16 November, 2018

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Sinhala Newspaper Industry In Turmoil

The closing down of the second newspaper in a month on the heels of several other closures, an editorial coup and a stop-start-stop-again of another newspaper has thrown the Sinhala newspaper industry into turmoil.

The ‘Janayugaya’ was shut down prompting the staff to take the matter up in the Labour Tribunal. The newspaper, owned by Arjun Aloysius, the man at the centre of the Central Bank bond scam and handled on his behalf by Thushara Gooneratne and Upul Joseph Fernando ran into financial difficulties following Aloysius’ bank accounts being frozen.

Earlier this month the Sunday broadsheet ‘Sathhanda’ was also closed down. The paper, funded by the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Minister of Agriculture Duminda Dissanayake, also had financial problems with advertising revenue plummeting following rumours that Dissanayake might cross over to the United National Party in the event the SLFP fares poorly at the forthcoming local government elections. Ruwan Ferdinandes, close political associate of Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera was also an important figure in this newspaper.

‘Sathhanda’ was headed by well-known political and cultural commentator Deepthi Kumara Gunaratne. According to Sathhanda sources, the paper is likely to be revived later this year with the support of fresh funding sources.

Meanwhile Rivira Newspapers Pvt Ltd., which closed down its English publication, ‘The Nation’ in December and struggled to print the daily Rivira, which didn’t hit the stands on certain days of the week, has stopped printing both the daily and Sunday papers.

According to Rivira sources, there has been a change in both the management and the editorial offices. Former CEO, Chula Ratwatte, is back at the helm, indicating that Nilanka Rajapaksha, who held controlling shares in the company has been sidelined. Nayanaka Ranwella and Chandana Kariyawasam, editors of the Sunday and daily newspapers respectively have been removed. They have been replaced by Tissa Ravindra Perera and Ramesh Werellegama.

In another shake-up, former strongman at the Ravaya, the controversial Victor Ivan, has orchestrated a coup to remove K.W. Janaranjana. Wimalanath Weeraratne, the only Ravaya jouranalist who accepted both laptops and interest free one million loans from Mahinda Rajapaksa, returns to the Ravaya this time as Editor following stints at Irudina (also now defunct as is its sister paper in English ‘The Sunday Leader’) and Sathhanda. However, according to sources, he is just a figurehead with Ivan calling the shots.

At the Ravaya journalists Tharindu Uduwaragedara and Rekha Nilukshi are reported to have tendered their resignation following Ivan’s take-over while the Deputy Editor and News Editor, Lasantha Ruhunuge and K Sanjeewa are also expected to resign shortly.

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Latest comments

  • 18
    1

    I don’t think it’s exactly a surprise when ‘news’ outlets owned and operated by people that have an overt interest in influencing public opinion their way get into trouble and shut down. Neither do I see how this is a ‘crisis’- at least two of the broadsheets mentioned here we’ve known would eventually hit the rocks- so much so I’m surprised they’ve survived this long. A crisis to those in the industry, perhaps, but that doesn’t always translate into a public crisis.

    To top it all off, I don’t see why these politically-owned ‘newspapers’ shutting down is such a sad story. Good riddance, I say.

    • 18
      0

      There is a global rise in independent media that is free of all political influence.

      Sri Lanka is only now being hit by this wave…

      Future is liberal Media by the people for the people…

      • 4
        3

        This is a very welcoming news. What These newspapers did all along from their inception is working hard in the propaganda of minority bashing, Islamophobia and the promoting of HARD CORE ANTI ISLAMIC covert and overt operations by giving a platform to the GOVIGAMA MAFIA ORGANISED CRIME Syndicate Social engineering programmes to many of the Fascist, Racist and Israeli funded and CIA trained, PSEUDO Sinhala Buddhist terror groups ( JHU, NMAT, BBS, Sinhala Ravaya, Mahasona etc, etc). If someone who has a fair knowledge, some intelligence in identifying subliminal messages and the workings of Pro-Israeli criminals, he or she may, immediately spot and identify the hidden and the open hand of Govigama Elites and their minions all over the place in these Media Mafia operations. Many of the openly visible owners and the directors of these criminal newspapers are Govis or its run by front men. They help the Govis to remain at the top of the pyramid always, controlling everything. The primary objective of this Govi Media Mafia is to create conflicts between the local races and religious groups to be in conflicts. Because, when the non Govis are always busy fighting one another, they miss to identify the real enemy and focus their attention to fight the real enemy-the Govis and then to arrest the 100 year old plot and then save the population from this anarchy they call the Zionist imposed “Government of Sri-lanka” and its Govi mismanaged state aparatus.

