Like many other countries around the world, Bangladesh observed UN International Day for Universal Access to Information 28 September 2017 in a befitting manner with the theme of ‘Powering Sustainable Development with Access to Information’ by the Information Commission, Bangladesh.
Hon’ble President of People’s Republic of Bangladesh H E Mr. Abdul Hamid and Hon’ble Prime Minister for Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh H E Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the day.
President Abdul Hamid, in his message, said: “Access to information is the civic and democratic right of every citizen. The Constitution of Bangladesh has recognized the access to information as an inalienable part of the fundamental and constitutional right”.
The right of every citizen to freedom of thought and conscience, freedom of speech and expression and freedom of the press are guaranteed by Article 39 of the Constitution, he said, adding the government is committed to ensuring the people’s right of access to information.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said information is an important tool to empower people. “To give importance to citizens’ right of access to necessary information and to fulfill our election pledges, we passed the Right to Information Act 2009 and constituted the Information Commission,” she added.
As a result, she said, the right of people and the mass media to get information has been ensured. The government has played a pioneering role in flourishing and empowering the country’s mass media, she added.
“We approved private satellite television for the first time during our 1996-2001 tenure,” the premier said, adding alongside BTV, BTV World and Parliament Television, her government granted licenses to 41 private TV channels and, 22 FM radios and 32 community radio stations to operate in the country.
A colorful Rally was organized in the morning of September 28 at Dhaka from National Press Club to Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on the occasion of observing UN International Day for Universal Access to Information by the Information Commission with participation from different Right To information related organizations.
Honorable Minister for Ministry of Information H E Hasanul Haq Inu, MP inaugurated the rally as chief guest. The Chief Information Commissioner Prof. Dr. Golam Rahman and Information Commissioner Mr. Nepal Chandra Sarker was present.
In later part of the day a discussion meeting was organized at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy by the Information Commission. Honorable Minister for Ministry of Information. H E Hasanul Haq Inu, MP present as Chief Guest. The meeting was presided over by The Chief Information Commissioner H E. Prof. Dr. Golam Rahman. A colorful cultural program was held at the end of the discussion.
At Community Radio Stations level:
The Community Radio Stations also observed the UN International Day for Universal Access to Information 28 September 2017 at their station level.
At local level, rally and brief discussion sessions were organized in collaboration with the NGOs and GOs in which the officials of initiating organization, members of listeners clubs and civil society members participated through on air dialogue about Right To Information in Bangladesh!