Mar 24, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s long-awaited Right to Information Bill was presented to Parliament today as the first reading. Mass Media and Parliamentary Reforms Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka presented the bill to the house. The speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday informed Parliament that the bill has been passed through all provincial councils subjected to certain amendments. “Western, North Western, Central, Southern, Eastern, and Uva Provinces have agreed with the contents of this Bill,” Jayasuriya said. “The three provinces Sabaragamuwa, North Central, and Northern Province have agreed subjected to amendments.” In terms of Article 153 (g) of the Constitution the Right to Information Bill was submitted to Provincial Councils for views. The Bill provides for the establishment of a Right to Information Commission and the appointment of Information Officers among other things to uphold the people’s right to know. The Cabinet approval for the draft bill was granted on December 2, 2015 and it was sent for discussion at the provincial level. The introduction of the Right to Information Act was a key pledge in the 100-day work programme of the government.
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The government during the 19th Amendment to the Constitution recognized the Right to Information as a fundamental right.
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