Sri Lanka was ranked fourth among 172 countries in suicides, a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday revealed.
Sri Lanka had 28.8 suicides for every 100,000 people.
However, the WHO cautioned that suicide figures were often sketchy, with less than half of those nations keeping clear tallies.
WHO, which called suicide a major public health problem that must be confronted and stemmed, studied 172 countries in the report.
The global rate was put at 11.4 per 100,000, with men almost twice as likely as women to take their own lives.
The most suicide-prone countries were Guyana (44.2 per 100,000), followed by North and South Korea (38.5 and 28.9 respectively).
Next came Sri Lanka with 28.8.
Lithuania (28.2), Surinam (27.8), Mozambique (27.4), Nepal and Tanzania (24.9 each), Burundi (23.1), India (21.1) and South Sudan (19.8) followed Sri Lanka.
In their wake were Russia and Uganda (both with 19.5), Hungary (19.1), Japan (18.5) and Belarus (18.3).
The report said a person commits suicide every 40 seconds, an avoidable tragedy that fails to grab attention because of taboos and stigma.
“Every suicide is a tragedy. It is estimated that over 800,000 people die by suicide and that there are many suicide attempts for each death,” said WHO Chief Margaret Chan in the landmark report capping a decade of research.
“The impact on families, friends and communities is devastating and far-reaching, even long after persons dear to them have taken their own lives,” she added.
The report said that in 2012 high-income countries had a slightly higher suicide rate — 12.7 per 100,000 people, versus 11.2 in low- and middle-income nations.
WHO cautioned that suicide figures were often sketchy, with less than half of those nations keeping clear tallies.
“This report encourages countries to continue the good work where it is already ongoing and to place suicide prevention high on the agenda, regardless of where a country stands currently in terms of suicide rate or suicide prevention activities,” Chan added. (AFP)