Right to Information (RTI) Act would be fully operative from February 3 enabling people to obtain any information from the government, Mass Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said yesterday.
The Minister said this at a special meeting with Information Commission Chairman, committee members and media ministry members at the parliament premises yesterday. “As promised by this government to bring in the Right to Information (RTI) Act before it came to power it had taken steps to present the Right to Information Bill in Parliament on August 4 last year and it was passed with a massive 255 votes,” the Minister said.
Accordingly, every citizen in the country will get their right to know the information they need from any government institution. A Five members 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 on 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 their details in three languages, the minister said.