BANGLADESH: Revise draft right to information act
Speakers at good governance discussion urge government to seek journalists' input before enacting Right to Information Act
The Daily Star
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Satkhira --- Speakers at a discussion here have said the right to information law, if enacted without necessary changes, will fail to benefit people.
Right to information law should be enacted for the people not for the government, they said at the discussion on "The drafted right to information ordinance 08" organised by Satkhira district unit of Campaign for Good Governance at its office premises in the town.
Criticising the draft right to information law, they said the proposed law will not help people to get required information from the authorities concerned as there are several restricting clauses.
The people will not be able to get information as per their requirements if the drafted law is enacted exactly as it imposes restrictions to getting information, they said.
They urged taking opinions of the journalists before enacting the proposed right to information law as the journalists play vital role to convey information to the people as carnage.
Bureaucrats have all along been averse to giving information to people as per their requirement and the proposed right to information law has been drafted to serve their interest, they said, adding that now people are enjoying their right to information to some extent but the proposed law has been designed to curb their rights further regarding information.
They said that ensuring the right to information is a precondition for empowering people and good governance but the proposed law, containing some unacceptable clauses, will fail to ensure right to the people and so, the main objective of the law will not be met.
They urged the authorities concerned to enact the law after omitting Kha, Ga, Gha, Unga, Cha, Chha and Jha and a few other clauses of the drafted right to information law.
The particular clauses will act as bar to fulfilling people's aspirations, they said.
With Mariam Mannan in the chair, the meeting on Tuesday was addressed by, among others, former minister Dr Aftabuzzaman, Principal Asit Kumar Majumdar, district information officer Nurul Huda, Prof Abu Ahmed, Shudhangshu Shekhar Sarkar, Madhab Dutta and Aparesh Pal.
Date Posted: 3/20/2008