New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited
The New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited is one of the newspaper companies that is prominent in the Tamil language newspaper industry in the Northern parts of Sri Lanka. Formed in 1986 during the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, the company continued to function in Jaffna despite being attacked. It is credited for being the only newspaper publishing house that continued its daily publications throughout the whole period of the conflict, even when access to the Jaffna peninsula was cut-off.
The two newspapers published by the company are Uthayan and Sudar Oli and they mainly cater to Tamil speaking communities in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. However, Sudar Oli ceased operations in May 2018. According to the national survey conducted by Kantar Lanka Market Research Bureau (LMRB) for the year 2017, Uthayan had a readership of 1.03 percent. Presently, the New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited is presently owned and managed by the Saravanapavan family.
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Eswarapatham Saravanapavan holds the majority of the company’s shares, i.e. 92.31 percent. His wife Yasothai Saravanapavan owns the remaining 7.69 percent of the shares of the company. She also serves as the Managing Director of the company. Their daughter Lukshmee Saravanapavan was added to the company’s list of directors on 20 December 2016. On the same day, she was promoted to the position of Joint Managing Director. All three members of the family serve as the only directors of the company.
Yasothai Saravanapavan’s brother Nadesapillai Vithyatharan served as an Editor at both Uthayan and Sudar Oli. In 2009, Vithyatharan was arrested by the government and interrogated, for allegedly maintaining links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Moreover, Vithyatharan was reportedly threatened and abducted by paramilitary forces working for the government on several occasions. Nadesapillai Vithyatharan is the Chief-Editor of Kalaikkathir a daily newspaper in Jaffna.
Uthayan reported that by 2013, their office had been attacked for the 37th time since its inception. Employees of Uthayan, Rajaratnam Ranjith Kumar, Bastian George Sahayathasan (also known as Suresh Kumar), Sathasivam Baskaran and Selvarajah Rajivarnam were among the many who were murdered, while Gnanasundaram Kuganathan and several other employees were assaulted and subjected to constant attacks. The whereabouts of Proof-Reader Vadivelu Nirmalaraj, who was abducted in 2007, remain unknown. The most recent attacks on Uthayan in 2013, after the end of the civil war in 2009, was raised by many media-related organisations and platforms, including Reporters Without Borders, the Free Media Movement, and Groundviews.
Uthayan has been criticised by government bodies such as the Sri Lanka Army for allegedly publishing inaccurate information. In 2013, the Sri Lanka Army filed a defamation case against the Uthayan newspaper, claiming that the paper had published defamatory content against the members of the Sri Lanka Army. In addition to this, the Director General of the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS), Lakshman Hulugalle, stated that the attack on Uthayan in 2013 was an 'inside job'.
Limited Liability Company
Other Print Outlets
Sudar Oli Sunday Edition (0.13%)
Sudar Oli Daily (0.11%)
Other Online Outlets
Affiliated Interests Founder
Eswarapatham Saravanapavan – 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.
New Uthayan Publications (Pvt) Limited
No.361, Kasthuriyar Road, Jaffna
General News Line: +94 21 4930000
Advertising: +94 21 4931111
Circulation: +94 21 4932222
Tax/ ID Number
Revenue (Financial Data/ Optional)
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
Advertising (in % of total funding)
Eswarapatham Saravanapavan – also referred to as E. Saravanapavan, is a Member of Parliament from the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) party and is the founding Chairperson of New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited. He presently owns 92.31 percent of shares in New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited. At the 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.
Yasothai Saravanapavan – the wife of E. Saravanapavan and an owner and Managing Director of New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited.
Lukshmee Saravanapavan – the daughter of the founder and owner, E. Saravanapavan, is the Joint Managing Director of New Uthayan Publication (Pvt) Limited.
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 Managing Director'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. 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. Readership data was obtained from the Kantar Lanka Market Research Bureau (LMRB) for the year 2017.