        • 4
          0

          Ideally if the print media is run and managed by those people who really want truthful reliable information, then the management and control of it must be by them by taking shares on a co-operative basis.
          That is the only way to keep the rich elites and their paid hacks from exploiting racial and religious differences among the masses to divide and rule.
          For Media freedom to prevail the corrupt mafia vested interests who profit and benefit should be named shamed and their sham patriotism exposed and eliminated.
          That can be done only when the people decide to act with a unity of purpose to free themselves from the chains of ignorance like that binds them.

          • 1
            1

            Yes, what Uthungan says is absolutely correct. The people must unite to defeat this criminal Elite forces which is destroying the nation, its resources, natural habitats, economy, its population and the biggest damage done to the unity of the people ( belonging to all religions) by their Fxckd up Sinhala Racist overt & covert operations launched through their mercenary forces – BBS / Gnanasara + Rajapaksa clan alliance to keep the divide of the population deep. If, by any chance, the sleeping mass, by accidentally wake up anytime .. .the Govigama criminals will lose everything …….. The problem with the closure of these Sinhala Media Mafia newspapers, I think it is not the Financial issues that made them to close down these garbage news brothels and its media prostitution…. Its the drop in sales and the drop in circulation that has hit the alert buttons of their Elite Masters to change the game plans completely. They have enough money, stolen from the treasury and the money pumped by the Zionists to run these newspaper prostitution for another 10 years without any income whatsoever. The drop in circulation has alarmed them to change the strategy as they would have felt the waking up of the people with the Internet based freelance truth reported real stuffs. The days ahead are really challenging for the Elites as the time is coming closer to the dismantling of the entire criminal Govi Mafia enterprise for the crimes committed throughout a span of 70 years….

      • 3
        0

        EXCELLENTRY DESCRIBED… With Short and sweet and to the point…. Weldone Anonymous……

      • 1
        0

        Anonymous:
        I rather doubt your analysis. Just because some of the so-called “independent” papers whose track record does not justify such categorisation (such as the New York Times) oppose the current establishment in the States does not make them “indpendent.” I’m afraid.

    • 3
      0

      The Ravaya newspaper is he only one this whole DUNG-HEAP that has some credibility in doing some real journalism by exposing at least some of the ELITE GOVI CRIMINALITIES in path of destroying the nation.

    • 1
      0

      kp:
      Your analysis makes eminent sense. However, the re-emergence of Victor Ivan is a cause for concern, given his track record.

  • 9
    3

    Sensational…..
    Aloysious has a Newspaper too ,to go along with Mendis Green Label..
    How could it have Financial problems. when there are backers like Dr Ranil, Thambi Kabir, and Malik Samare..who can bring in Equity in Ship Loads.
    And Kiriella who has 0.25 % of 138 Billion spare cash. Plus the Diaspora mate and his Colombo buddy have 1.25% of that at Mitsui Bank.

    And Bong Duminda joining UNP after the 10th..
    That is even more sensational.
    What an asset to Dr Ranil’s young Turks Team , lead by the Silver Spoon Sujeeva with a pet the Poodle. Digital Harin ,Rajitha Son, and of course Marrikkar..
    What a a formidable Leadership Team to take the Mantle from the mentor Dr Ranil.
    I am sure Dr Laksiri , who has just published his vision about our Social democracy under Dr Ranil will be thrilled….

    • 11
      2

      The UNP media and Marketing campaign is a disaster.
      Irrelevant. Below standard. Need to change.

      ‘Ape UNP’ , ‘Rata Hadana UNP’ , ‘ Ape Kolomba’ ‘Enna’.

      He! He!! Morons, Loosers.

      • 9
        0

        Agreed.

        Baiyaa video was a joke. UNP is full of Baiyaas and aptly shown in the video. So funny.

