The Right to Information Bill, which will be presented in Parliament soon, will have constitutional status, Media Ministry Secretary Karu Paranawithana said on Thursday (19).
He said the Bill is being drafted to enable the public to have access to information from public institutions and it is not about media freedom alone.
“There are reservations with regard to national security concerns and aspects of privacy,” Paranawithana pointed out.
“Steps will be taken to introduce constitutional changes for this, prior to the presentation of the Right to Information Bill in Parliament,” he said.
“The changes will be made under a Fundamental Rights Chapter in the Constitution which will enable ‘Right to Information’ to become a fundamental right in Sri Lanka, once the bill is enacted into law,” explained Paranawithana.
Commenting on the drafting task, he said they are working with several working papers. “Under study for the preparation of the final draft are those Right to Information Bills that were submitted by the Sri Lanka Law Commission, Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe and Public Administration Minister Karu Jayasuriya,” Paranawithana said.
“There are several working papers, among them are Right to Information Acts of Bangladesh and India,” he said.
“The draft bill on Right to Information is expected to enhance good governance,” he said.