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It is encouraging to see that despite being severely cash-strapped due to the absence of an independent allocation in the 2017 National Budget, the RTI Commission of Sri Lanka has begun hearing appeals and concluded several hearings under the globally acclaimed RTI Act No:12 of 2016.

16 06 dailymirror

This is no doubt due to the perseverance of Commission members despite the Commission operating out of temporary premises and with skeletal staff.

It was reported that the appellants were recording their appreciation of the fact that this was a law which gave ‘ordinary people’ the right to ask questions from the establishment. This included even public servants who have no recourse to questioning the establishment when they themselves became the victims of injustice. Parents of children who had been denied admission to schools without giving reasons and journalists attempting to expose corruption in the Provincial Council machinery have stated that they have gone before the Commission.

No doubt, all this is an important part of the RTI regime. RTI is a weapon that acts as a leveler against privilege. Whether it is the politically, socially or financially privileged makes no difference. Any citizen can file an RTI request and cannot be questioned as to why it is being filed. If it falls within the reach of the RTI Act, it will be granted. If not, then those refusing must explain why and will be held responsible before the Commission.

However citizens including journalists who file appeals to the Commission must be aware of the legal processes even though they have been relaxed to a great extent. The RTI Act and the Regulations allow initial information requests to be filed electronically (through email). But appeals to the Commission must be by registered post or person. To our mind, this safeguard must be to prevent fraud at the appeal stage. This is necessary.

The Commission sits on appeal against a decision of a Designated Officer (DO) in a Public Authority in response to a rejection of an information request by an Information Officer. A citizen cannot simply ignore an appointed DO and come directly to the Commission saying that it is ‘of no use’ to appeal. The steps laid down in the law must be followed. An appeal will lie directly to the Commission only when a DO is not in place, as we understand it.

The Commission has announced in a recent media statement that it is pleased with the public’s use of RTI. Considerable numbers of citizens and public officers have reached out to the Commission in these early months. Its Draft Rules on the duties of Ministers to publish certain categories of pro-active information in advance will soon be available for public feedback on its eagerly awaited website.

It is a special feature of our RTI Act that Ministers are required to publish information regarding future projects above a particular monetary value, including information on procurement and tender processes. These are areas where the most corruption has been evidenced. In addition and under other provisions of the Act, Ministers are also required to publish disbursements under allocated budgets. This would involve, among others, costs incurred for junkets abroad.

In a further development, regulations are pending before Parliament to enable public access to the declarations of assets and liabilities of parliamentarians who are elected to office and are thus directly covered by RTI. This is a praiseworthy development and would, no doubt, further strengthen the steadily growing RTI regime in Sri Lanka.

What we see taking place today is a quiet and gradual change in the culture of not asking questions which Sri Lankans have been used to for decades. Despite all the criticisms levelled against this Government, it is to its credit that it brought RTI to the citizens. Its benefits will come in the years ahead if the RTI process is supported and encouraged rather than sabotaged.

Courtesy, the Daily Mirror, 16/06/2017 Read Full Article

Recent Decisions in Appeal

 

uafi rti

Ongoing In-Person Hearings

Airline Pilots’ Guild v. Sri Lankan Airlines - [...]

Appellant: The Airline Pilots’of Sri Lanka

Public Authority: Sri Lankan Airlines

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 13.11.2017, 08.01.2018, 06.02.2018, 23.03.2018, 24.04.2018 and 09.05.2018

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/99/2017 - Airline Pilots’ Guild v. Sri Lankan Airlines

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/99/2017 - Jurisdiction

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/99/2017 - Final Order

Anver Sadath v Base Hospital Nintavur  - [...]

Appellant: Anver Sadath

Public Authority: Base Hospital Nintavur

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 18/06/2019, 17/07/2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1183/2018

 

B. J. Rasanen v Zonal Education Office Valikamam [...]

Appellant: B. J. Rasanen

Public Authority: Zonal Education Office Valikamam

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 30.04.2019, 13.08.2019, 10.12.2019, 28.04.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/941/2019

 

B. J. Rasanen v Zonal Education Office Valikamam [...]

Appellant: B. J. Rasanen

Public Authority: Zonal Education Office Valikamam

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 30.04.2019, 13.08.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/982/2019

 

B.K.G. Dhanapala .Vs . Department Of Land [...]

