The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has urged the President, Speaker (Chairman of the Parliamentary Council) and the Members of the Parliamentary Council to expeditiously constitute the Right to Information Commission (RTI Commission).

The BASL has drawn the attention of the President; the Speaker the ex-officio Chairman of the Parliamentary Council and the Members of the Parliamentary Council to the fact that the five-year term of the first RTI Commission will be coming to an end in September, 2021.

In a statement, BASL Secretary Rajeev Amarasuriya said the BASL has nominated Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena to the RTI Commission in terms of Section 12(1) (a) of the Right to Information Act No. 12 of 2016.

Since its inception in 2016, the RTI Commission has played a vital role in safeguarding the Fundamental Right of Access to Information enshrined in Article 14A of the Constitution and thereby fostered a culture of transparency and accountability in public authorities enabling the people of Sri Lanka to more fully participate in public life, the BASL stated.

The name of Pinto Jayawardena, who is a sitting Member of the RTI Commission having been previously appointed upon the nomination by the organizations of publishers, editors and media persons, was unanimously approved by both the Executive Committee and the Bar Council of the BASL and has been communicated to the President, the Speaker and the Members of the Parliamentary Council.

Kishali Pinto Jayawardena graduated with Honours from the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo and was enrolled as an Attorney-at-Law of in 1997. As a public interest Attorney in the field of Public Law (till 2007) she appeared in several landmark cases concerning the Freedom of Expression and Contempt of Court before the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and international Tribunals.

She was unanimously nominated by the Editors Guild of Sri Lanka for the 2014 D. R. Wijewardene Award for Earning the Appreciation of Peers and the Public, which she once again was awarded in 2016 in recognition of her contribution in drafting the Right to Information Act which she accepted on behalf of RTI campaigners.


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