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Wijewardene Family

Wijewardene Family

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.

Media Companies / Groups
Media Outlets


Printing and Publishing

Stamford Lake (Pvt) Limited

Real Estate

LH Plantations (Pvt) Limited


Ranweli Holiday Village Limited

Recruitment Consultancy

Sarathi Ltd


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).

Further Information

Data Publicly Available

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

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Meta Data

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.

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