Appellant: B.K.G. Dhanapala

Public Authority: Department Of Land Settlement

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 05.08.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/976/2019

 

අභියාචක: බී.කේ.ජී. ධනපාල

පොදු අධිකාරිය: ඉඩම් හිමිකම් නිරවුල් කිරීමේ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව

අභියාචනා දිනය: 07.05.2019, 05.08.2019

නියෝග:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/976/2019

 

Bahirathy Rasanen v Zonal Education Office, [...]

Appellant: Bahirathy Rasanen

Public Authority: Zonal Education Office, Valikamam Zone

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 05.07.2019; 10.12.2019; 28.04.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1404/2019

 

Bhadrani Jayawardena v. Municipal Council - [...]

Appellant: Bhadrani Jayawardena

Public Authority: Municipal Council - Colombo

Dates of Appeal Hearing: May 9th 2018

Order:

 

C J Wijayawardhana v Sri Lanka Telecom PLC - [...]

Appellant: C J Wijayawardhana

Public Authority: Sri Lanka Telecom PLC

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 03.09.2019; 07.01.2020; 19.05.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1283/2019

 

C. Amarasinghe v Board of Investment (BOI) - [...]

Appellant: C. Amarasinghe

Public Authority: Board of Investment (BOI)

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 18.06.2019, 23.07.2019, 10.09.2019, 03.12.2019, 28.01.2020, 05.02.2020, 10.03.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/791/2018

 

C. B. Ravindraraj v. Ministry of Transport and [...]

Appellant: C. B. Ravindraraj

Public Authority: Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 08.10.2019; 14.01.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1371/2019

 

Capital Alliance (Pvt) Ltd. v Department of [...]

Appellant: Capital Alliance (Pvt) Ltd.

Public Authority: Department of Census and Statistics

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 11.12.2018, 05.03.2019, 02.07.2019, 03.12.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/745/2018

 

Centre for Environmental Justice v Ministry of [...]

Appellant: Centre for Environmental Justice

Public Authority: Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 03.12.2019; 05.02.2019; 25.02.2019; 03.03.2020; 17.03.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1114/2019

 

Centre for Policy Alternatives v Sri Lanka Army - [...]

Appellant: Centre for Policy Alternatives

Public Authority: Sri Lanka Army

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 02.07.2019, 26.11.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1131/2019

 

Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union v. Peoples Bank - [...]

Appellant: Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union

Public Authority: Peoples Bank

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 20.04.2018, 05.06.2018, 17.07.2018, 04.09.2018, 23.10.2018

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/139/2018

 

Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union v. Peoples Bank - [...]

Appellant: Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union

Public Authority: Peoples Bank

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 05.06.2018, 17.07.2018, 04.09.2018, 23.10.2018

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/301/2018

 

Chamara Sampath v Parliament of Sri Lanka - [...]

Appellant: Chamara Sampath

Public Authority: Parliament of Sri Lanka

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 2019.02.12; 2019.05.21; 2019.06.26; 2019.09.10; 2019.10.08; 2019.10.22; 2019.11.05; 2019.12.03

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/719/2018

 

D Indrani Silva v National Hospital of Colombo - [...]

Appellant: D Indrani Silva

Public Authority: National Hospital of Colombo

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 26.03.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/864/2019

 

D M L de Silva v. National Insurance Trust Fund  [...]

Appellant: D M L de Silva

Public Authority: National Insurance Trust Fund

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 14.08.2018; 16.10.2018

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/305/2018

 

Dr. Issadeen v. Ministry of Health, Nutrition [...]

Appellant: Dr. Issadeen

Public Authority: Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 17.12.2018; 08.04.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/394/2018

 

Gamini Kinigama v People’s Insurance PLC - [...]

Appellant: Gamini Kinigama

Public Authority: People’s Insurance PLC

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 05.02.2019; 12.03.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/680/2018

 

H A L Udayasiri v Department of Inland Revenue - [...]

Appellant: H A L Udayasiri

Public Authority: Department of Inland Revenue

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 26.08.2019; 14.01.2019; 03.03.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/933/2019

 

H.B.S. Perera v Irrigation Department - [...]

