Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sri Lanka's Right to Information act ranks third place globally on the RTI Rating

Colombo Page: Colombo: Saturday, February 11, 2017.
Following the announcement of rules and regulations on Right Information Act by Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Gayantha Karunathilake last week, Sri Lanka has reached third best place in the RTI global ranking.
Sri Lanka ranks at the third place in the Global Right to Information Rating, which assess country's legal framework according to 61 indicators. Mexico and Serbia are in the first and second places.
Sri Lanka received a total score of 131 out of 150 in seven categories - Right of Access, Scope, Requesting procedures, Exceptions, Appeals, Sanctions, and Promotional measures.
Sri Lanka has become the best in South Asia, passing India says, Canadian based RTI watch-dog Center for Law and Democracy (CLD), a co-founder of the Right to Information Rating.
"Countries often go up a few points on the RTI rating when they adopt rules and regulations. But this is an impressive jump up for a country which already had a very strong score, so both the minister and the commission deserve to be congratulated for their good work," CLD Executive Director Toby Mendel was quoted in its website
When the bill was unanimously adopted in Parliament last August Sri Lanka was in the seventh place of global ranking and then dropped in to the ninth place. However, the new regulations of the act has added ten more points to Sri Lanka which brought it to the third best place in its global ranking.
The rules and regulations were gazetted last week by the Minister in concurrence of the RTI Commission in Sri Lanka.
The implementation of the act was commenced on February 3rd and countrywide public authorities had received more than 300 RTI applications on the first working day of the week.
"Sri Lanka now faces the challenging task of implementing its strong legal framework for the right to information. CLD calls on the Ministry, public authorities and the Commission to ensure that this happens, and notes that it remains willing to provide support for this process," CLD said.
This is a significant achievement for Sri Lanka. And also this is just a beginning of a long journey. We will do our best to establish good governance and democracy in this country, says Minister Gayantha Karunathilake.