Feature Article

Happiness dwindles for residents of genocidal Sri Lanka in 2019

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 March 2019, 11:17 GMT]
The unitary state of genocidal Sri Lanka is being welcomed and provided with extended escape routes for its protracted genocide against Eezham Tamils at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. “The judiciary and independent commissions, including the Human Rights Commission, continue to play a vital role in strengthening reforms and cementing good governance in Sri Lanka,” was the certificate UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, was extending in her report presented at the fortieth session in Geneva. However, the happiness of the people in the island is deteriorating, slipping by 14 ranks and dropping from 116th position to 130th position in the World Happiness Index. The Index produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which is also operating under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General.

The genocidal states of Sri Lanka and Myanmar, both institutionally infected by the extremist supremacist Theravada Buddhist establishment and accused of waging genocide, rank next to each other in the happiness index in 2019.

The Index and the report were addressing the trends in the context of links between government and happiness, the power of prosocial behaviour and the changes in information technology.

The World Happiness Report for 2019 is a survey that intends to understand the state of global happiness and patterns of changes from 2005–2008 to 2016–2018.

The report, ranking 156 countries, was released on Wednesday (20 March) on the annual World Happiness Day, as declared by the UN in 2012.

Finland was ranked as the happiest country in the world, tightly followed by other Nordic countries.

The ten countries with the largest declines in average life evaluations typically suffered some combination of economic, political, and social stresses, the report said.

“The five largest drops since 2005-2008 were in Yemen, India, Syria, Botswana and Venezuela, with drops over one point in each case.”

India has slipped seven ranks from 133 to 140 while Pakistan has risen from 75th rank in 2018 to 67th in 2019.

The USA dropped from 18th to 19th, which is its lowest rank ever. China slipped from 59th to 68th position.

“The idea that policymakers should aim for something beyond GDP is far from new, but it has regained prominence in recent years,” the editors presenting report noted in the introduction.

The links between the government and happiness operate in both directions: what governments do affects happiness, and in turn, the happiness of citizens in most countries determines what kind of governments they support, the report said.

World Happiness Index 2019: top 10 countries
Top ten countries in the happiness index
World Happiness Index 2019: Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Myanmar
‘Sri Lanka’ was listed with values 130 for ladder, 91 for SD of ladder, 32 for positive affect, 81 for negative affect, 80 for social support, 55 for freedom, 111 for corruption, 35 for generosity, 79 for log of GDP per capita and 54 for healthy life expectancy
World Happiness Index 2019: last 10 countries
The lowest ranked countries

This year, the report was focusing on happiness and community, how happiness has been changing over the past dozen years, and how information technology, governance and social norms influence communities.

The happiness score is based on individuals’ own assessment of their lives, as indicated by Cantril's Ladder of Life Scale (as imagining a ladder with steps numbered from zero at the bottom to ten at the top for example).

The changing world happiness is then explained using six parameters: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption.

World Happiness Index 2019

The rankings depend only on the average Cantril ladder scores reported by the respondents, and not on the values of the six variables used by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network to help account for the large differences it has found.

A seventh parameter, called Dystopia (a hypothetical country), is used as a benchmark against which to compare contributions from each of the six factors.

“The choice of Dystopia as a benchmark permits every real country to have a positive (or at least zero) contribution from each of the six factors,” the report noted.

External Links:
Sustainable Development Solutions Network: World Happiness Report 2019


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