The Right to Information Act and Its Implementation in Sri Lanka: An Empirical Analysis

Iqbal Saujan, Ahamed Sarjoon Razick, Mohamed Haniffa Mohamed Nairoos


The Right to Information is the right to access to obtain information from public officials. This right serves several important purposes: Improving the participation of the public in policy-making, Promoting transparency and accountability of the government, minimising corruption, and wastage of state - resources by public officials. The Right to Information Act No. 12 of 2016 (RTI Act) was certified in Sri Lanka by the Parliament on the 4th day of August 2016, and published as a Supplement to Part II of the Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka dated 5th August 2016 can be considered as one of the more meaningful and positive democratic measure passed during the period concerned. The RTI Act provides an operational administration to enforce the right to information (RTI).  Although, it was ensured as a fundamental right in the Constitution of Sri Lanka through the Nineteenth Amendment passed on 28th of April 2015, the RTI Act has been facing challenges on implementing in the societies. Therefore, the main objective of the study is to identify challenges of the practical procedure stipulated in the RTI Act for public authorities who implement the said RTI and to provide recommendations to ensure the people's right to information. The author has used data such as Gazettes of Sri Lanka related to RTI as a primary sources and journals, reports, electronic resources and books as secondary sources. The publications of the Right to Information Commission of Sri Lanka have been used as a model, particularly for the collection of data. Finally, the paper concludes with suggestions towards minimizing Challenges affecting the institutions as well as the general public in complying with the RTIA whilst pursuing the maximum benefits of the Right to information.

Keywords:Right to Information Act, Transparency, RTI, Accountability, Sri Lanka, and Freedom of Expression  

DOI: 10.7176/JLPG/121-04

Publication date:June 30th 2022

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