The Commission on Right to Information has proceeded the final order in regard to the appeal made by the Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) demanding Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe's Asset declaration.
Apparently, the Commission has issued order to submit the Assets Declaration, which was refused to be given by the Presidential Secretariat, to the TISL. The TISL had required the Statement to Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe's assets and liabilities taken into account between 2015 - 2016 in their . The initial RTI request had been filed on February 03, 2017 by the TISL, exactly a day prior to when the Information Act bill was implemented.
The TISL declares that the Statement, in which details in keeping with the exceptions of the Act, without third party information, will be received and made publically available. The current law in Sri Lanka provisioning assets and liabilities is limited by many conditions, and statements received in keeping with the law can only be utilized before the court of law. However, given that information can be made publically available under the Information Act, the TISL is legally privileged to publicize the above Statement.
Given that the public representatives are bound by the public accountability to stay transparent about their assets and liabilities, the order proceeded by the Commission on Right to Information is apparently historic. The Sri Lankan law on information is taken to be world's third best law, and the Commission has proceeded a precedent case in preventing financial fraud, corruption and theft.
On TISL’s request for access to the Asset Declaration of His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena for 2015 & 2016, the RTIC held that the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Law does not include the position of President. However, the Commission noted that “the increasing trend among Heads of State is to proactively disclose their assets and liabilities to foster a practice of transparency and public accountability”.
The RTIC recommended that this lacuna in the law be redressed, as it would advance “a culture of public accountability and good governance as envisaged by the RTI Act”.