The Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) launched “A Citizen’s Manual on Sri Lanka’s Right to Information (RT) Law” on the 5th of December at its premises. The Manual simplifies the RTI Law to enable the citizen to use the Act effectively so that the Government is made more accountable to the People.
The purpose of the RTI law is to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in Public Authorities by giving effect to the right of access to information and thereby promote a society in which the people of Sri Lanka would be able to more fully participate in public life through combating corruption and promoting accountability and good governance.
The SLPI conducted two pilot trainings around the RTI Act and the Manual in Gampaha and Galle with provincial journalists. Subsequent to the launch, the SLPI held a training at the newsroom of the Wijeya Newspapers Ltd on Tuesday December 6th 2016 as the forerunner to a series of similar trainings in Colombo and the provinces to assist journalists to effectively use RTI.
Compiled by Ms. Menaka Lecamwasam, attorney-at-law during July-September 2016 with the guidance of Ms. Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena, senior lawyer, who now serves as a Commissioner in the RTI Commission, the Manual incorporates a simple question and answer style highlighting key areas of the law.
CEO of the SLPI, Kumar Lopez stated that “We hope that this will be used by both citizens and journalists. The Manual is published in trilingual form and contains key information such as What is RTI?; Duties of the Ministries and Public Authority; How to obtain information and from whom it could be obtained; What type of information will not be disclosed, the appeal process and penalties and the Role of the RTI Commission.’