Appellant: H.B.S. Perera

Public Authority: Irrigation Department

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 30.05.2018; 19.06.2018; 07.08.2018; 01.10.2018; 19.11.2018

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/44/2018

 

Inland Revenue Assessors' Union v. Department of [...]

Appellant: Inland Revenue Assessors' Union

Public Authority: Department of Inland Revenue

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 09.07.2019; 15.10.2019; 14.01.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/831/2019

 

Inter Company Employees Union v Sri Lanka [...]

Appellant: Inter Company Employees Union

Public Authority: Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Ltd.

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 02.07.2019; 26.11.2019; 28.01.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/580/2018

 

J. Wickremasinghe v. Chief Secretary, Central [...]

Appellant: J. Wickremasinghe

Public Authority: Chief Secretary, Central Province

Dates of Appeal Hearing: June 12th 2018

Order:

 

J. Wickremasinghe v. Chief Secretary, Central [...]

Appellant: J. Wickremasinghe

Public Authority: Chief Secretary, Central Province

Dates of Appeal Hearing: June 12th 2018

Order:

 

J.H.M.R.B. Jayapathma v Ministry of Education - [...]

Appellant: J.H.M.R.B. Jayapathma

Public Authority: Ministry of Education

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 29.01.2019; 09.04.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/655/2018

 

Jayasuriya v National Olympic Committee - [...]

Appellant: Jayasuriya

Public Authority: National Olympic Committee

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 06.08.2019, 19.11.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1013/2019

 

K. Prasanna Kumar v Ministry of Hill Country - [...]

Appellant: K. Prasanna Kumar

Public Authority: Ministry of Hill Country, New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 27.08.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1151/2019

 

K. Prasanna Kumar v Ministry of Hill Country, New [...]

Appellant: K. Prasanna Kumar

Public Authority: Ministry of Hill Country, New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 27/08/2019; 03.12.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1554/2019

 

K.M.D.S.K. Kulatunga v. Udunuwara Pradeshiya [...]

Appellant: KMDSK Kulatunga

Public Authority: Udunuwara Pradeshiya Sabha

Date of Appeal Hearing: November 17th, 2017

Order: 

K.U. Dhammika v Ocean View Development Company [...]

Appellant: K.U. Dhammika

Public Authority: Ocean View Development Company (PVT) Ltd

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 26.03.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/862/2019

 

M R Rasheed v. Department of Inland Revenue - [...]

Appellant: M R Rasheed

Public Authority: Department of Inland Revenue

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 20.05.2019, 24.10.2019, 14.01.2020, 03.03.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/911/2019

 

M. F. A. Mansoor v Ministry of Megapolis and [...]

Appellant: M. F. A. Mansoor

Public Authority: Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 03.12.2019; 05.02.2019; 25.02.2019; 03.03.2020; 17.03.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1108/2019

 

M.D.S.K. Kulatunga v. Udunuwara Pradeshiya Sabha [...]

Appellant: M.D.S.K. Kulatunga

Public Authority: Udunuwara Pradeshiya Sabha

Dates of Appeal Hearing: November 17th 2017 & April 20th 2018

Order:

 

M.H.M. Hazeer v Central Bank of Sri Lanka - [...]

Appellant: M.H.M. Hazeer

Public Authority: Central Bank of Sri Lanka

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1056/2019

 

M.H.M.Haseer v Central Bank of Sri Lanka - [...]

Appellant: M.H.M.Haseer

Public Authority: Central Bank of Sri Lanka

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 04.06.2019, 24.09.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1036/2019

 

M.N. Farouk v South Asian Institute of Technology [...]

Appellant: M.N. Farouk

Public Authority: South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine Ltd (SAITM)

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 26.03.2019, 17.07.2019, 26.11.2019; 03.12.2019; 28.04.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/859/2019

 

N. Munasinghe v People's Bank - [...]

Appellant: N. Munasinghe

Public Authority: People's Bank

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 11.12.2018, 05.03.2019, 02.07.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/050/2018

 

N. Munasinghe v. People’s Bank - [...]

Appellant: N. Munasinghe

Public Authority: People’s Bank

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 05.06.2018, 17.07.2018, 28.08.2018, 23.10.2018, 13.11.2018, 11.12.2018

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/50/2018

 

N. Suhaibu v National Water Supply and Drainage [...]

Appellant: N. Suhaibu

Public Authority: National Water Supply and Drainage Board

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 11.02.2020; 05.05.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1671/2019

 

Nasif Akram v Sri Lanka Parliament - [...]

