RTI Commission orders Thondaman’s Ministry to disclose “NAAM-200” event expenses

Friday, 17 May 2024 00:44 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Right to Information (RTI) Commission has ordered the Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development Ministry to disclose all details, including expenses, related to the “NAAM-200” event organised by Minister Jeevan Thondaman and presided over by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in November 2023.

The event, marking the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Malaiyaha Tamils in Sri Lanka, was also attended by Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

This order follows an appeal filed by journalist B. Nirosh Kumar, who submitted an RTI request on 6 November 2023, seeking comprehensive information about the event. The Ministry initially provided some information but failed to disclose key details, prompting Kumar to appeal to the RTI Commission.

During the Commission’s sitting, Kumar highlighted that 4 out of his 19 questions remained partially unanswered. Upon questioning, Ministry officials revealed that the event’s funding came from the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) and not from the state treasury. Consequently, the Commission inquired why the information request was not forwarded to GOPIO’s Information Officer.

In response, Ministry officials assured the Commission that they would provide Kumar with copies of receipts, expenditure documents, and cheque copies from GOPIO. Kumar noted that he had been attempting to obtain this information for the past six months and urged the Commission to enforce compliance under the Right to Information Act.

The RTI Commission has now ordered that the Ministry of Minister Jeevan Thondaman respond to the request and provide all the requested information by 3 July.