      • 1
        0

        Sinhala Newspaper, Sinhala Buddhist, Sinhala Rata: everything with Sinhala in front is in turmoil. Don’t you think its time to drop that crap and just call it Newspaper, Buddhist and Rata.

        “He! He! Morons, Loosers”

        :)

      • 3
        0

        hahahaha… over to you Dilith Jayaweera and Varuni Amunugama – yet another duo who benefited immensely from the last regime. And continue to make handsome bucks from the present UNP+MY3 coaliation too, totally on political licking.

  • 4
    1

    World over news papers particularly the overtly partisan are in trouble. News papers surviving on politically patronaged advertisement have short shelf life.

    • 7
      0

      Mr Bopage of Australia, please publish a newspaper

  • 11
    0

    This should have happened to our TV and FM stations which ruin our young generation and the country.

  • 6
    0

    It’s the trend all over the world. Now all in the cyberspace. All news papers, tv and radio stations are up against the wall. People are getting constant up to dates in the social for free, and could excess them at their convenience.

  • 5
    0

    Time and tide waits for no man they say. Same goes for everything. The first Music video played on MTV ( Music Television ) in 1981 was ” Video killed the radio star. After the spread of Music videos in the mid 80’s , only good-looking people were given recording contracts. In 2011, Kodak closed its plants and ended producing film stock. Now everything is “shot” on Digital. In places like New York, Paris and London- hundreds of publications have moved their business on to the Internet.

    What is happening in Sri Lanka , is happening everywhere.

    In 1992-1994, we went from SLRC, ITN, and SLBC English service onto TNL, ETV, and other private TV and radio stations. The real reason was the fall of the Soviet Russia and the socialist utopia. India was a closed economy. the fall of the Berlin wall meant the triumph of capitalism. The white man ruthlessly exploited the Billion plus Indians. Sri Lanka , next door also became a small market. ( A Pola )

    “Times they’re a changing “

  • 6
    0

    news paper is not an industry…..its a mouth piece of affliated …politicos

    • 2
      0

      Wow!!! Excellent Rajash…… To the point, correctly worded.

    • 1
      0

      Rajash

      “news paper is not an industry…..its a mouth piece of affliated …politicos”

      More than that the news media is the champions of parochial politics, spread hatred, expressed irrational arguments, maintain silence on equality of law, campaigned anti Indian sentiments, flame racism, selectively supported the crooks, against any meaningful independent investigation into war crimes.

      If and when governments wanted to restructure and democratise the state and governance it is the media which started the campaign against any such restructuring attempts.

      Some years ago unfortunately I was introduced to the editor of a leading news paper. He gleefully told me “Look Indian has had it big time, Chinese are expanding into Indian ocean and encircling the country”, citing China’s String of Pearls strategy as if he deliberately wanted to drop names. He was not worried about the Chinese encroachment into this island instead he was satisfied India was going to be ruled by the Chinese.

      I reminded him if Chinese plan to invade this island let Hindians start worrying about it, adding an African proverb, “whether the elephants fight or make love, the grass will still suffer.”
      He didn’t like me very much.

      They suffer from paranoia, derive satisfaction from unavoidable neighbour’s suffering, ………….. cannot see beyond their nose, believe this island is the world’s centre of activities, believes in “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, superiority complex, possess no vision to project this island into development mode, … they also suffer from bunker mentality, ………………

      If they refused to tow government line they risk losing state advertising revenue.

  • 1
    0

    If Daily News , Sunday Times , Island and Sunday Leader and their Sinhala
    and Tamil versions are in trouble , that is News ! Tabloids too sometimes is
    news , the one like Ravaya . People now changed to TV news and social
    media . There are now people who skip News in frustration and instead
    switch to Tele dramas or other entertainments . TV live coverage of news
    and political debates are doing the job of some gossip tabloids leaving
    them high and dry . The wave will slowly spread to many other areas
    creating ONE MILLION JOBS FOR MY3 RANIL COMBO !

  • 3
    2

    All the world, corrupt mass media is going down. Now, they want us to read their papers some how. It is the time for social media, Independent media (not the free media funded by spy agencies and churches that sri lanka have). There are many web sites which give good information. So the propaganda by western spy agencies is no long worth.

