|Thursday, 28 February 2002|
The Oldest English Newspaper in
Till we meet again
‘The Observer’, which began publication in February 1834, will suspend publication from tomorrow, the First of March, until the management has revised its marketing strategy and is ready for the re-launch of this oldest of English language newspapers to be continuously in publication in South Asia.
‘The Observer’ was originally a morning newspaper and first functioned as a newspaper for the British colonial class in Sri Lanka and for the small anglicised Sri Lankan elite. Shipping movements and plantation exports dominated its pages. It began publication in a building located where ‘Temple Trees’ now stands, before it, much later, became part of the ‘Lake House’ group of publications.
Throughout its 168 years of publication - except for a suspension for a short period some years back - this newspaper has had an eventful life with achievements and failures, colourful episodes and doldrums. Successive generations of its editorial staff - reporters, columnists, cartoonists, graphic artists, copy editors, and editors - have reported and commented on a changing world and a changing Sri Lanka over a century and a half. We have observed the turn of two centuries, to the Twentieth and the Twenty First.
Far more significantly, we have observed the twists and turns of the fate of our island peoples: from colonial domination to freedom and sovereignty, from peace to war and peace again and, war yet again, from tragedy in violence and natural disasters to celebration of republican status and of the achievements of our citizens. We have welcomed many fellow newspapers and, more recently, new channels of radio and television and, bade farewell to others.
Today, after many incarnations in various forms - from tabloid to broadsheet to colour magazine-style tabloid to black & white tabloid - your only evening newspaper will temporarily cease publication.
Publication will resume once we are ready for the market. We hope that our audience will look forward to a better, more informative and entertaining evening read when we do hit the stands again.
Produced by Lake House