[op-ed] Sri Lanka’s RTI Law: Will the Government ‘Walk the Talk’?

Open Minds! (formerly: Moving Images blog)

First published in International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) South Asia blog on 3 March 2017.

Sri Lanka’s RTI Law: Will the Government ‘Walk the Talk’?

by Nalaka Gunawardene

Taking stock of the first month of implementation of Sri Lanka's Right to Information (RTI) law - by Nalaka Gunawardene Taking stock of the first month of implementation of Sri Lanka’s Right to Information (RTI) law – by Nalaka Gunawardene

Sri Lanka’s new Right to Information (RTI) Law, adopted through a rare Parliamentary consensus in June 2016, became fully operational on 3 February 2017.

From that day, the island nation’s 21 million citizens can exercise their legal right to public information held by various layers and arms of government.

One month is too soon to know how this law is changing a society that has never been able to question their rulers – monarchs, colonials or elected governments – for 25 centuries. But early signs are encouraging.

Sri Lanka’s 22-year advocacy for RTI was led by journalists, lawyers, civil…

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RTI in Sri Lanka can be a ‘game changer’ for transparency and accountability – Nikkei Asian Review

Marwaan Macan-Markar, an experienced journalist of Lankan origin, has just written a story on Sri Lanka's new Right to Information (RTI) for Nikkei Asian Review for which he is Asia regional correspondent. Titled Sri Lanka's new information law puts corrupt officials in crosshairs, it is an informative article with multiple sources and field-based reporting. The article … Continue reading RTI in Sri Lanka can be a ‘game changer’ for transparency and accountability – Nikkei Asian Review

RTI Sri Lanka: තොරතුරු යතුරෙන් ‍දොර විවෘත කළාට මදි!

Open Minds! (formerly: Moving Images blog)

On 21 Feb 2017, Sinhala language broadsheet newspaper Mawbima carried an article based on my recent public talk on the Right to Information (RTI) in Sri Lanka.

RTI is a key to open doors to public information. That's useful, but we must know what to do when we enter... RTI is a key to open doors to public information. That’s useful, but we must know what to do when we enter…

ජාතික මාධ්‍ය සංසදය විසින් සංවිධානය කරන ලද ‘තොරතුරු පනතට සමාජ සංස්කෘතිය ඉක්මවිය හැකිද’ යන සංවාද සභාවේදී ප්‍රවීණ ලේඛක නාලක ගුණවර්ධන මහතා විසින් කරන ලද දේශනය ඇසුරෙනි.

තොරතුරු පනත සම්මත කර ඇති මේ අවස්ථාවේදී මේ පනතින් වැඩ ගන්නේ කොහොමද? තොරතුරු පනතට ඇති අභියෝග මොනවාද? සමාජයෙන් දේශපාලන තන්ත්‍රයෙන් නිලධාරි තන්ත්‍රයෙන් මේ පනතට ඇතිවිය හැකි ප්‍රතිරෝධ මොනවාද? අපි ඒකට කෙසේ සූදානම් විය යුතුද කියන කාරණාවලට වැඩිපුර අවධානය යොමු කරන්න අවශ්‍යයි.

අපි ලෝකයේ බහුතරයක් සිටින එක්තරා කාණ්ඩයකට ගිය අවුරුද්දේ සම්බන්ධ වුණා. ඒ තොරතුරු නීතියක් තිබෙන රටක වාසය කිරීමයි. ගිය වසරේ මැද වන විට ලෝක ජනගහනයෙන් 88%ක් ඉන්නේ යම් ආකාරයකින් නීතියෙන් තොරතුරු දැනගැනීමේ අයිතිය තහවුරු කරන…

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Sri Lanka’s RTI promotion needs imagination and technology use

Sri Lanka's new Right to Information (RTI) still lacks innovative approaches to raising awareness and taking RTI to the grassroots, argues digital activist Sanjana Hattotuwa in his latest Sunday column (The Island, 26 Feb 2017). He calls for old and new communication methods to be leverages in imaginative ways, so that more citizens can be … Continue reading Sri Lanka’s RTI promotion needs imagination and technology use