A survey reveals significant improvement in press freedom in Sri Lanka last year as the journalists no longer fear reprisals for expressing their political views.The annual World Press Freedom Index for 2016 by Paris based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranks Sri Lanka 141 out of 180 countries. Sri Lanka’s rank improved 24 notches from 165th place it earned in 2015.

The Index ranks 180 countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists.

It is a snapshot of the media freedom based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country.

Finland for six years in succession ranks at the top of the index again this year, while The Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, and New Zealand rounded up the top five in that order.

In the South Asian region, Nepal was up 15 places at 105th due to a drop in violence by the security forces against journalists, especially at demonstrations. Bhutan improved 10 notches to 94th, Pakistan improved 12 notches to rank 147th, India133rd, Nepal 105th, Afghanistan 120th, Maldives 112th, and Bangladesh 144th.