Jan 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Right to Information (RTI) Act will be fully operative from February 3 enabling people to obtain any information from the government, Mass Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said.
The Minister said this at a special meeting with Information Commission Chairman, committee members and media ministry members at the parliament premises yesterday.
On 04 August, 2016, the Speaker certified the RTI Bill as having been duly passed by Parliament. With this certification, the RTI Bill has become law in Sri Lanka.
Accordingly, every citizen in the country will get their right to know the information they need from any government institution, the Minister said.
A five-member Right to Information (RTI) Commission was formed under former Ministry Secretary Mahinda Gammanpila, who was appointed as the Chairman of the Commission by the President in last September. S. G. Punchihewa, T. Selvakumaran, Salim Marzook and Kishali Pinto Jayawardhana had been appointed as the members of the Commission.
However, some information prejudicial to the national security, national economy, examinations, foreign trade agreement negotiations, personnel details, details of medical reports would have restrictions, the Minister said.
"For example you can't demand the breakdown of arms and ammunition of the Army. You can't ask how many multi- barrel rockets the army has etc. Those details are not supposed to be revealed. You can't ask a doctor about his treatment for a particular patient. That is the privacy of the patient. You can't ask premature disclosure of foreign trade agreements," he said.
People can obtain the information in the three official languages, the Minister said.