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