Sunday, August 16, 2009

Implement RTI law properly for good governance

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Speakers at a view exchange meeting in Rajshahi yesterday said a culture of seeking information should be developed in society, especially for the grassroots-level people, for effective implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) law.

RTI law would not leave any benefit unless it is properly implemented through creating awareness among mass people about their right of access to information, they added.

Once RTI is properly implemented, the speakers said, it would take the country a step forward to ensure good governance as well as administrative transparency and accountability.

They stressed the need for a strong role of the media in educating common people on appropriate methods of exercising their right.

Campaign for Right to Information (CFRTI) and local vernacular daily the Mukto Chetona jointly organised the meeting on 'RTI law and role of media' in association with Asian Foundation at a city restaurant.

Fazle Hossain Badsha MP attended the meeting as the chief guest, while Liakat Ali Liku, chairman of the editorial board of the daily, was in the chair.

The lawmaker in his speech said the government is committed to implementing the RTI law, however challenging the task may be. He sought cooperation from all circles related to RTI.

"RTI is quite new to us when we are still fighting for the basic rights of ethnic groups… implementing a law is far more difficult than enacting it. Yet, if all concerned work together, we can well share the power with common people through implementing RTI."

CFRTI General Secretary Muhammad Lutful Haque presented a written paper on right to information and RTI laws while Staff Corres-pondent of The Daily Star Anwar Ali spoke on the role of media men in implementing RTI law.

CFRTI President Khondoker Iqbal Hossain and Mir Mostaque Ahmed of Asia Foundation were present at the programme as the special guests.

Editor of the Mukto Chetona M Sadrul Islam, News Editor Golam Sarwar, former president of Rajshahi Union of Journalists (RUJ) Mustafijur Rahman Khan Alam, RUJ General Secretary and Rajshahi bureau chief of the Shamakal Shibli Noman, Metropolitan Press Club Vice President Kazi Gias, General Secretary Anisuzzaman, BSS bureau chief Dr Aynal Haque and journalist Mahtab Uddin also spoke.

The speakers thanked the government for turning the RTI ordinance into a law, saying that lack of political will, culture of secrecy and lack of knowledge about RTI among general public are the main obstacles to implementing the law.

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