The birth of Sinhala newspapers in Sri Lanka was witnessed in the second decade of the second half of the nineteenth century. The first Sinhala Newspaper to be published in the county was "Lanka Loka" at Galle in June 1860. It was published twice a month by W.E. Eaton. This ceased publication soon and the attempts to revive it on 4th August 1996 failed. The printer never registered this paper under the Newspaper Registration
Ordinance No.,5 of 1839.
The first Sinhala newspaper registered under the ordinance was "Lakmini Pahana". This newspaper commenced publication on 17th September 1862. Gunatilake Athapattu Mudiyar of Galle, Pandit. L.W. Batuwatudawe, Koggala Pandit, Ven. Walane Siddhartha Thera were instrumental in giving birth to this
paper. The First editor was Koggala Pandit or Johannes, Panditatilake followed by Pandit Batuwatudawe from 1st July 1866. He was succeeded by Matara Dharmaratne on 28th July 1883 upto the year 1924. Due to hid ill-health as Munidasa Kumaratunga became its editor on 20th June 1934 and as a result this newspaper gained popularity. Under the editorship of V.S. Ranasinghe, "Lakrivikirana" commenced publication in 1863. This was a Sinhala Buddhist paper which fought for the rights of the Buddhists. In the year 1891 Lakrivikirana became a daily newspaper. The first daily Sinhalal newspaper was "Dinapatha Pravurthi" edited by Don Cornellis Weerakody. This paper was an unbiased one which aimed at serving the general public and supporting the British Government. Its editor was C.Don Bastuab Hataweera /babdara, ut ceased oy
bkucatuib ub 1907. The companion paper of Catholic Messenger was commenced by the Catholics on 7th July 1866 entitled "Gnanaratha Pradeepaya.
At the end of the nineteenth century., the Sinhala newspaper reached popularity and circulation as the English Newspapers. Some of the leading Sinhala Newspapers were "Lanka Pradeepaya" (1895-1913) "Kavata Kathikaya", the cartoon newspaper, (1872-1913) "Sarasavi Sanderesa, the organ of the Buddhist Theorophical Society, "Swarajjaya" (1872-1928) and "Satbasa" (1894-1901). During this period Sarasavi Sandarasa edited by Pundit Weragama Punchi Bandara brought in a new spirit into Sinhala Writing. He introduced a free style, elegant and popular, which created a new era in composition of Sinhala prose. H.S.
Perera who founded the "Dinamina" newspaper was on the staff of Sarasavi Sanderesa.
At the turn of the twentieth century witnessed the birth of many important and popular newspapers of the island, some still with the general public even in the 1990'2. "Lakmina" (1913-1956)" Dinakara Prakasha" (1915-1916), "Sinhala Samaya" (1903-1916), Sinhala Jatiya (1901.02.25) edited by Piyadasa
Sirisena "Sinhala Bauddhaya' commenced by Anagarika Dharmapala as the Sinhala Organ of the Maha Bodhi Society on 5th May, 1906, "Dinamina "Commenced by H.S. Perera on 7th February, 1909, "Swadesha Mithraya" (1924-1940) edited by D.W. Wickramarachchi, Silumina (1930-03.1930) under the propietorship of D.R. Wijewardena produced brilliant Sinhala Journalists at the Lake House group of newspapers, such as Martin Wickramasinghe (Dinamina & Silumina), D.B. Dahanapala, Piyasena Nissanka (Dinamina & Silumina) "Nidahasa" (1934-1960), "Samasamajaya" (1936.07.10) the Sinhala organ of the Lanka Samasamaja Party, Lankadeepa of the Times group, (1947.10.27) which was taken over by the government in 1977 and purchased by Ranjith Wijewardena under Wijaya Newspapers and published from 10th Sept
ember, 1991, "Siyarata" the Sinhala Organ of the United National Pacary, (1947.04.18) were other newspapers to be reckoned with.
Since independence in 1948 and the second half of the 20th century the following Sinhala newspapers have seen the light of the day in the country. Sunday Lankadeepa" (1949.10.12)" Janatha "(1953.05.11) a daily evening newspaper. "Davasa" (1961.08.14-1990.26), "Vanitha Vitti", (1957.04.12), "Rividina"(1961.08.20-1966.07.20) "Sarasaviya", (1963.04.10) Sinhala cinema tabloid of the Lake House Group, Iranama Attha, (1965.08.22) "Rivi Resa" (1966.07.20-1990.12.26)
In the 1990's there witnessed a spate of tabloid Sinhala newspapers, bringing in startling news, regarding the ruling party and other matters concerning public interest, such as bribery and corruption in the Public Service. These papers could be listed as follows with their dates of commencement. Viz. "Ravaya". (1990.11.04), "Lakdiva" (1992.01.26) "Kaputa", (1993.06.01) "Mura Atuwa" (1993.07.11), "
Hiru" (1993.06.13), "Toppiya" (1993.01.01), "Rajaliya", (1992.04.30)", "Derana" (1993.08.08), "Dupatha", (1993.09.01), "Sathyayae Handa", (1993.07.09)
Lankaloka (1860), Lakmini Pahana (1862-1919), Lakrivikirana (1864-1902), Dinapatha Pravurthi (1863-1854), Gnanarthapradeepaya (1866 do date), Kavata Kathikaya (1872-1913), Sarasavi Sanderassa (1880-1951), Lakmina (1913-1956), Dinakara Prakasa (1915-1916), Sinhala Samaya (1903-1916), Sinhala Jatiya (1905-1951), Sinhala Bauddhaya (1906-1979), Dinamina (1909 to date), Swadesha Mitraya (1924-1940), Silumina (1931 to date), Lakadipa (1947-1979) & 1991 - todae), Sama Samajaya 1936, Siyarata (1947 todate), Janata (1953-todate), Davasa (1961-1990), rividina (1961-1990), Sarasaviya (1963-todate), Aththa (1965-1995), Riviressa (1966), Divaina (1982 todate), Yukthiya (1985), ravaya (1990-todate), Lakdiva (1992-1994), Hiru (1993-1996), Trishule (1993-1994) from rootsweb