Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) marked the International Day for Universal Access to Information or Right to Know Day on Monday (28), raising public awareness across the country on the Right to Information (RTI) and highlighting the transformational impact RTI has had on the lives of individual citizens and entire communities.  

Public outreach events were held at the Fort Railway Station in Colombo and at Malimbada, Thelijjawila, Akuressa, Imaduwa, Weligama, Ahangama, Habaraduwa, Galle, Rathgama, Hikkaduwa, Ambalangoda and Matara in the Southern Province.

Visitors to the Colombo International Book Fair on Sunday (27) also had an opportunity to speak with TISL staff to learn about their Right to Information and how they can exercise it. TISL also trained personnel at the Vavuniya Divisional Secretariat on RTI compliance yesterday (29).

In his message on Right to Know Day, TISL's Executive Director, Asoka Obeyesekere said, “We have witnessed firsthand how people from across the island have utilised RTI on multiple issues ranging in scale from securing the appointment of a Principal for a rural school to gaining access to clean pipe borne water for an entire village”.

Obeyesekere added, “The success of RTI in Sri Lanka these past 3 years has been entirely dependent on this right being exercised by citizens. We are encouraged by the spirit in which citizens continue to use RTI to address their needs thereby ensuring the state is accountable to them. It is this citizen experience which underscores the need to both protect and advance every citizen’s Right to Information”.

Those wishing to learn more about RTI can contact TISL on 0112 502 503, or via e-mail to help@tisrilanka.org and by visiting www.rtiwatch.lk.