The RTI Journalists’ Forum
The Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) plays a vital role in promoting the Information Act in Sri Lanka since its enactment in the country. The establishment of the RTI Journalists’ Forum signifies SLPI’s efforts in fostering the Information Act in Sri Lanka .
The Right to Information Act is the right of the citizen. Journalists by profession can immensely make use of this Act to make the public informed about the key decisions that impact them. .Journalists based in various parts of the country have engaged in reporting activities making use of this act. With the intervention of the SLPI, a monthly gathering with active journalists who are exploring new trends in media under the Information Act is being held to assist the journalists who use this Act.
Thus, in May 2018, the first phase of this program, the RTI Journalists’ Forum was kicked off.Various topics such as the current situation related to the RTI Act, the experiences gained in making requests for information, the responses of the public authorities,, the services that can be rendered to the public as a journalist through this Act, and the progressive steps that are being taken worldwide via the Right to Information have been discussed in this forum.
At present, more than 35 journalists representing the Sinhala, English and Tamil media institutions based in various parts of Sri Lanka have joined the The RTI Journalists’ Forum
He has been working as a journalist in print and electronic media based in the Trincomalee District for over 20 years. Hehas experiences in reporting war affairs and severe disasters such as Tsunami. He contributes to newspapers such as Aruna , and Silumina and to TV channels such as News First, Derana Rupavahini and the Independent Television Network. He has been a member of the RTI Journalists’ Forum since its inception. He has been appreciated on several occasions for his news reporting using the Information Act. So far, he has r submitted more than 100 applications under the Right to Information Act.
Rahul Samantha Hettiarachchi
Rahul Samantha Hettiarachchi, who has been working in the media field for about 18 years, is currently working for ‘Ada’ newspaper. He is an active journalist who has compiled over 300 news and features using the Information Act since its enactment in Sri Lanka.. He has been an active member of the RTI Journalists’ Forum since its inception. He has so far submitted over 3000 RTI applications t. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his reporting compiled using the Information Act.
Kusumsiri is a Sub Editor and Writer of the Deshaya newspaper and he has been a journalist for over 12 years. He has been a member of the RTI Journalists’ Forum since its inception. He has made numerous requests for information in a variety of areas.
Sarath Manula Wickrama
Sarath Manulawho has been a journalist for about 25 years, is currently working for the Lankadeepa Newspaper. He has been an active member of the RTI Journalists’ Forum since its inception. He is a journalist who has made extensive use of the Right to Information Act for issues focused on the Anuradhapura district.. To date, he has submitted more than 100 requests for information.
Chamara Sampath, who has been a journalist for about 6 years, is a full time journalist for ‘Ada’ newspaper.. He can be described as a journalist who has made use of the Information Act right from the beginning of its implementation in Sri Lanka. He has obtained rich information through this Act . He joined the RTI Journalists’ Forum in the year 2019. He has filed about 100 to 150 information applications to various sections so far .
Karuppaiya Prasannakumar from NuwaraEliya district has been working for the Thinakkural newspaper for the last 8 years. So far nearly 500 RTI applications have been submitted by him. Prasanna also received an award at the Sri Lanka Press Institute’s Journalism Awards Ceremony for his article which was written using the Right to Information Act. a He has been a member of the RTI Journalists’ Forum of the Sri Lanka Press Institute since 2021.
Fathima Afra from Kalutara district has been working as a journalist for the last two years. She is currently working for the Newsnow media organization. She joined the RTI Journalists’ Forum on June 30, 2021.
M. Susikala is from Colombo. Susikala has 4 years of experience in the media industry. Susikala has been working as aSub News Editor for the Thamilan newspaper for the past one year. Also, she has 3 years of experience in working for the Sudaroli newspaper. She has been a member of the RTI Journalists’ Forum of the Sri Lanka Press Institute since September 2021.
P. Nirosh is a journalist in the Nuwara Eliya district who has been working for the Tamilmirror newspaper. He has 5 years of experience in the media industry. His articles written using the Right to Information Act provided key information on the LTTE surrendering to the military during the final days of the war, former President Maithripala’s helicopter tours, and about the airport at Kotagala. He has been a member of the RTI Journalists’ Forum of the Sri Lanka Press Institute since 2020.
Thanuja Nagaraja has been working as a full time journalist for Virakesari newspaper since 2018. She works for the newsroom of the Virakesari newspaper and has written articles on political, economic and social issues. She joined the RTI Journalists’ Forum of the Sri Lanka Press Institute in June 2021.
Shabeer Mohammad from Kegalle district works as a freelance journalist for Thamilan newspaper. He has worked as a freelance journalist for several media companies since 2019. His media journey started with the Navamani newspaper. So far 50 RTI applications have been submitted by him.
Chandana Thilak de Silva
Chandana Thilak de Silva who has been a journalist for so long, is representing the Nuwara Eliya District in his journalism. He is a journalist with a keen interest towards the Right To Information Act and joined the RTI Journalists’ Forum in early 2020.
He has made use of his civic right and has vehemently taken advantage of the RTI Act and has submitted over 100 applications requesting for information from various public authorities.
Prasad Purnamal Jayamanne
Prasad Purnamal, who has been in the field of media for about 25 years, has started his career in Chilaw. He joined Lake House and Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in 1997 and joined the BBC in 2000 as a reporter. He has been working for Sirasa TV since 2001. He joined the RTI Journalists’ Forum in 2018. He can be described as a journalist who is at the forefront of using the Right To Information Act. He uses the Information Act for many investigative purposes to nurture an informative public.