The following is the definition given in the Post Office Ordinance of newspapers which may be registered and posted for transmission by the Domestic Post as "registered newspapers":
Every publication consisting wholly or in great part of political or other news, or of articles relating thereto, or to other current topics, with or without advertisements, shall be deemed a newspaper, subject to the following conditions, namely:
- That it is published in numbers at intervals of not more than 31 days; and
- That it has a bona fide list of subscribers.
An extra or supplement to a newspaper, bearing the same date as the newspaper and transmitted therewith, shall be deemed to be part of the newspaper, provided that no such extra or supplement shall be so deemed, unless it consists wholly or in great part of matter like that of the newspaper, and has the title and date of publication of the newspaper printed at the top of each page.
- The rate of postage to be prepaid on copies of publications registered for transmission at the inland newspaper rate, including any supplement thereto, shall be Rs.8.00 for every copy not exceeding 60 gm’s in weight with a further charge of Rs. 8.00 for every additional 60 gm’s or fraction of 60 gm’s of the weight of that copy; provided that the postage payable on any copy shall not in any case exceed the postage payable on a printed matter open packet of the same weight.
- If two or more copies are sent in a single packet, postage at the foregoing rates shall be paid in respect of each copy in the packet. Provided that the postage payable on any packet containing two or more copies shall not in any case exceed the postage payable on a printed matter open packet of the same weight.
- No copy or packet of copies may weigh more than 1 kg or exceed 610 mm in length, or 15.5 cm’s in width or depth or, if made up in the form of a roll, 76 cm’s in length and 10 cm’s in diameter.
01) Newspapers shall be transmitted by post, as registered newspapers; provided that they are posted in accordance with the following conditions:
- The newspaper shall be registered in the office of the Postmaster General. Such registration shall cease to have effect at the close of the calendar year in which it was effected, and must be renewed if a continuance of the privilege conferred by the system beyond that time is desired.
- The postage shall be prepaid by postage stamps affixed or duly impressed with a franking die or postal franker.
- The newspaper shall bear in print in a conspicuous position on the front page the words " Registered as a Newspaper in Sri Lanka ".
- Every copy of a newspaper for transmission by post shall be so folded as to admit of the ready inspection of title ; and every copy or packet of copies shall be posted either without a cover, or in a cover open at both ends and capable of being easily removed for the purpose of examination.
- No packet containing any registered newspaper shall bear on its cover, and no registered newspapers without a cover, shall bear on any part of it in addition to the usual printed matter appearing on it, any writing, statement, message, or particulars other than the following:
- The names, addresses, and descriptions of the sender and the addressee, with index or reference numbers and letters;
- The words" with compliments";
- The title of the newspaper and a reference to its registration for transmission by post;
- A reference to any place in the newspaper to which the attention of the addressee is directed;
- A request for return in case of non-delivery.
- There shall be no paper or thing enclosed in or with any such newspaper other than an extra or supplement to the newspaper bearing the same date as the newspaper and consisting wholly or in great part of matter like that of the newspaper, and bearing the title and date of publication of the newspaper printed at the top of each page.
- No extra or supplement, issued with any number of a registered newspaper shall be deemed to be an extra or supplement if it exceeds the newspaper itself in size or weight.
02) If the condition for postage is infringed, the newspaper or packet shall be surcharged at the rate applicable to newspapers. Double the postage shall be recovered in the case of a newspaper or packet the postage on which is unpaid, and double the amount of the deficiency subject to a minimum surcharge of Rs.5.00 shall be recovered in the case of a newspaper or packet the postage on which is insufficiently paid.
03) In any one of the foregoing conditions (i), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) or (vii) is infringed, the newspaper or packet (unless admissible at the printed matter open packet rate) shall either be treated as an insufficiently paid letter and charged with double the deficiency due thereon subject to a minimum surcharge of Rs. 5.00 or be transferred to the parcel post and charged with a fine of Rs. 1.25 in addition to any deficiency in the postage due on it as a parcel, whichever of these two charges is the lower.
Newspapers not registered in Sri Lanka shall be treated in the post like any other packet
The proprietor, manager, or publisher of a newspaper wishing to adopt the system of registration for such newspapers should address the Postmaster General, forwarding at the same time a copy of the newspaper.
The Postmaster General, on receiving the application with the copy of the newspaper, will satisfy himself that the newspaper is entitled to be registered in accordance with the rules, and for this purpose will make such inquiry as he may think proper. When the application is accepted, the fact that the newspaper has been registered will be communicated to the Post Office at the place where the newspaper is to be posted.
Written notice of intention to renew the registration of the newspaper should be given to the Postmaster-General three weeks before the expiry of the calendar year following that in which the existing registration was effected. (For example a news paper registered in December 2006, the registration will cease to have effect on 31st December, 2007)
The Postmaster General will deal with the application for renewal in the same way as the original application, and may, if thinks proper, require a fresh copy of the newspaper to be forwarded.