Sri Lanka Fails to Pass RTI Bill Before New Elections

29 June 2015

Right to information legislation promised by the new president has not passed in Sri Lanka, a victim of political differences over electoral reform that led President Maitripala Sirisena to dissolve parliament and call new elections.

Passage of an RTI bill in his first 100 days in office was a campaign pledge for Sirisena, who was sworn in Jan. 9, but the development of a bill look some time and now has been caught up in the larger political stalemate. The president dissolved parliament June 26 and has called for a general elction on Aug. 17.

Minister of Public Administration, Local Government and Democratic Governance Karu Jayasuriya said the government had to shelve initial plans to table the bill in Parliament as an ‘Urgent Bill’ after protests from the opposition, which has a parliamentary majority, according to a Nation article.

“He put the failure of not being able to pass the RTI Bill squarely on sections of the Opposition, who he accused of sabotaging its progress,” The Nation reported.

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