Bangladesh: Government secretary calls on officials to fulfil right to information
|Publication Date||15 February 2012|
|Cite as||Article 19, Bangladesh: Government secretary calls on officials to fulfil right to information, 15 February 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4f4b6b732.html [accessed 11 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Hedayetullah Al Mamoon, has called on public officials to fulfill their duty under Bangladesh's Right to Information Law during an ARTICLE 19 event.
"It is not enough to have a right to information law on the books. For Bangladeshis to exercise their right, they need a change of mind-set. Public officials need to both fully understand the provisions of the law and commit to implementing it at the frontline"." said Tahmina Rahman, ARTICLE 19 Director of Bangladesh and South Asia.
Secretary Al Mamoon asserted during the ARTICLE 19 training day that transparency of government activities can only be ensured by the full commitment and participation of designated public officials and appellate authorities as required under the country's 2009 Right to Information Act.
"Public officials need to understand that the days of secrecy are over. Bangladeshis now have a right to know about the functioning of their government, its activities and decisions. Transparency in such matters is the only way to ensure good and equitable governance", said Secretary Al Mamoon.
Secretary Al Mamoon was speaking at a training of designated public officials on the right to information organised by ARTICLE 19 in partnership with the Bangladeshi Information Commission. Over 60 officials from eight Upazilas (sub-districts) across the southern coastal district of Cox's Bazar participated at the day-long training held on 11 February.
Days of secrecy are long gone,
Public officials are now under obligation,
To ensure people's right to information,
Says the law of the nation
Bangla right to information song lyrics
ARTICLE 19 also launched a CD at the event, 'Tathya Adhikarer Gaan' or Songs on the Right to Information. The CD guides officials through the provisions of the Right to Information Act and has been released publicly.
'Folk music is intrinsic to Bangladeshi culture and these songs will be a powerful tool for carrying the message of the right to information in the hearts and minds of the people in different corners of the country" added Rahman.