Appellant: Nasif Akram

Public Authority: Sri Lanka Parliament

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1184/2019

 

R. Ananthaseelan v MBSL - RTICAppeal/758/2018

Appellant: R. Ananthaseelan

Public Authority: MBSL

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 20.02.2019, 28.05.2019, 27.09.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/758/2018

 

R. Ananthaseelan v Sri Lanka Savings Bank - [...]

Appellant: R. Ananthaseelan

Public Authority: Sri Lanka Savings Bank

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 28.05.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/863/2019

 

R. Manikkavasagar v District Land Reform Board - [...]

Appellant: R. Manikkavasagar

Public Authority: District Land Reform Board

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 12.02.2020; 26.05.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1800/2019

 

R.H.M.N. Rajakaruna v. Provincial Public Service [...]

Appellant: R.H.M.N. Rajakaruna

Public Authority: Provincial Public Service Commission- North Western Province

Dates of Appeal Hearing: April 24th 2018

Order:

 

Railway Managers Association v. Sri Lanka [...]

Appellant: Railway Managers Association

Public Authority: Sri Lanka Railways

Dates of Appeal Hearing: April 24th 2018

Order:

 

Rajasekar v Dept Of Labour - RTICAppeal/1388/2019

Appellant: Rajasekar

Public Authority: Dept Of Labour

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 15.10.2019; 03.12.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1388/2019

 

RDSA Wickramasuriya v Lanka Mineral Sands Limited [...]

Appellant: RDSA Wickramasuriya

Public Authority: Lanka Mineral Sands Limited

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 29.10.2019; 10.03.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1394/2019

 

S.A.S.S. Perera v. Divisional Secretariat, [...]

Appellant: S.A.S.S. Perera

Public Authority: Divisional Secretariat, Padukka

Date of Appeal Hearing: November 23rd, 2017

Order: 

Shermal Hemaka Jayasuriya v National Selection [...]

Appellant: Shermal Hemaka Jayasuriya

Public Authority: National Selection Committee, Ministry of Provincial Councils, Local Government and Sports

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 20.02.2019; 23.04.2019, 06.08.2019; 19.11.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/745/2018

 

T. Rusiripala v Peoples Bank - RTICAppeal/774/2018

Appellant: T. Rusiripala

Public Authority: Peoples Bank

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 09.07.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/774/2018

 

T. Udheyakumar v Administrative Appeals Tribunal [...]

Appellant: T. Udheyakumar

Public Authority: Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 12.03.2019; 09.07.2019; 05.11.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/692/2018

 

T. Udheyakumar v Administrative Appeals Tribunal [...]

Appellant: T. Udheyakumar

Public Authority: Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 12.03.2019; 09.07.2019; 05.11.2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/779/2018

 

T.R. Silva v. Sri Lanka Police Headquarters - [...]

Appellant: T.R. Silva

Public Authority: Sri Lanka Police Headquarters

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 17.07.2018, 09.10.2018

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/342/2018

 

U. G. Kalansuriya v. National Police Commission - [...]

Appellant: U. G. Kalansuriya

Public Authority: National Police Commission

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 17.09.2018; 12.11.2018

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/027/2018

 

V. Subramaniam v Divisional Secretariat, [...]

Appellant: V. Subramaniam

Public Authority: Divisional Secretariat, Oddusudan

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 27.08.2019, 17.12.2019, 21.01.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1254/2019

 

W.M.P.H. Holdings v. Urban Development [...]

Appellant: W.M.P.H. Holdings

Public Authority: Urban Development Authority-Order

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 25.02.2020; 02.06.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1707/2019

 

Wasantha Samarasinghe v Dept. of Inland Revenue - [...]

Appellant: Wasantha Samarasinghe

Public Authority: Dept. of Inland Revenue

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 20.02.2019; 15.10.2019; 14.01.2020

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/747/2018

 

Zacky Ismail v Base Hospital Nintavur - [...]

Appellant: Zacky Ismail

Public Authority: Base Hospital Nintavur

Dates of Appeal Hearing: 18/06/2019, 17/07/2019

Order:

gazet rti 2002 42 E janRTICAppeal/1182/2018