Role of SLPI in promoting RTI Law
Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) was established by the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka, The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka, the Free Media Movement, and the Sri Lanka Working Journalist Association, to provide direction and leadership in media related activities. After twelve years in operation, the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) has established itself as the leading media development institute in Sri Lanka. With its four operational arms, the Sri Lanka College of Journalism (SLCJ), the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL), the Advocacy and Free Media Division, and the Media Resource Centre (MRC), the Institute offers systematic training for journalists.
The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL), encourages self-regulation and accountability, and provides readers the right to challenge or correct reporting, while the Sri Lanka College of Journalism (SLCJ) is the training arm which focuses on skills development for the journalistic profession. Overall, the mandate of the Sri Lanka Press Institute is to create a professional body of journalists which is responsible and accountable to the public.
The SLPI strives to maintain good governance, Human Rights, gender equity and poverty alleviation. It is a well-established fact that a diverse, professional and vibrant media can address these areas in a positive way, while a malfunctioning media runs counter to such a vision. As such, it has advocated for the enactment of the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the inception of the Colombo Declaration in 1998, which was subsequently revisited in 2008. This RTI campaign is one of the initiatives by SLPI to secure good governance and freedom of expression in Sri Lanka. Through this campaign, SLPI strives to promote the Right to Information Law which was enacted by the Sri Lanka Government recently especially by raising awareness among the general public.
In recognition of the fact that an ongoing awareness campaign on RTI at all levels in the country is vital for greater dissemination SLPI has made every effort to reach each and every person in Sri Lanka through a series of awareness raising activities. The SLPI has thus conducted Workshops, Awareness Training programs, and Regional campaigns for the general public covering Colombo, Gampaha and Galle Districts while also conducting training programs targeting Colombo-based journalists. Furthermore, SLPI has many such programs planned for the future to disseminate the importance of the Right to Information Law among citizens.