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The Sunday Times

The Sunday Times is a weekly newspaper published in English, consisting of five supplementary publications, namely, the TV Times, Funday Times, Mirror Magazine, Hit Ad and ST Appointments. It was first published in 1997 by Wijeya Newspapers Limited, which also produces several English language publications such as the Daily Mirror and Daily Financial Times (Daily FT). The organisation’s Sinhala language publications includes Lankadeepa, Irida (Sunday) Lankadeepa and Tharunaya. Meanwhile, its Tamil language publications includes the Tamil Mirror, daily and weekend Financial Times as well as Wijeya. The Sunday Times has an audience share of 1.27 percent, whereas its daily edition Daily Mirror has 0.55 percent audience share.

In addition to being the founder of Wijeya Newspapers Limited, Ranjit Wijewardene is the Chairperson and Managing Director of the organisation. Together with Upali Newspapers Limited that was founded by Upali Wijewardene, Wijeya Newspapers Limited has occupied a significant space in Sri Lankan print media.

Key facts

Audience Share

0.82%

Ownership Type

Private

Geographic Coverage

National

Content Type

Paid Content

Passive Transparency

upon request, ownership data is easily available from the company/channel

3 ♥

Media Companies / Groups

Wijeya Newspapers Limited

Ownership

Ownership Structure

The Wijewardene family is the majority of shareholder of Wijeya Newspapers Limited. Ranjit Wijewardene, Sujan Wijewardene, Ruwan Wijewardene, Irushi Neela Bulathsinhala and Ranjini Wijewardene collectively own 99.98 percent of the company. Meanwhile, Sarathi Limited, a company affiliated with the Wijeya Group of Companies, also holds shares at Wijeya Newspapers Limited. Besides members of the Wijewardene family, Anandi Balasingham owns a lesser percentage of shares at Wijeya Newspapers Limited. However, Anandi Balasingham serves as the Estate Administrator for Sarathi Limited which, as stated above, is affiliated with the Wijeya Group of Companies.

Voting Rights

Voting rights have been assigned based on the shares held by an individual or company. Therefore, the voting rights are as follows: Ranjith Wijewardena – 89.99%, Sujan Wijewardene – 10%, Ruwan Wijewardene – 0.0002%, Irushi Neela Bulathsinhala – 0.0002%, Ranjini Neela Wijewardene – 0.0002%, Sarathi Limited – 0.002%, Anandi Balasingham – 0.0002%

Individual Owner

Media Companies / Groups
Facts

General Information

Founding Year

1996

Affiliated Interests Founder

Ranjit Sujiva Wijewardene, also referred to as Ranjit Wijewardene, is the son of Sri Lankan media proprietor D.R. Wijewardene, who founded the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL, also known as Lake House) in 1926, prior to its nationalisation under Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s government in 1973. Ranjit serves as the founding Chairperson and majority shareholder of Wijeya Newspapers Limited. Although the company was formed in 1979 under the name of Wijeya Publications Limited, it started publishing the weekly Irida Lankadeepa newspaper in 1986, and shortly afterwards, the daily Lankadeepa newspaper in 1991. Ranjit also holds 0.57 percent of shares at the ANCL. In addition to holding the position of a Chairperson at Wijeya Newspapers Limited, Ranjith also serves as the Chairperson and Managing Director at Lake House Printers & Publishers Ltd., Chairperson at Lake House Bookshop Pvt Ltd., Chairperson at LH Plantations Pvt Ltd., Chairperson at Ranweli Holiday Village Ltd., Chairperson at Sarathi Ltd., Chairperson at Stamford Lake (Pvt) Ltd., Chairperson at Wijeya Graphics Pvt Ltd., and President at the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka. Ranjith is also on the Board of Directors at Freudenberg & Co. (Ceylon) Ltd. and R.S. Printek Pvt Ltd.

Affiliated Interests Ceo

Ranjit Sujiva Wijewardene is the Chaiperson of Wijeya Newspapers Limited, the publisher of Lankadeepa. See above for more.

Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief

Sinha Ranatunga is the Editor-in-Chief of the Sunday Times newspaper

Affiliated Interests other important people

Parakrama Sujan Wijewardane, – also referred to as Sujan Wijewardene, serves as the Deputy Chairperson at WNL and owns 10 percent of the shares in the company.

Contact

Wijeya Newspapers Limited

No. 08, Hunupitiya Cross Road, Colombo 2

Editor (Print) contact: +94 112 331276

Timesonline team contact: +94 112479341

Email: editor@sundaytimes.wnl.lk, timesonline@sundaytimes.wnl.lk

Website: www.sundaytimes.lk

Financial Information

Revenue (in Mill. $)

Missing Data

Operating Profit (in Mill. $)

Missing Data

Advertising (in % of total funding)

Missing Data

Market Share

Missing Data

Further Information

Meta Data

The founding year of the Sunday Times was taken from the outlet’s Facebook page. Meanwhile, the official website of the Sunday Times functions only as a news portal. Information on the outlet and key people was therefore obtained from secondary sources. While the Media Ownership Monitor research team reached out to Wijeya Newspapers Limited by formally requesting for the company’s information on 20 July 2018, the company responded to the aforementioned request on 17 August 2018. From the response received, the team was unable to use the market share percentage provided (75%) as the team did not have access to the figures used to arrive at this percentage. However, information on the organisational structure was cited from the response provided by the company as well as from the Department of Registrar of Companies. Readership data was obtained from the Kantar Lanka Market Research Bureau (LMRB) for the year 2017.

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