President’s Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty has sold the “Irudina” brand name to the new owner of Leader Publications, Asanga Seneviratne for Rs. 2 million.
The Irudina newspaper was initiated by Lasantha Wickrematunge when he was heading Leader Publications following a proposal made by businessman Pasan Madanayake and Ladduwahetty to start a newspaper to attack the government.
Madanayake invested the money for the project while Ladduwahetty registered the “Irudina” name under him. However, Madanayake handed over his shares in the newspaper to Lasantha Wickrematunge and moved out of the venture saying it was causing problems for his businesses since he had to deal with the government.
The management of the two newspapers fell into Lal Wickrematunge following Lasantha’s assassination. Ladduwahetty asked Lal Wickrematunge to pay Rs. 3 million if he wished to continue with the Irudina newspaper.
Lal Wickrematunge turned down the offer and re-commenced the newspaper under the “Iruresa” name.
The Irudina newspaper that was popular with a good circulation level started to decline after the change of name to Iruresa. Following proposals by the editorial staff that re-naming the newspaper as Irudina would help improve its circulation, Asanga Seneviratne had initiated a dialogue with Ladduwahetty to buy the name. Ladduwahetty had asked to sell the name for Rs. 5 million.
However, after several rounds of discussion, Ladduwahetty had sold the Irudina name for Rs. 2 million.
The newspaper is scheduled to be published under the Irudina name in the next few weeks.