Welikada Prison

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Welikada Prison
Welikada Prison is located in Central Colombo
Welikada Prison
General information
Town or cityWelikada, Colombo
CountrySri Lanka
Coordinates6°55′19″N 79°52′49″E / 6.92194°N 79.88028°E / 6.92194; 79.88028Coordinates: 6°55′19″N 79°52′49″E / 6.92194°N 79.88028°E / 6.92194; 79.88028
Construction started1841
ClientBritish Government,
Sri Lankan Government

The Welikada Prison (also known as the Magazine Prison) is a maximum security prison and is the largest prison in Sri Lanka. It was built in 1841 by the British colonial government under Governor Cameron. The prison covers and area of 48 acres (190,000 m2). It is over-crowded with about 1700 detainees exceeding the actual member that could be accommodated. The prison also has a gallows (although not used since 1959) and has its own hospital too. The prison is administrated by the Department of Prisons.

Following the attempted military coup in 1962, the arrested military and police officers were remanded pending trial in a special section at Welikada prison called the Magazine Section. A special security detachment was selected, called the composite guard, to guard these officers from the Ceylon Light Infantry, with Major A Hulangamuwa in charge.

In November 2012, 27 people died in clashes between inmates and prison guards.[1]

Core functions[edit]

  • Detention of prisoners on first conviction
  • Categorizing of convicted prisoners on admission and transferring them to relevant prisons.
  • Detention of condemned prisoners.
  • Production of suspects to Kesbewa and Moratuwa courts
  • Provision of vocational training to prisoners
  • Launching of welfare and rehabilitation programs for prisoners.

Notable inmates[edit]


The world's first prison Scout Group registered by Imperial Scout Headquarters started at Welikada Prison in 1926.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sri Lanka's Welikada prison clash leaves 27 dead". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-10-10.
  2. ^ http://www.prisons.gov.lk/History/history_english.html

External links[edit]