22 October, 2020

Blog

RTI Bill Done But Not Dusted

“In spite of earlier intimations that the Right To Information Bill had received the certificate of the Speaker on 7 July, the RTI Bill has in fact still not been certified and therefore does not have the force of law. This was confirmed upon reference to the latterly published official Hansard.” says the Transparency International Sri Lanka.

Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya

Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya

Issuing a statement last night the TISL said: “The RTI Bill was passed by MPs in Parliament on 24th June 2016. As a leading advocate for the enactment of comprehensive RTI legislation in Sri Lanka, TISL has closely monitored the passage of the Bill, and would urge the Speaker of Parliament to expeditiously certify the RTI Bill and conclude the legislative process. TISL is conscious of the time needed to accommodate committee stage amendments, but in light of the fact that nearly all amendments had been pre-drafted, TISL believes a lapse of over a month is unwarranted. In delaying the certification of the Bill, the entire process of rolling out the RTI infrastructure is put on hold, including the setting up of the RTI Commission, the appointment and training of Information Officers, Designated Officers and Commissioners, and the sensitization of the entire public service.

“In strengthening the RTI Bill from its initial draft, TISL acknowledges the tireless efforts of the RTI drafting committee and civil society. Looking to the future, TISL remains concerned as to the commitment of human and financial resources to ensure the effective roll out and implementation of the RTI framework. However, as a preliminary matter of urgency TISL reiterates the need for the Speaker of Parliament to certify the Bill, or inform the public of the reasons for any further delay.”

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Latest comments

  • 13
    0

    “The RTI Bill was passed by MPs in Parliament on 24th June 2016.” So when will this RTI Bill be published in newspapers, government websites and the Internet!?

    • 12
      0

      And when will actually be used to provide information freely?

  • 9
    0

    Another serious thing that must be investigated is that It is illegal to tap the private telephone conversations of any Sri Lankan citizen without a Court order. We do not have to make excuses that we the nation don’t use such technology. Use it against the real criminals following due process. It has been illegally used by the MR government to listen in on its citizens/ opposition politicians as well. Going to extents of bugging homes and offices in some cases. Please investigate the Rajapaksas for this.

    Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando had touched on the issue in the Dailymirror “Countrywide Wifi facilities from November” of the previous government having spent $150,000 on equipment used to tap any telephone conversation. (Only! And apparently still in its original packing! And to be returned to the unnamed company who sold it to us)

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