Sri Lanka’s Parliament debated the Right to Information (RTI) bill for two days (23 – 24 June 2016) before adopting it into law. No member opposed it, although some minor amendments were done during the debate.
If that sounds like an easy passage, it was preceded by over two decades of advocacy with various false starts and setbacks. A large number of Lankans and a few supportive foreigners share the credit for Sri Lanka becoming the 108th country in the world to have its own RTI (or freedom of information) law.
Sri Lanka’s RTI challenges are far from over. We now face the daunting task of implementing the new law. RTI calls for a complete reorientation of government. Proper implementation requires political will, administrative support and sufficient funds.
We also need vigilance by civil society and the media to guard against the whole process becoming mired in too much red tape.
This blog, initiated by science writer and new media activist Nalaka Gunawardene, tried to chronicle RTI’s journey in Sri Lanka from 2016 onward.
Views expressed here are those of the blogger, and do not necessarily reflect those of any entities he works with.
Contact: nalaka [at] nalaka.org
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