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Right to information a must for good governance: Speakers tell roundtable

By voice - Posted on 30 September 2007

September 30, 2007

Staff Correspondent - Daily Star

Right to information is a must for establishing democracy and good governance, said the speakers at a roundtable yesterday.
They said corruption could be stopped and social and economic welfare ensured if information is open to all in all fields.
"Access to information is a fundamental precondition for development and democracy," they added.
The roundtable titled 'Information rights to bring transparency, accountability and to prevent corruption' was organised by Campaign on Citizens' Right to Information at the National Press Club in the city. Presiding over the roundtable Prof Muzaffer Ahmad said, "Information is a power and right to information is needed for establishing civic rights."
He however said it's not correct that without information right, information would not be available.
"Information is available around us and we will have to dig it out," Prof Muzaffer added.
Badiuzzaman, former director general of the Bureau of Anti-Corruption, said, " For social and economic welfare, right to information is a must."
"Free flow of information is a precondition for transparency and good governance," he added.
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, an NGO activist, said, "We live and grow up in a society where information collection is very hard."
"When our children question us about something, we scold them and abstain them from questioning," he added.
"Everybody says people is the source of all power but the fact is that people do not know much about information and its role," said Kamrul Ahsan, another NGO activist. He urged the government to make necessary laws to ensure right to information. "We have some laws in this regard but these are not implemented," he added. Zakir Hossain, member-secretary of Campaign on Citizens' Right to Information, in his keynote paper said," Right to information is a must for social movement."