Advocates Begin RTI Petition Campaign in Sri Lanka

9 May 2014

A petition calling on the government to pass a right to information law is being circulated in Sri Lanka, where efforts to pass a bill have been frustrated in recent years.

The Action Committee for Media Freedom Rights activists held an event in Colombo May 5 to launch the petition drive.

“This is the only country in South Asia which does not have this Act,” Dharmasiri Lankapeli was quoted as saying. Speaking for the Action Committee he said there are plans for a house-to-house drive to collect signatures.

Karu Jayasuriya, a member of the opposition United National Party said, “The government tries to hide bribery and corruption and thinks people should not have the right to information,” according to a media report.

Jayasuriya’s RTI bill was defeated in 2011 (see previous report) and legislation was blocked by the ruling party in May of 2012  as the government said again that it would draft its own bill, which has not happened. (See previous report.)

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