The Wijewardene family has a long history in the media sphere of Sri Lanka. The family's roots in the local print media dates back to Don Richard Wijewardene, also known as D.R. Wijewardene, who established the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL/Lake House) in 1926. D.R. Wijewardene is also credited with being a key figure in the Sri Lankan independence movement. His son, Ranjit Wijewardene, is the founding Chairperson of Wijeya Newspapers (Pvt) Limited. Initially, Ranjit served as the Chairperson of ANCL until it was nationalised in 1973 under Sirimavo Bandaranaike's government. Ranjit’s cousin, Upali Wijewardene, founded the publishing house Upali Newspapers (Pvt) Limited. Besides their well-known presence in the Sri Lankan media, members of the Wijewardene family have also served in various political capacities. For instance, Ranil Wickremesinghe, the incumbent Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and the Leader of the United National Party (UNP), is the nephew of Ranjit Wijewardene. Meanwhile, the current State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene is the son of Ranjit Wijewardene. J.R. Jayawardene was the first Executive President of Sri Lanka and the nephew of D.R. Wijewardene.
Printing and Publishing
Stamford Lake (Pvt) Limited
Lake House Printers and Publishers (Pvt) Limited
LH Plantations (Pvt) Limited
Ranweli Holiday Village Limited
Sarathi Tours Limited
Wijeya Graphics (Pvt) Limited
Family & Friends
Affiliated Interests Family Members Friends
Ranjit Sujiva Wijewardene – is the Chairperson at Wijeya Newspapers Limited (WNL) and owns 89.99 percent of shares in the company. He is also the current President of the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka. In addition to owning shares at WNL, Ranjit owns 0.57 percent of shares at the state-owned Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL).
Parakrama Sujan Wijewardene – the son of Ranjit Wijewardene and serves as the Deputy Chairperson at WNL. He owns 10 percent of shares at WNL.
Dinendra Ruwan Wijewardene – also known as Ruwan Wijewardene is the second son of Ranjit Wijewardene. He serves as the current State Minister of Defence for the Government of Sri Lanka and owns 0.002 percent of shares at WNL. In addition to his ministerial portfolio, he serves as a Consultant and Personal Assistant to the Chairperson of WNL.
Ranjini Neela Senanayake – the wife of Ranjit Wijewardene and owns 0.002 percent of shares at WNL.
Ranil Wickremesinghe – the nephew of Ranjit Wijewardene. Ranil concurrently serves as the incumbent Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and the Leader of the United National Party.
Shan Wickremesinghe – the brother of Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Chairperson of Telshan Networks (Pvt) Limited (TNL).
The ownership structure of Wijeya Newspapers Limited was obtained from the annual returns at the Department of Registrar of Companies. Secondary sources were referenced to note the affiliated interests of the key individuals mentioned due to the lack of information in this regard on the official website of Wijeya Newspapers Limited. 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.