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Sunday, 28 February 2016

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D.R.Wijewardene was fiercely independent - State Defence Minister


Deputy Post Master General W.H. Wickremasinghe presents the new postage stamp and First Day Cover issued on Friday to mark the 130th birth anniversary of the founder of the Associated Newspapers Ceylon Ltd., D.R. Wijewardene, to Minister of Media and Parliamentary Reforms Gayantha Karunathilake and State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene, at a function held at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies on Friday.
 Pic: Wimal Karunathilake

The Peoples' trust in the electronic, print or social media solely depends on its credibility and this was the ultimate goal of D.R Wijewardene, founder of Lake House publications, said State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene, a grandson of the late D.R Wijewardene delivering the keynote address to mark the 130th birth anniversary of D.R.Wijewardene on Friday at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute in Colombo 7.

"He was fiercely independent and committed to report the truth as he saw it," he said.

The Minister said the success of the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited was testament to its founder's vocation and that he hopes that the present Chairman will transform the institution to a formidable competitor. A special commemorative stamp and First Day Cover was issued to mark the 130th birth anniversary of D.R Wijewardene on Friday.

Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media, Gayantha Karunathilake, Chairman, ANCL, Kavan Ratnayake, members of the Wijewardene family, veteran journalist, Edwin Ariyadasa, Directors, former ANCL Chairmen and members of the media were present.

Chairman Kavan Ratnayake said D.R Wijewardene was an example to many. He said issues such as governance and unemployment could have been easily dealt with if people of the calibre of D.R Wijewardene lived today. He thanked the media industry for the support to ANCL over the years.

Executive Assistant to ANCL Chairman, Savan Wijewardene welcoming the guests said Lake House has embarked on a transition to revitalise the institution and will engage with a broader media community.

"ANCL hopes to make a bigger contribution to the newspaper industry and media freedom," he said. D.R Wijewardene understood the importance of an empowered media to achieve and maintain independence and development.

Lake House today is an embodiment of his vision," said Wijewardene.

A panel discussion on 'The arrival and evolution of Sri Lanka's print media' was hosted by writer and researcher, Nalaka Gunawardene.

The panellists were Prof. Rohan Samarajeewa, Senior Associate Editor Hana Ibrahim, Sumith Chaminda, CEO of the Sri Lanka Press Institute, Kumar Lopez and Dr.Tudor Weerasinghe. Veteran journalist Edwin Ariyadasa, shared some of his cherished memories of D.R Wijewardene and the time he spent at ANCL. He said, "D.R. Wijewardene was one of the greatest personalities of the day and an entrepreneurial genius."

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