New Zealand is a highly diverse place and is home to people from all over the world. For the community of Sri Lankan people in New Zealand, history was recently made when a newspaper for their demographic was finally made available in print form. Known as “Sri LankaNZ” the newspaper has gained a community of well over 8,000 and continues to keep thousands or Kiwi-Sri Lankans in the know.
Sri LankaNZ was created by Harsha Weerakoon and CJ (Charith) Ekanayake and was originally a website that formed in November 2019. Due to the popularity of the website and the seeming demand for a print version of the newspaper, Weerakoon and Ekanayake launched the printed version, sending it out to readers in March 2020.
All of the content in Sri LankaNZ is available in English and in Sinhala languages. The paper hopes to unite the two unique cultures of Sri Lanka and New Zealand and provide a sense of community for Sri Lankans who are living in New Zealand.
The paper is created by a team of creative and passionate volunteers who hope to contribute to their community. K A B Karunarathna is the editor of the newspaper, Anu Weerakoon is the media coordinator, CJ Ekanayake is the designer, and Harsha Weerakoon handles the printing and distribution process.
The paper is free to read and is distributed at over 40 news outlets across New Zealand. These locations include news outlets in Auckland, Whanganui, Christchurch, Hamilton, Rotorua, Invercargill, New Plymouth, Palmerston Hutt Valley, Hastings, Nelson, Dunedin, and more. They are most often available at locations where they can be easily accessed by the Sri Lankan community in the area, such as business, restaurants, or temples.
Since its launch in March 2020, Sri LankaNZ has successfully distributed 8 issues of the paper. It is printed every two months, producing 2500 copies each time. If you are interested in contributing to the paper, they accept articles or creative works from all different people and age groups. The kids page is also an exciting way for children to get involved and share their creativity.
Covering topics such as science, lifestyle, health and wellness, sports, travel, and social and political, Sri LankaNZ has become the go-to publication for the Sri Lankan community in New Zealand. For any age group, there is something to enjoy. The paper has become a great way for the community to come together and enjoy the blend of Sri Lankan and New Zealand cultures.