The proposed Right to Information Act 2008 will create barrier to the information collection process of journalists and using this Act, informer will get opportunity of lengthening the process. So the concerned articles of the proposed Act should urgently be amended.
It was opined in a consultation workshop on ‘Right to Information Act: Thought of the Grassroots People’ held in Rajshahi on Monday. Hailing the present Government for drafting this Act, speakers also said, the proposed Act comprised some bureaucratic and colonial attitude, which will bar information access and flow in stead of promoting it unless these are amended and clarified.
Speakers demanded repealing Article 8 of the Act and urged to include immediate information access in place of the lengthy process. They said, before finalizing the draft law, the Government should correct the draft in accordance with the recommendations received so far from the common people and publish it again for the revision. As presently there is no parliament in the country, this Act should be finalized based on the public opinion.
Mass communication oriented knowledge centre CCD Bangladesh and Panos Bangladesh jointly organized the consultation workshop at Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce Auditorium. Chairman of Law and Justice Department of Rajshahi University Prof M Robiul Hossain, Chairman of Mass Communication and Journalism Department Prof Khademul Islam, Deputy Director of Mass Communication Department Bidhan Chandra Karmakar, Deputy Director of Social Service Department Md Mojammel Hoque, Country Representative of Panos Bangladesh S M Mayeen Ahmed, President of ADAB Rajshahi Chapter S K Lalon and Central Vice President of Campaign for Good Governance (SUPRO) Mostafijur Rahman Khan Alam addressed the workshop.
Prof Abu Naser Md Wahed of Law and Justice Department of Rajshahi University presented draft of Right to Information Act and its limitations. Prof Dulal Chandra Biswas and Prof Shatil Siraj of Mass Communication and Journalism Department respectively moderated and documented the workshop.
Among others, Editor of the Dainik Barta and CCD Chairman S M A Quader, Regional Director of Rajshahi Betar Sultana Rajia, Assistant Professor of Mass Communication and Journalism Department Moshihur Rahman, Editor of the daily Natun Provat Sarder Abdur Rahman, Executive Editor of the daily Sonali Sangbad Molazzem Hossain, Manager of Rajshahi Rural Electrification Sarwar Hossain, Assistant Professor of Social Work Department of RU Robiul Islam, Assistant Professor of Information Science and Library Management of RU Najmul Hasan, Lecturer of Public Administration Department of RU Shafiul Islam, President of Rajshahi Union of Journalist Hasan Millat, Acting President of Rajshahi Press Club Anwarul Alam Fatik and Vice President of Metropolitan Press Club Shafiqul Islam took part in the open discussion.
Above one hundred representatives including higher officials of Government and non-government organizations, academician, media people, cultural personalities, public representatives and professionals of Rajshahi city and Upazila level took part in the workshop.
Director of CCD Bangladesh G M Mourtoza gives welcome addressed in the workshop. Coordinator of Women Empowerment Network (WEN) Amina Khatun conducted the opening and closing session.