Sirasa FM is a popular Sinhala language radio station owned by MBC Networks (Pvt) Limited, which is a subsidiary of The Capital Maharaja Organisation Limited. It was founded in 1994 and by 1995, it became the first Sinhala language radio station to provide 24-hour broadcasting. Tamil language station Shakthi FM, English language stations Yes FM and Legends FM, as well as the Sinhala and English bilingual youth station Y FM all operate under MBC Networks (Pvt) Limited. Sirasa FM features news covering local and international content, local sports, business, weather and traffic.
During the height of the war on 6 January 2009, the premises of the MTV Channel (Pvt) Limited and MBC Networks (Pvt) Limited were attacked by armed men who had reportedly held the staff at gunpoint and destroyed the main control room. Groundviews, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) considered the attack to be led by a government affiliated group. Former Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa however refuted such allegations levelled against the state. The premises of MTV Channel (Pvt) Limited and MBC Networks (Pvt) Limited were also reportedly attacked by the use of firecrackers in April 2018, allegedly following the defeat of the No Confidence Motion brought against the incumbent Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Free to air
Media Companies / Groups
The Capital Maharaja Organisation Limited
Siras FM is managed by the radio broadcasting company MBC Networks (Pvt) Limited, which is listed as a subsidiary of The Capital Maharaja Organisation Limited on its official website. In total, the broadcasting company's shares are owned by two companies linked to The Capital Maharaja Organisation Limited i.e. Capital Holdings (Pvt) Limited, which owns 94.56 percent of shares, and Vision Link (Pvt) Limited, which owns 5.43 percent of shares. Capital Holdings (Pvt) Limited also holds 28.6 percent of shares at Vision Link (Pvt) Limited. Chairperson of The Capital Maharaja Organisation Limited R. Rajamahendran owns 79.95 percent of shares at Capital Holdings (Pvt) Limited while his son Sashidharan Rajamahendran owns 20.05 percent.
Affiliated Interests Founder
Rajandram Maharaja and Rajandram Rajamahendran are the founders of Sirasa TV, and the sons of Sinnathamby Rajandram, one of the founders of The Capital Maharaja Organisation Limited. Rajandram Maharaja was married to Padma Maharaja, an enterprising figure who had her own fashion label called 'Vati' and also served on the board of Hilton Hotel. She passed away in 2016. Rajandram Rajamahendran is married to Cannice Rajamahendran. She is the CEO of Rumours salon, a company under the organisation. While both brothers took over the organisation, Rajandram Maharaja eventually retired. In 2018, Rajandram Rajamahendran's son, Sashidharan Rajamahendran, was appointed as Managing Director of the organisation. Meanwhile, Rajamahendran's daughter, Anjali Rajamahendran, is a Group Director in the organisation. Pradeep Maharaja, the son of Rajandram Maharaja and Padma Maharaja, is also a Group Director in the organisation. In 2015, Pradeep was appointed to the board of directors at the Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL).
Affiliated Interests Ceo
Lakshmi Jayasinghe is the present CEO of MBC Networks (Pvt) Limited. She has previously held the posts of Director at the Management Information System and Business Intelligence of The Capital Maharaja Organisation Limited, Sales Director and Sales Manager of News First at MTV/MBC Channel (Pvt) Limited and the Key Accounts Manager at OLE Spring Bottlers (Pvt) Limited.
Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief
Sajith Ranayake is the Channel Head
Affiliated Interests other important people
Shanthi Bhagirathan – serves as the Group Director for MBC Networks (Pvt) Limited and also heads Stein Studios, both of which are listed as subsidiaries of The Capital Maharaja Organisation Limited on its official website. She has served in several local and international organisations such as the BBC UK, Star Network India, FOX and Warner Brothers. As an active member of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, she serves as the Chairperson for the Radio Working Party. Prior to entering the media world, she worked with P&G as well as Reckitt and Colman in the UK and Pepsi in India.
Asoka Dias – is the Director Station at MBC Networks (Pvt) Limited.
Revenue (in Mill. $)
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
Advertising (in % of total funding)
The official website of Sirasa FM and MBC Networks (Pvt) Limited do not provide any details about its founder or company structure. Instead, it provides a list of the station’s programmes and contact details. However, Group Directors in the parent company, The Capital Maharaja Organisation Limited, are listed on the company’s official website. While secondary sources were referenced to obtain data about the station, here too the MOM research team encountered limited information. Similarly, although information on the affiliated interests of the other key individuals working for the company was scarce, the company confirmed that these individuals continue to hold their posts. Chairperson Rajandram Rajamahendran is occasionally referred to as Kili Maharaja and R. Rajamahendran. These names are spelt differently across the cited sources. Information on the company’s 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. Listenership data was obtained from the Kantar Lanka Market Research Bureau (LMRB) for the year 2017 (January- November). While the Media Ownership Monitor research team reached out to The Capital Maharaja Organisation by formally requesting for the company’s information on 20 July 2018, the company did not respond to the aforementioned request.