Thailand near bottom on Peace Index
Thailand is one of the least peaceful countries in the world and is ranked behind neighbours Indonesia and Cambodia in a new assessment, the Global Peace Index.
Out late last month, the GPI places Thailand at 105 of 121 countries on the index. Indonesia is at 78 and Cambodia 85. In the Asia-Pacific region only Burma, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan score worse.
The GPI describes Thailand's state of peace as "very low", with risks of violent demonstrations, terrorist acts and a high level of violent crime and political instability.
The index scores countries from one to five, with one being a "very high state of peace". Thailand scores 2.49, just a little better than Burma at 2.52 and is ranked at 108. Norway is the world's most peaceful country with a score of 1.35. It is followed by New Zealand at 1.36, Denmark with 1.37, Ireland at 1.39 and Japan on 1.41.
The least peaceful country on the list is Iraq. Its score is 3.43. Next to bottom was Sudan at 3.182. Israel scored 3.03, Russia 2.90 and Nigeria rated 2.89.
The United States also didn't fare too well, being ranked 96 with 2.317, just ahead of Iran at 97th with 2.32. The Economist Intelligence Unit and an international team of academics and peace experts compiled the list. It was the first time any index had ranked nations by their peacefulness.
It uses 24 indicators - including military spending, access to "weapons of minor destruction", guns, small explosives, corruption and respect for human rights.
The index is tested against a range of potential drivers, or determinants of peace - including levels of democracy and transparency, education and material well-being.
It uses the latest figures from a wide range of sources, including the World Bank and the United Nations.