  • 2
    0

    Besides, Sri lankan People are rich. I heard even the rural people do not wash their pots and pans and keep those to show to outsiders coming home saying See we also eat imported food and they show their cooked rice, Pol sambol and onion.

    • 1
      1

      Good one though you still have to faithful to your rice muthalali President to have the rice imported. Anyway, who cooks these days in Lankawe, while they have exported the mothers to Middle East, for their Colonial masters’ countries.

    • 0
      0

      When the news is not good replace the newspapers! Seems to be a Yahapalana line echoed by its stooges here!!
      People like Victor Ivan have manoeuvred their way into commanding positions in the mass media industry. That’s OK if he represents public opinion, but he manipulates public opinion to fit in with the desires of his behind-the-scenes racketeers who dare not show their faces in public! The man has to be evicted including his bloody rotten teeth!

    • 0
      0

      Jim Softy ,

      Though you are a man of BS in my books , the way you like
      yourself to be treated , this one is SPOT ON .

  • 1
    0

    Most journalists affiliated with above ‘closed’ or ‘about to be closed’ newspapers are muckrakers, but they call themselves ‘investigative journalists’. If/when there is no garbage they will disappear or muckraking is undertaken by more modern methods like websites and social media. People in Sri Lanka are slowly but surely getting the picture now. We need to see what their decision is on Feb 10.

  • 2
    0

    It happens when there’re more news papers than population.

  • 0
    0

    radical ideas has obviously read king nissanka mallas famous inscription about the govi kula
    i dont know about sinhala newspapers as i dont read them only watch sinhala news on tv
    but i can imagine what they are like

    • 0
      0

      Nalmen , It is after your counter comment that I checked about the King Nissanka Malla’s inscription which I check and I was stunned by the truth that was told long before. I checked here (http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2010/1/53134_space.html). The Govigamas is thought to be Telungu origin criminals who are hiding behind the veil of Pure Sinhala Buddhist tag or self imposed label, are traitors to the native Kings as they have plotted with almost all the invaders from the West ( Jew backed Western Armies working for the Rothschilds criminals). We have noticed on many occasions that the GOVI ELITES running to Thirupathi Temple….IS A CUASE FOR CONCERN. The tricksters are at work to destroy the Original inhabitants of the Indus Valley and the South Asia region. Tamil and Sinhala people are pitted against one another to achieve this goal. Almost all the post independence PMs and President of Sri Lanka/Ceylon did one thing to the best of their abilities…… Fascistic Sinhala Nationalism-at a time soon after the independence, what was needed was to unify the population living in the land and put everyone’s talent and creativity in making a new prosperous country working as a team. But, it was not in their agenda…..they planted the Israeli/Jewish/Zionist seed of destruction through Racist Ideas that stabbed the back of the Mother Sri Lanka who is still bleeding ever since. Solution: Kick out the damn GOVIS back to Telangana and install the True Kind hearted/human spirited Sinhala man on the seat of power.

  • 0
    3

    Tamils and Mulsims are responsible for this shutdown. And nobody wants talk about it.

    • 2
      0

      In other words you have accepted the reality by admitting that the T”s and M’s in SL have been successful deception and disinformation by the Sinhalese Govi media barons?

      • 1
        0

        Rubbish.

    • 0
      1

      Jim Softy ,

      MARA screamed from his window in Madmulana that Muslims
      and Tamils sent him home and My3 Ranil seconded that ! Now,
      they pack up unwanted media ! Be on the alert of your girls , they
      are fed up with you guys according to Gnanasara , also suddenly
      disappeared , the works of Muslims and Tamils ? Do not sit under
      coconut trees these days Jim , Muslims and Tamils are up there
      looking for grass !

  • 0
    1

    Out of the three said newspapers, Sathhanda and Ravaya were clearly pro-govt. Dumi is a no-where politikka and equally responsible to weaken the SLFP along with My3pala. So the newspaper’s plight that he funded is obvious. Ravaya’s downfall is nothing but its Janaranjana leadership. Overall, both the newspapers were playing the role of a drum for the yahapalanaya and closer is a sign of mass desperation towards the my3-rw-cbk-mangy-sampanthan-akd administration.

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