18 May, 2024


Cabinet Approves RTI Bill

The Cabinet of ministers yesterday night approved the Draft Bill on Right to Information (RTI) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe informed parliament today.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

Wickremesinghe said that following discussions at the provincial level the draft bill will be presented to parliament to be approved.

According to the preliminary draft a commission is to be established in order to facilitate the right to information. The commission will mediate to determine on the information that needs to be kept secret.

The bill is expected to give access to all citizens to obtain information on government and state institutions. However it does not allow citizens to obtain private information on individuals or information that could harm the state.

The draft bill says that all citizens of Sri Lanka will have the right to information and the right to information means to obtain information that exist in state institutions, and information that exist under its control or its custody.

However, information could be denied in cases where such information could seriously affect state security, territorial integrity, and international relations or harm the economy of country.

In addition information could be denied in connection to the medical status or if such information breaches the privacy of a person.

Information that could become a contempt of court or breach of parliamentary privileges too may be denied.

Certain Information related to the examinations conducted by department of examinations or higher educational institutions too could be denied.

Information related to crime or related activities also could be denied if the revelation of such info will hamper probes to apprehend those responsible.

Information which may harm commercial bonds or reveal trade secrets while causing losses to organizations or individuals too may be denied after perusing the request.

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Latest comments

  • 1

    CBK has said that there will be a Special Court for those charged with war crimes in January.
    Sri Lanka also needs a Special Court to fast track corruption trials of politicians, MPs and their cronies in the financial sector.

    Sri Lanka needs decent PUBLIC TRANSPORT and not more duty free car permits for corrupt politicians who pollute the environment and culture. Politicians should not be given grants or car permits, except every 10 years.

    Today the Lankan rupee is in free fall and the economy in a disaster because of the corruption of the POLITICIANS who are still in the corruption business and want free car permits and cash grants from the new budge.

    Reigning in corrupt politicians who distracted the people with racism and war crimes in order to loot the public purse is a bigger priority than war crimes trials which is really a means of distraction from Economic Crimes that are the root cause of the War Crimes. CORRUPTION TRIALS of POLITICIANS who use HATE SPEECH to distract people from their criminality as Mahinda Jarapassa and his brothers did the most urgent priority and will lead to recovery of the stolen billions to pay off the national debt – rather than get indebted to IMF.

    • 1

      Dodo, quite right! RTI is important for the fight against corruption.

      There needs to be PUBLIC EDUCATION for citizens and public servants about the RTI Bill and its importance for bringing about a CULTURE OF ACCOUNTABILITY and GOOD GOVERNANCE in the STATE BUREAUCRACY and to fight CORRUPTION in the Government.

      RTI is the means for citizens to access necessary information to hold the corrupt politicians and the State bureaucrats accountable to the public including on PUBLIC FUNDS are spent.

      Mandatory information disclosure by politicians and govt. officials is a step towards TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY of politicians, their cronies in the state and there is need for public education and depate on RTI Bill.

      Also the Sri Lanka Administrative Services (SLIDA) training needs to have a course on RTI for government servants.

    • 1

      ho ho…

      are these not good moves by the current regime.

      Had we ever be able to even think of the kind of move if the bunch of thugs – father of crime and corruption promoting MR was still in the office ?

      Man, this is what we say- sithu de nosithe nosithu deyama we… what we thought was not the case, but the unexpected getting its ground…
      Acutally, good men can do good politics even if stupidity dominated srilanka.

      OVER 50% of the vote eligible proved to be corruption and crime friendly.

      They have no brains the size of that of a bird- they would even be at disposal Rajapakshe or any crime friendly men to their mothers or wivves.

      Bottom line is to get cash by any means. No matter even mothers would have been put on sale – so long this mentality would NOT turn or change… nothign would be the case TO the god punished nation.

      They should be trained to thing bit more – going beyond their FROG AND WELL theories. Latter can only be made /achieved if Journlists or media men would do their job to the top.

  • 0

    So many exceptions here, whats the point of RTI?!

    Harm the economy – is this why a criminal investigation into the financial crimes of Arjuna Mahendran, so called head of Cenrral Bank who is an insider trader and accused of insider trading with his son in law at Perpetual Treasuries is not being done>!

  • 2

    Will some one tell us what, for example that the public could use it for specifically?

    Is this law being framed on the Indian Legislative Act?

    Say I apply for a Duplicate copy of a Citizenship Certificate, which the I/E staff deny
    as not being available. Could I use this RTI to query the Head of the Department?

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