17 January, 2021

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CLD Gives 120 Points On RTI Rating To Sri Lanka’s Proposed RTI Act

The Sri Lankan Cabinet has approved a draft Right to Information (RTI) Act which, if passed into law, would be among the strongest in the world. Although Sri Lanka is a relative latecomer in this area – being the only country in South Asia apart from Bhutan that has yet to adopt an RTI law – an assessment of the draft Act by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) gives it a score of 120 out of a possible 150 points on the RTI Rating, which would make it the seventh strongest law in the world. At the same time, CLD’s Analysis points to a number of areas where further improvements are recommended.

Toby Mendel

Toby Mendel

“We very much welcome the fact that Sri Lanka finally seems to be bringing to fruition a project that started nearly 14 years ago”, said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD. “Although the draft Act is robust, we hope that the relevant authorities will take advantage of this unique opportunity to introduce further improvements so as to create a really excellent RTI law.”

The draft Act has a number of positive features, including a broad scope, a narrow regime of exceptions and a good package of promotional measures. CLD’s recommendations include the following:

  • Foreigners, as well as citizens, should benefit from the right of access.
  • A number of measures should be adopted to enhance further the independence of the oversight body, the Right to Information Commission.
  • The system for proactive publication should rely more on online publication systems.
  • Third parties should not enjoy a veto over the disclosure of information provided by them.
  • The overall time limit of ten years should apply to all exceptions that protect public interests.
  • The Commission should enjoy enhanced powers and its decisions should be binding.
  • The law should provide protection for whistleblowers.

CLD urges the Sri Lankan authorities to amend the draft Act so as to provide an even more robust basis for the right to information in the country.

The CLD Analysis is available here

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  • 4
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    Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD

    RE: CLD Gives 120 Points On RTI Rating To Sri Lanka’s Proposed RTI Act

    “The Sri Lankan Cabinet has approved a draft Right to Information (RTI) Act which, if passed into law, would be among the strongest in the world. Although Sri Lanka is a relative latecomer in this area – being the only country in South Asia apart from Bhutan that has yet to adopt an RTI law – an assessment of the draft Act by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) gives it a score of 120 out of a possible 150 points on the RTI Rating, which would make it the seventh strongest law in the world. At the same time, CLD’s Analysis points to a number of areas where further improvements are recommended”

    Thank you for rating 120 points of 150 and being the 7th best. This is good enough for Sri Lanka now.

    Remember, Rome was not built in a day.

    Remember, after the Terrorist Mahinda Rajpapaks was gone, not a single Journalist has disappeared.

    So, bless this, and get it done.

    That way, the Journalists and citizens will have some Laws to Challenge the state.

  • 1
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    We professionals have been fighting against CEPA and similar agreements that would lead to liberalization of the services sector. Now in the proposed act, negotiations between countries are kept confidential in the guise of possible harm to good relations between countries.

    • 4
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      The Professional , Get back please with your idea of FoI act is and I will reciprocate.

      “”We professionals have been fighting against CEPA and similar agreements that would lead to liberalization of the services sector.”

      I gave you a thumps down as you are non professional like the mainland Chinese trader. balance of trade and why US is withholding- $1.2 trillion in bonds.

      How many graduates do you have number and as a % of 21 million ??

      UK as at 2013 has 12 million grads 20.5% of 61 million.

      India as at 2015 has 68 million grads 8.15% of 1267 million

      __________________
      Indians in America are emerging as the new Jews: disproportionately well-educated, well paid, and increasingly well connected politically.Although the Indian community remains relatively small – about one percent of the overall U.S. population

  • 1
    5

    “Sri Lanka has made important strides in the journey towards gender equality. It adopted a ‘Women’s Charter’ in 1993, two years before the globally agreed Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action which recommended that countries draw up national plans of action to advance women’s rights.”-Dr. Rebecca Reichmann Tavares.

    Unfortunately Lankawe Professional Army invented Rape as a weapon only after that, though in the pogroms rowdies used it to chase Tamil families from south. Lankawe is not going to tell how many torture chambers are still on operation. Never it will accept that it killed beyond “Zero Casualty” in Mullivaikkal. In fact those who did all those have to be saved- That is what the election promise.

    There is still UNHRC High Commissioner’s request to accept the ICC accord is in the dustbin. Smart Sinhala Intellectuals know well where to give what promise. Never a truth will come out of any Royal Government department. Period.

    I ask a question : Will the New show out what he claimed as he has a file on Old King? Will he put the file out for everyone?

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