Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Publication Profile: SriLankaNZ

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Publication Profile: SriLankaNZ
Clare Manera

SriLankaNZ is a community news publication founded in 2019. Both the print newspaper and its website cover news related to the Sri Lankan community in New Zealand. SriLankaNZ publishes news articles, short stories, poems, and other forms of creative work, written either in Sinhalese or English.

Telum spoke with SriLankaNZ's Editor / Writer, Karu (K.A.B Karunarathne).

Tell us a bit about the Sri Lankan community in New Zealand.
The Sri Lankan population in New Zealand is at nearly 18,000 people. The majority are Sinhalese, others are Tamils and Muslims. They all belong to different faiths, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam.

Most of the community attend national events like the Independence Day celebration. There are Buddhist temples in most major cities in New Zealand and social and community organisations like USLA (United Sri Lanka Association) and the Sri Lanka Foundation, among other societies, with whom we have developed a strong rapport.

What role do you see your title playing in the New Zealand Sri Lankan community and the wider community?
We are currently the only Sri Lankan community publication in New Zealand. We have reached a local print readership of nearly 5,000. In addition, our total contacts with social media are over 16,000.

SriLankaNZ is a free and service-oriented project organised, managed and executed by a handful of dedicated volunteers. The publication features articles that relate to the Sri Lankan population as well as some that appeal to the broader Kiwi community.

We are different from traditional media sources, who look mainly for experienced professionals, in that we employ both skilled and novice writers. We also offer assistance with Sinhalese typing (which some find hard to learn) and encourage the youth to get involved with our publication. 

Our team meets regularly online and consists of members from all the major cities in New Zealand, as well as writers from abroad.

What are the main topics and issues important to your demographic?
SriLankaNZ covers topics including literature, history, sport, religion, social issues and creative arts.

Answers submitted by Karu (K.A.B Karunarathne), Editor / Writer at SriLankaNZ.

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