Sri Lanka’s first mass media outlet targeting the country’s 1.9-million strong Muslim community was unveiled on 16 December at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo under the patronage of Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen.
The National News Agency Ltd is the operator of the first ever mass media outlet exclusively focused on the country’s Muslim community.
The National News Agency would operate the Tamil language Serendib TV Channel, Tamil language daily newspaper ‘Serendib’, and Serendib Radio Channel, all exclusively aimed at the Muslim community of Sri Lanka.
Also present at the launch of Serendib TV, newspaper and radio channel were Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem, MP Karu Jayasuriya, Chairman, National News Agency Ltd, operating firm of Serendib TV M. Imtiaz, Representative of World Muslim League Bin Saleh Al Dawood, Mayor of Colombo A. J. M. Muzammil, Senior Presidents Counsel Faiz Mustafa and many members of the diplomatic community in Colombo.
According to the Colombo based market research firm Survey Research Lanka’s fact-file data, the top four TV channels for Tamil speaking population in Sri Lanka in 2013 were Vasantham TV, Shakthi TV, Varnam TV and Sun TV. Huge majority of the 1.9 Million Muslim audience in Sri Lanka too watch these channels. The majority of Muslims in Sri Lanka do not fail to listen to Islamic prayers aired on island-wide SLBC Tamil transmission during the annual Ramazan period.
National News Agency’s reps said the TV channel would at first, be shown through satellite TV operators before commencing free-to-air transmissions. The daily Tamil language newspaper Serendib meanwhile has commenced its publication on Dec.16