Sri Lanka's RTI Bill Tabled in House

Last year, the cabinet approved an Right To Information framework,  but the bill was not introduced.

Published: 26th March 2016 05:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th March 2016 02:05 PM   |  A+A-

COLOMBO: The long-awaited Sri Lankan Right To Information (RTI) bill was presented to parliament on Thursday, the day on which Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe turned 67.

Demand for such a bill was there during the Presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa, but he had ruled out its introduction, telling a visiting Indian Minister: “ There will be no Right To Information Act so long as I am President!”

However, Rajapaksa’s successor, Maithripala Sirisena, made it a point to include it in his “Yahapalanaya” or “Good Governance” manifesto for the January 8, 2015 Presidential election.

Last year, the cabinet approved an Right To Information framework,  but the bill was not introduced.  Even now, its final shape is unclear as some of the Provincial Councils have suggested amendments.

When passed, a citizen can ask for information on anything in possession of a public authority, even if the query is contrary to an existing law.  But the query should be on a public activity and of public interest. Information of a personal nature can be given only with the written consent of the affected party. 

Disclosure can be denied if it will undermine national security, it was said.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp