15 December, 2017

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RTI Commission Of Sri Lanka Concludes Several Appeal Hearings, More On The Way

30 May 2017. Colombo, Media Statement: Marking little more than three months since Sri Lanka’s Right to Information Act, No 12 of 2016 was operationalised on 03rd February 2017, the RTI Commission notes its appreciation of the significant numbers of Public Authorities and citizens who have reached out to the Commission during the intervening period. This indicates the support and interest evidenced by the public who are, in growing numbers using their ‘Right to Information’ guaranteed to them under the Act. It is very encouraging to see that some Public Authorities are in fact, voluntarily complying with the pro-active disclosure requirements of the Act.

As the statutorily independent appellate body established under the Act, the Commission is pleased to announce that it has recently concluded the hearing of two Appeals, during which process, both Appellants received the information that had been requested under the Act from Public Authorities noticed to appear before the Commission, to the satisfaction of the parties concerned. Currently, several more Appeals are pending hearing.

The Commission has been receiving many requests for guidance from Public Authorities in respect of procedural and substantive aspects of the RTI Act along with letters from Citizens (including public officers themselves) on injustices caused to them by the denial of information. Close to three hundred such letters have been received during the past months.The Commission is heartened by the use of RTI as evinced thereto. Responses to the letters have beenon an individual basis, strictly in chronological order of the date of receipt. As the Commission is still operating with a skeletal staff from temporary premises, it is responding as speedily as possible to the same.

Particularly in regard to advice being requested by information officers of Public Authorities, the Commission notes that it will respond in terms of Section 5(5) of the Act where advice is being sought regarding a procedural matter ‘connected with the grant of access to any information.’ However it is regretfully unable to advice on a substantial matter relating to the application of the Act given that this may prejudice the hearing of that same matter, in the event that it comes up formally in appeal. In this regard, the Commission wishes to emphasize the primary aim of the RTI Act is the maximum disclosure of information subject to narrowly drawn exemptions that again must yield to the overriding principle of the public interest.

The Commission calls upon Public Authorities who have not yet complied, to abide by the mandatory statutory duty to name and publicise the appointment of Information Officers and Designated Officers as required by the Act.

It is also with great pleasure that the Commission announces the forthcoming launch of the Commission’s RTI logo as well as its website which will be in a basic form and further updated progressively. The website will have links to the Commission’s Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) for the years 2017-2019, concluded appeals, and relevant documents relating to RTI.

Importantly it will also feature drafts of Rules on Inquiries and Report Formats (under Section 10) as per Section 42 of the Act, as well as Guidelines relating to the proactive disclosure of Public Authorities under Sections 8 and 9 of the Act. These draft Rules and Guidances are being put into the public domain for feedback prior to finalisation and gazetting.

Public responses are being invited in regard to the same in view of the Commission’s firm belief that public participation in the yet evolving RTI process is indispensable to bringing about a culture of accountability and openness in Sri Lanka.The Commission hopes to soon embark on the facilitation of training activities for public officials as required under the Act.

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Latest comments

  • 0
    8

    RTI is set up to please the terrorists. If Rajapakse, saviour of Sinhale were in power this wouldn’t have happened. Half of the Sinhalese have voted for Maithri and he had betrayed those people voted for him.
    Only way to correct this injustice is for a monk to shoot Maithri. Only monks can get that close to Maithri to finish of the target.

    • 1
      5

      This Jim softy is another one., looks like a rajapakse sttoge.

    • 3
      0

      Jimbo brain softly
      How did you work it out that the mass murderer , mega Looter had become the saviour of Srilanka?
      There are multiple cases against him and his thieves awaiting to be proved and charged !
      The wretched country will never move forward until these thieves ,murderers and plunderers are charged and put behind bars.
      There will be a day so don’t gloat.
      What goes round comes round they say.
      You ask one of the yellow robes to shoot Maithri? Are they the same level as you and that Bonkers Bodu Balla??
      Hides guns and Machetes under the sacred Robe??
      OMG !! YOU CAN STOOP SO LOW !! Unbelievable, at the end of the day the predator carnivore is ready for blood sucking.
      Isn’t it not the Buddha land ??
      It seems you don’t worship the Robes but none other than the past invaders coolies generation not believing in yellow Robes but only use them to kill the Presidents or Prime-ministers.
      Good thinking Brain Softly!!

      • 0
        0

        Historically monks were involved in politics and even murder. This is just to save Sinhale. You are unpatriotic, idiot

    • 1
      0

      There are Two mad Jim softy s , one is green one is blue , but where’s Jim Softly??

      Anyway Jim softy Blue SHOULD BE PROSECUTED AND BANGED UP FOR INCITING HATE AND MURDER AGAINST OUR DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED P R E S I D E N T…

      DUMB. JIM SOTHTHY!!!

      • 0
        0

        Where were you when the terrorist ruthlessly murdered our democratically elected president, President ? You are a terrorist sympathiser and you should be prosecuted for that

  • 2
    1

    What venom on the part of this softy character. Hiding behind an alias and suggesting shooting any human being, forget about the President. But yet, he must be a temple going Buddhist, going and praying in front of his saviour, the thug from Beliatta.

    These are the stinking vermin of the land.

    • 0
      1

      My name is Serono and live in Wilpattu surrounded by blood hungry Muslims. I am not hiding anything

  • 1
    0

    Jim softy has got mad cow disease after drinking human blood, he’s dangerous among humans.
    If the SL FCID IS EFFECTIVE HE WOULD HAVE BEEN VISITED BY THE BOYS IN KHAKI WITH MACHINE GUNS,
    SO DUMB.

    • 0
      0

      What the FCID has to do with my counter terrorist activities

    • 1
      0

      Like you asking A yellow robe to shoot the President , don’t be a moron
      What you said on black and white under the name of Blue Jim Softy is Malicious and immature.
      You think you’re writing on counter terrorism , do you think those CT commentators are Dumb like you?
      You are totally wrong , if you have written what you have written you would have been charged and not allowed to comment here any further.
      In the Banana Republic of Srilanka you can get away with Blue Murder.

      • 0
        0

        “What you said on black and white under the name of Blue Jim Softy is Malicious and immature”

        All the Sinhalese patriots are thinking this but nobody has the courage to spill it out. When you do spill it out, then they arrest you and put you in jail and let out the tigers from the jail. What I have said is long overdue.

      • 0
        0

        “What you said on black and white under the name of Blue Jim Softy is Malicious and immature”

        All the Sinhalese patriots are thinking this but nobody has the courage to spill it out. When you do spill it out, then they arrest you and put you in jail and let out the tigers from the jail. What I have said is long overdue.

        • 1
          0

          You mean Binladen Softy killing the President with the help of Yellow robed men is overdue??
          You behaving so immature not realising the seriousness of what you have penned in this column.
          You’re so intoxicated !!

  • 0
    0

    The TRI Act and its Commission is something new. It will take some time to stabilize. From the beginning the Commission must show its teeth for the RTI to be meaningful. While courtsey to all is one thing, there should be no nonsense approach to the whole issue.

    If for instance the terms of engagement of a CEO of a government company is requested and the info is denied on grounds of privacy, then I see no future in the process, because many an institution engages people at exhorbitant terms who are not worth their salt. Public money is spent for nothing.

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