawed its way back from teetering on the edge of a failed state to overtake Sri Lanka.

A little over a year ago, I wrote a column called "The Sri Lankan state: Failed, failing or maligned?". It was about a comparative ranking on countries on the likelihood of them becoming failed states.

At the end of a critical assessment of their methodology, (link) , I concluded that "Notwithstanding these methodological problems, the index does provide a good basis for debate and discussion on the condition of the Sri Lankan state."

The 2007 rankings are out. rankings are out (link)

The good news is that Sri Lanka is holding its place at 25 in the new survey that includes 177 countries (up from 146 in 2006). In this ranking, a high score is bad.

The bad news is that all countries in the SAARC region except Afghanistan and Bangladesh have improved their positions, some considerably. We have not.

Sri Lanka Fund for Peace 2007 failed state

The worst news is about the countries that are better than us:

• Rwanda, which was at 24 (just a little bit worse than us in 2006) is now at 36, an improvement of 12.

• Liberia, which was at 12 (lot worse than us in 2006) is now at 27, an improvement of 15.

In case that does not make an impression, try saying these sentences aloud:

• Rwanda, a country that saw crimes verging on genocide in the 1990s, is considered less likely to become a failed state than Sri Lanka.

• Liberia, still an example for a failed state in common usage, has clawed its way back from teetering on the edge of a failed state to overtake Sri Lanka.

Comparison of the component scores for Sri Lanka and Liberia, the land of Charles Taylor, may be educative:

According to these outside observers, Sri Lanka is significantly ahead of Liberia on Group Paranoia (9.5 to 6.5); Security apparatus operating as a “state within the state” (8.7 to 6.9); Criminalization and/or delegitimization of the state (8.9 to 7).

This is what the world thinks of us, right or wrong. Shall we rant against the conspirators or do something positive?