Published in Jaffna since 1985, the daily Uthayan newspaper primarily caters to the Tamil-speaking population in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. The paper provides coverage on domestic affairs pertaining to the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. It also features content on the general current affairs in the country, sports, entertainment and global news. Its sister paper Sudar Oli ceased publication 2018.
The paper was founded by Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) Member of the Parliament Eswarapatham Saravanapavan, also referred to as E. Sarvanapavan, under the New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited. E. Saravanapavan, his wife Yasothai Saravanapavan and daughter Lukshmee Saravanapavan serve as the current Directors of the company. The company's shares are also divided within the family.
Uthayan is considered to be the only newspaper that did not cease publication in Jaffna during the nearly 30-year armed conflict. This was despite the blockade that cut Jaffna off from the rest of the country as well as the lack of resources. Within the context of the armed conflict, the publishing house saw its journalists being subjected to murder, abductions, torture and threats on several occasions.
Media Companies / Groups
New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited
New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited is owned and managed by the Saravanapavan family. The current shareholders are Eswarapatham Saravanapavan and Yasothai Saravanapavan. Eswarapatham Saravanapavan has 92.31 percent shares while his wife Yasothai Saravanapavan has 7.69 percent shares. Until 2016, current Chief Editor and former company Director Maruthappu Vallipuram Kaanamylnathan owned 10 shares of the company. However, with his resignation in December 2016, his 10 shares were transferred to Yasothai Saravanapavan.
Affiliated Interests Founder
Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) Member of the Parliament Eswarapatham Saravanapavan, also referred to as E. Saravanapavan, is the founder and Chairperson of New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited. He presently owns 92.31 percent of shares in New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited. Within the country’s parliament, Sarvanapavan is involved in the Committee on Ethics and Privileges, the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Economic Development, the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Health and Human Welfare, Social Empowerment and the Select Committee of Parliament on the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Affiliated Interests Ceo
Yasothai Saravanapavan is the wife of Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) Member of the Parliament Eswarapatham Saravanapavan and serves as both the Managing Director and CEO of the company. She was appointed to the post of Managing Director in December 2012, after her husband resigned from the position. She holds 7.69 percent of New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited.
Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief
Maruthappu Vallipuram Kaanamylnaathan has held the post of Chief Editor at the Uthayan newspaper since its inception in 1985. He also served as one of the company’s Directors until December 2016. Kaanamylnaathan was among the employees of Uthayan who were present at the Jaffna office when it was attacked in 2001. During the armed conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Kaanamylnaathan had reportedly lived inside the office premises due to security concerns. Prior to joining Uthayan, he served as a journalist in almost all the main Tamil language newspapers in Sri Lanka including Eelanadu, Dinapathi and the Virakesari group of newspapers.
Affiliated Interests other important people
Premananth Thevanayagam – (occassionally written as Thevanayagam Premananth in press reports) currently serves as an Editor for the Uthayan newspaper. In 2012, Thevanayagam was summoned and interrogated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for publishing an article on former Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya.
New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited
No. 361, Kasthuriyar Road, Jaffna
General News Line: +94 21 4930000
Advertising: +94 21 4931111
Circulation: +94 21 4932222
Revenue (in Mill. $)
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
Advertising (in % of total funding)
New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited does not have an official website. The official newspaper web portal does not provide any details about its founder, board of directors or its organisational structure. As such, publicly available secondary sources and information gathered through the annual returns available at the Department of Registrar of Companies were referenced. The most recently available data was from the year 2017. Occasionally, the spellings of names of certain individuals tend to differ. For instance, the CEO's name is spelt as Yashotha Saravanapavan or alternatively as Yasothai Saravanapavan. Similarly, Eswarapatham's name was sometimes specified as Eswara Patham, and Lukshmee's name as Luxmee. Information on the shareholders was gathered through the annual returns available at the Department of Registrar of Companies. The most recent data was available for the year 2017. Readership data was obtained from the Kantar Lanka Market Research Bureau (LMRB) for the year 2017. While the Media Ownership Monitor research team reached out to New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited by formally requesting for the company’s information on 25 July 2018, the company did not respond to the aforementioned request.