The discussions that were conducted in Sinhala and Tamil focused on the successes and challenges of the RTI process with villagers explaining how they had used the RTI Act to obtain relief for their communities. Obstacles to the obtaining of information such as delays in government offices, bureaucratic processes and hostile attitudes of some officials were also discussed in detail.
The RTIC also held a soft launch of two trilingual publications of the Commission accessible on the website of the Commission (www.rticommission.lk). Volume One contains Orders of the Commission delivered during 2017-2018 with several significant principles, keywords and an Index of a broader
range of Decisions.
In delivering these Orders, the Commission has endeavored to maintain principles of equity between the Public Authority and the appellant while taking into consideration the fact that the greater weight of resources and power lies with the State rather than with an individual citizen. Volume Two contains Reflections on Sri Lanka’s RTI Act and RTI regime written by eminent contributors in the fields of law, media, the public service and academia.
With Ampara being the first province selected to conduct a public sitting of the Commission, the next disticts targeted for consequent public sittings and appeal sessions are Hatton and
Angunukolapelessa to be held in the coming months. Selection of the districts has been with a view to targeting marginalised/isolated/war affected communities in Sri Lanka in order that citizens who have not yet been exposed to RTI will be able to understand the benefits of using the Act.
The discussions have been planned in order that the RTIC acts as a facilitator in opening up dialogues between communities and government officers in regard to a co-operative and harmonious process in using the RTI Act.