October 16, 2019
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    Right to Information (RTI) legislation has reached the pinnacle of success empowering the people within just three years as 73 percent of the citizens recognise RTI as a key right.This was revealed at a function held to mark World RTI Day at the Ministry of Mass Media at the conclusion of a month-long RTI assessment. Survey Research Lanka (SRL) was also associated with the project.According to the research conducted by Survey Research Lanka, 78 percent citizens agree that RTI is extremely important and 45 percent are aware of the existence of RTI.SRL Chief Executive Officer Mihirani Dissanayake said the research was conducted with 2,515 citizens and 200 others who were RTI applicants.

    The Government is to set up a new ‘National Innovation Agency’ to promote innovation and research to support national economic goals.The Bill to provide for the establishment of the National Innovation Agency was published in the Gazette last week on the orders of the President.
    The proposed Agency is tasked with making recommendations to the Government to initiate and fund National Innovation Programmes to support a creative economy.It will also make recommendations to the Government to formulate national policies oo innovation.

    The People’s Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) has set up two teams tasked with monitoring online content on social media to curb the spread of hate speech, fake news and racism during the Presidential Election period.The teams will report to the Election Commission and social media networking sites for further action in the days leading up to the Presidential Election on November 16.Speaking at a media briefing held at the Centre for Society and Religion yesterday, PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said it was the first time that PAFFREL had instituted such action.He said election monitors were compelled to monitor social media over fears that those with vested interests would use the period before the polls to propagate hate speech, racism and fake news with .

    A decision was taken to provide maximum security to the candidates contesting for the forthcoming Presidential election during the Security Council meeting held under the patronage of the President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday.

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