Owned by Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited, Virakesari remains the oldest Tamil language newspaper with the largest circulation in Sri Lanka. The daily and weekly Virakesari newspapers publish content under the themes of domestic news, entertainment, sports, business, foreign news, and advertisements and reach 0.93 and 3.67 percent of audience respectively. Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited has several other publications such as Kalaikesari, Sugavaalvu, Vanna Vaanavil, Metro News, Vidivelli, Sooriyakanthi, Daily Express (English), Weekly Express (English) and Mithiran. Sooriyakanthi primarily provides coverage on the Hill Country of Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, Vidivelli caters to the Muslim community. Thinakkural and Uthayasooriyan are Tamil language newspapers that are partly owned by Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (pvt) Limited. Daily Express and Weekly Express, both English language publications, as well as the Tamil language paper Tamil Times are published overseas. Tamil Times is published in Qatar, and is also available in Bahrain.
Media Companies / Groups
Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited
Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited is owned by 31 individuals and companies. The majority of the shares are held by the Selvanathan family (through Fulcrum Ltd and Natwest Nominees Ltd), the Krishnamoorthy family, the Nadesan family, the Wenceslaus family, the Gnanam family (through South Asian Investments (Pvt) Ltd) and the Soundararajan family (through KMK Holdings (Pvt) Ltd and KM Kaliappa Pillai and Company (Pvt) Ltd).
Only the shareholders have the right to vote.
1947 – Virakesari Daily / 1930 – Virakesari Weekly
Affiliated Interests Founder
P.P.R. Subramanian Chettiar was an entrepreneur and journalist from the village of Avanipatti in Tamil Nadu, India. Upon immigrating from India to the then British Ceylon, he saw the conditions of the Indian workers and decided to establish a newspaper to promote justice and equality for them. Hence, in 1930 Subramanian established Virakesari and concurrently served as its Editor-in-Chief. In addition, Subramanian established Rubber plantations in Malaysia and invested in real estate in Singapore.
Affiliated Interests Ceo
Murugesu Senthilnathan – Before being promoted to the position of CEO, Senthilnathan served as the Business Development Manager of Express Newspapers Ceylon (Pvt) Limited. He was awarded the Sahithya Award (Literary Honor) by the Ministry of Education for the Central Provincial Council.
Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief
S.Srikajan – is the Editor-in-Chief of the daily Virakesari newspaper. He has served as part of the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance (SLTMA) in various official capacities including the post of President, Secretary and Treasurer.
R. Prabagan – is the Editor-in-Chief of the weekly Virakesari newspaper. He served as the Treasurer at the Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka in 2012.
Affiliated Interests other important people
Sivakumar Nadesan, also known as Kumar Nadesan, is the current Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) and represents the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka. In addition, Kumar serves as a Board Director at the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL). Kumar also serves as a Director at Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited and Asian Media Publications (Pvt) Limited
Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited
No. 185, Grandpass Road, Colombo 14
Tel: +94 11 732 2700, +94 11 732 2777
Revenue (in Mill. $)
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
Advertising (in % of total funding)
The official websites of the Virakesari newspaper and Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited do not provide any details about paper’s founder, board of directors or its organisational structure. As such, secondary sources as well as the response provided by the company were used as references during the research process. Information on the shareholders was gathered through the annual returns available at the Department of Registrar of Companies. 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 Express Newspapers (Ceylon) (Pvt) Limited by formally requesting for the company’s information on 20 July 2018, the company responded to the aforementioned request on 20 August 2018.