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Trip Planner Asia  /  Sri Lanka  /  Western Province  /  Ragama


Ragama is a town/suburb of Colombo, located in the Western Province, Sri Lanka. It is governed by the Ja-Ela Pradeshiya Sabha.HistoryIn July 1874 a rail line, known as the Breakwater line, was opened connecting the Harbour Works Quarry at Ragama to the Colombo Harbour breakwater, in order to enable stone to be transported to the harbor to construct the breakwater. Stone from a second quarry at Ragama was then used to stabilise the Coastal line where it ran on the edge of the beach.On 8 January 1901 the British War Office established a prisoner-of-war camp in Ragama to house Boer prisoners captured in the Second Boer War. The prisoners at Ragama were primarily dissidents, foreign volunteers and irreconcilables who refused to sign an oath of allegiance to the British Crown, and were transferred from the main camp at Diyatalawa.Ragama served as the main observation camp for coolies entering the country. The coolies disembarked at Colombo and were sent by train to Ragama, where they were detained for forty eight hours before being transported to various tea plantations around the country. In 1904 76,963 coolies from Southern India came through the camp and in 1905 this increased to 132,690.
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