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TISL wants fast tracking of Right to Information Act
Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) yesterday requested the government to present the Right to Information Bill to Parliament and approve it quickly.

TISL Executive Director Ashoka Obesekara said that the government should follow immediate steps to approve the Right to Information Bill in its actual form without making any changes to the Bill. Making changes to its content or reduce its articles will cause harm the standard of the Bill, he added.

"If the government has no confidence to approve this most important Bill without changes how can public can keep their trust in the new constitution which is to be presented by the government," he questioned.

"Reducing the standards of this Bill is reducing the power of the people . Because of that the government should take immediate steps to approve this Right to Information Bill in its actual form before end of this quarter as they promised, he stated, while addressing a special press briefing held in Colombo yesterday.

The Right to Information Bill and the Audit Bill can be introduced as urgent Bills which are beiung used around the world for preventing frauds and corruption. The Right to Information Bill has been already approved by the Cabinet and the government has promised to approve this Bill before the end of first quarter of this year. But that promise has not yet been fulfilled but there is some more time before the end of the first quarter of the year.

All shortcomings related with this Bill has now already been rectified and now there are no doubts left in approving this Bill , TISL Senior Manager Shan Wijetunga said.

"Civil organizations and the civil society are requesting for a Right to Information Act since 25 years ago. Several governments were working on this Act, but all of them failed to pass it. This Act has been developed with the ideas of civil society," he explained.

"We have presented six amendments to the Right to Information Bill . Most parties think that this is important only for the media. But, it is very important to the public. Because it gives an opportunity for public to exercise their rights,"he stated. 

- Melani



2016-02-25
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