Development News from Sri Lanka: On 24 August 2019, a ceremony was held at the Bogambara Prison Complex Redevelopment site to announce the opening and inauguration of Phase I of the Bogambara Cultural Park project.
Hon officially opened the project. The Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, formally unveiled a plaque in honor of the occasion and also delivered the keynote address.
Hon also graced the event. Minister of Development Strategy and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama, Hon. Lakshman Kiriella, Public Enterprise Minister and Hon Kandy Development. Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Hon. Nalin Bandara, Deputy Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Mr. S T Kodikara, Secretary, Department of Development Strategies and International Trade, Mr. Mangala Yapa, Chairman of the Sri Lankan Investment Board and Mrs. Champika Malalgoda, Director General of the BOI. The Japanese and Thailand ambassadors and senior government officials were also present.
The project will bring significant advantages to the nation and more specifically to the town of Kandy as it will include an open-air theater, traditional arts, and crafts studio, a tourist information center, and various recreation areas.
The project will also have a positive effect on the life of Kandy City inhabitants by creating fresh job possibilities and creating avenues for trade, tourism, and investment.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said, “We want to create the town of Kandy, including the cultural complex of Bogambara, in the same manner, that the Galle Fort, Trincomalee, and Anuradhapura have been established as fields of cultural concern in perspective of the increasing number of tourists arriving in the nation.”
Also of significant historical importance is the project for the former prison complex. It is actually one of the oldest current structures in Kandy’s World Heritage City and has been deemed a landmark in archeology.
When it was constructed by N. R Saunders, the British Ceylon Government’s Inspector General of Prisons and Police, in 1876, the primary inspiration of Bogambara Prison was the Paris Bastille Fortress.
Bogambara was the second biggest prison in Sri Lanka, housing gallows, severe offenders, and the row of death.
In 2013, the government of Sri Lanka moved the prisoners to a new prison complex in Pallekelle in order to create the Bogambara Cultural Park. Because of their archeological and historical significance, a choice was created to preserve the houses.
The project master plan and design redevelopment was created by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs on 9 December 2016 and will be implemented under the auspices of the Ministry of Development Strategies & International Trade, the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, the Urban Development Authority, the Central Engineering Services Ltd and the Sri Lankan Investment Board.