Nepal’s Right to Information Movement

Amidst ongoing scandal at the Finance Ministry and all the rumors about which business organization or which industrialist is the most corrupt, tax dodging liar; Right to Information for all Nepali citizens makes a lot of sense.

If we have Constitutionally mandated Right to Information, where except for  security related  sensitive material, everything else is available to the public-especially where their tax money is involved; Nepal would be so much better.

Corruption and incompetence feed on secrecy and un-informed citizenry. If Nepalis can know what goes on behind the desk at our Ministries and how money is really managed by the Government, Ministries and civil servants will actually think more than twice before engaging in corruption. It would also increase efficiency at government and also private institutions.

So, thank you Freedom Forum for taking on the task of insuring that Right to Information is established in Nepal.

Recently they organized first national conference on Right to Information,which produced the “Kathmandu Declaration”.

Freedom Info.org says,

The declaration includes almost four dozen recommendations for the government, civil society, the media, universities and political parties.

Among the other things, the government is urged to “immediately form a central nodal agency to ensure smooth implementation of RTI legislations, with the power to extend branches as required nationwide.” Improvements in record management and archiving systems are encouraged as is the appointment of information officers in all offices, both at local and central levels. Agencies should utilize modern information technologies, the declaration also states.”

Visit Freedom Forum’s website for more on Nepal’s information rights movement and present conditions. Although the site is not updated as often, it is still a valuable resource.

My suggestion, they should start a blog, much easier to maintain and update. Also, greatly improves online community creation and maintaining loyalty to the cause.

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