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Lakbima Newspapers (Pvt) Limited, formerly known as Sumathi Newspapers (Pvt) Limited, publishes both the Sinhala language daily newspaper Lakbima and the Sunday Lakbima newspaper. Lakbima Newspapers (Pvt) Limited is listed as a subsidiary of Sumathi Global Consolidated (Pvt) Limited on the latter’s official website. Sumathi Global Consolidated (Pvt) Limited is a business conglomerate that has subsidiaries in the fields of healthcare, security, information technology, event management, fine dining and the film industry. Founded by Thilanga Sumathipala, Sumathi Newspapers (Pvt) Limited started publishing the weekly Sunday newspaper in 1994 and has an audience share of 2.56 percent.

Due to the high demand for the weekly paper, Lakbima Newspapers expanded to publish the daily Lakbima newspaper in 2000, which has an audience share of 0.44 percent. However, the Sunday Lakbima and daily Lakbima are published by two different teams of editors and are remain two different newspapers. Additionally, Lakbima started publishing a weekly English newspaper in 2007, LakbimaNews, to cater to an English-speaking readership. Currently, both the daily Lakbima and Sunday Lakbima cover content on local, foreign, sports and entertainment news. Sunday Lakbima produces several tabloids including Rejina targeting housewives and young adults. According to the Ravaya newspaper, the daily Lakbima suspended its publication in November 2018 while the Sunday Lakbima newspaper stopped publication in June 2019. 

In order to fully focus on politics, Thilanga resigned from the position of chairperson at Lakbima Newspapers (Pvt) Limited and vacated his office as a director of the company in 2010. Thilanga's elder brother, Uda Watuwage Jagath Priya Anura Sumathipala stepped into the position as chairperson and managing director of the company. The company is currently owned by Jagath and his mother Wadu Arachchige Milina Sumathipala. Even though Milina passed away in December 2016, the company still maintains her shares under her name. Jagath and his wife Samantha Kumari Sumathipala currently serve as Lakbima Newspapers (Private) Limited's directors.

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Paid Content

Data Publicly Available

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

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Media Companies / Groups

Lakbima Newspapers (Pvt) Limited


Ownership Structure

Lakbima Newspapers (Pvt) Limited, formerly referred to as Sumathi Newspapers (Pvt) Limited, is owned by the Sumathipala family. Since its inception, its shares have been equally owned by Jagath Sumathipala (50%) and his mother Milina Sumathipala (50%). Even after the demise of Milina Sumathipala in December 2016, the shares have been documented under her name at the latest Annual Return of 2017.

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General Information

Founding Year

1994 – Sunday Lakbima / 2000 – Daily Lakbima

Affiliated Interests Founder

Udu Watuwage Janath Priya Thilanga Sumathipala, also referred to as Thilanga Sumathipala, is a parliamentarian. He founded Sumathi Newspapers (Pvt) Limited in 1994. The company was renamed as Lakbima Newspapers (Pvt) Limited in 2008. In order to further his political career, he resigned from the board of Lakbima Newspapers (Pvt) Limited and from the position of Chairperson in 2010. He is well-known for having previously held the following positions: former Deputy Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament, former Deputy Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training Institute, former member of the Western Provincial Council and a founding member of the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka.

Affiliated Interests Ceo

Uda Watuwage Jagath Priya Anura Sumathipala, also referred to as Jagath Sumathipala, is the current Chairperson, CEO and Managing Director of Lakbima Newspapers (Pvt) Limited and its parent company, Sumathi Global Consolidated (Pvt) Limited. He is the eldest son of business magnate U.W. Sumathipala and philanthropist Milina Sumathipala. Jagath assumed duties as Chairperson of Sumathi Global Consolidated (Pvt) Limited in 2017, after the demise of his mother. He owns 50 percent of Lakbima Newspapers (Pvt) Limited.

Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief

Sampath Deshapriya – is the Chief Editor at the daily Lakbima newspaper.

Affiliated Interests other important people

Dharmasri Thilakawardhana Bandara is the Chief Sub-Editor at the daily Lakbima newspaper


Lakbima Newspapers (Pvt) Limited

No. 445/1, Sirimavo Bandaranaike Mawatha, Colombo 14

General: +94 11 242 6000, +94 11 242 6025

Fax: +94 11 234 3408



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Further Information

Meta Data

The official website of the Lakbima newspaper does not provide details regarding the ownership structure, the directors and any history of the company. Meanwhile, the Sumathi Global Consolidated (Pvt) Limited website has not been updated since 2016. As such, publicly available secondary sources were referenced. However, information on the key individuals was gathered from their publicly available personal websites. Meanwhile, readership data was obtained from the Kantar Lanka Market Research Bureau (LMRB) for the year 2017. The lack of information regarding the transfer, division or the rule of estate regarding the shares of Milina Sumathipala after her passing away remains an issue when considering the current ownership of the company. According to the annual return form filed at the Department of Registrar of Companies for the year 2017, Milina Sumathipala is listed as a shareholder at present. Yet, Milina Sumathipala passed away in December 2016. While the Media Ownership Monitor research team reached out to the Lakbima Newspapers (Pvt) Limited by formally requesting for the company’s information on 25 July 2018, the company did not respond to the aforementioned request.

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