This is an automatically generated PDF version of the online resource retrieved on 2024/06/19 at 22:57
Global Media Registry (GMR) & Verité Research - all rights reserved, published under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Verité Research LOGO
Global Media Registry

Upali Newspapers (Pvt) Limited

Upali Newspapers (Pvt) Limited

Founded by Upali Wijewardene in 1978, Upali Newspapers (Pvt) Limited is a publishing house which produces the English language newspaper, The Island, and the Sinhala language newspaper, Divaina. Although the company was incorporated in 1978, publications of the Divaina Irida Sangrahaya and the Sunday Island commenced in October, 1981. The daily editions of these papers launched in the following year. In 1983, Upali Wijewardene was legally declared deceased when his private jet disappeared on a home-bound flight from Malaysia, shortly after take-off. After Upali passed away in 1983, the ownership of the company was transferred to his wife Lakmani Ratwatte Welgama. The company is just one among many other businesses Upali Wijewardene is known to have established.

Key facts

Mother Company

Upali Investment Holdings Limited

Business Form


Legal Form

Private Limited Liability Company

Business Sectors

Publishing; Aviation; Travel; Food and Beverages; Automobiles


Individual Owner


While the Welgama family owns 94 percent of shares at Upali Newspapers (Pvt) Limited, through Upali Investment Holdings Limited 102 other minority shareholders own 6 percent of Upali Newspapers (Pvt) Limited.

Media Outlets
Other Media Outlets

Other Print Outlets

The Island (0.13%)

Other Online Outlets



Consumer Products

Upali Consumer Products (100%)

Motor Trading

Upali Motor Company (100%)


Upali Travels (4%)


Ceylon Chocolates (85%)

Corporate Services

Upali Management Services (100%)


Upali Aviation Services (100%)

Air Conditioning Services

Upali Airconditioning Services (100%)


Upali Investments (100%)

Food and Beverages

Upali Food and beverages (69%)


Upali Publishers (100%)


Upali Enterprises (79%)


Upali Nurseries (23%)

General Information

Founding Year


Affiliated Interests Founder

Upali Wijewardene founded Upali Newspapers (Pvt) Limited in 1978. In 1981, the company launched the Sunday editions of the Divaina and The Island. Upali’s family has a long history of being closely affiliated with the print media in the country. For instance, Upali’s cousin Ranjit Wijewardene founded Wijeya Newspapers Limited and serves as the current Chairperson. In 1983, Upali Wijewardene was legally declared deceased when his private jet disappeared on a home-bound flight from Malaysia, shortly after take-off.


Missing Data


Divaina Newspapers

No. 223, Bloemendhal Road, Colombo 13


Tel: +94 11 249 9750, +94 11 234 5243


Tax/ ID Number


Financial Information

Revenue (Financial Data/ Optional)

Missing Data

Operating Profit (in Mill. $)

Missing Data

Advertising (in % of total funding)

Missing Data


Executive Board

Lakmani Ratwatte – Majority Shareholder. She is the daughter of the late Dr. Seevali Ratwatte, who served as the Chairperson of the Upali Group of newspapers.

Further Information

Data Publicly Available

ownership data is easily available from other sources, e. g. public registries etc.

2 ♥

Meta Data

The details on shares were obtained from the Department of Registrar of Companies. Subsidiary and affiliated companies, along with Upali Investment Holdings Limited’s proportion of ownership, was filed with the Department of Registrar of Companies. However, it was not clear as to what industry some of these companies spanned over since Upali Investment Holdings Limited, and most subsidiary companies, do not have websites. Readership data was obtained from the Kantar Lanka Market Research Bureau (LMRB) for the year 2017.

  • Project by
    Verité Research
    Global Media Registry
  • Funded by