Sri Lanka to rein­car­nate fa­mous bridge in bid to at­tract tourists

After un­veil­ing plans to dam one of Sri Lanka’s ma­jor rivers, the na­tional elec­tric­ity board has an­nounced plans to build a bridge over that same water­way to repli­cate the iconic struc­ture that was blown up in an iconic World War II film in a bid to ap­pea

Outlook - - CONTENTS - By Amal Jayasinghe

Sri Lanka's na­tional elec­tric­ity board has an­nounced plans to build a bridge over a water­way it plans to repli­cate an iconic struc­ture fea­tured in a World War II film.

Its det­o­na­tion is one of the most iconic scenes in movie his­tory. Now, 57 years after it was blown to smithereens, au­thor­i­ties in Sri Lanka plan to re­build the Bridge on the River

Kwai to as­suage the anger among lo­cals over a con­tro­ver­sial dam project.

While the World War II epic was sup­pos­edly set in Ja­pane­se­held Burma (present-day Myan­mar), it was mostly filmed in Cey­lon (now Sri Lanka) be­tween 1956 and 1957, less than a decade after in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tain.

The fi­nal scene in which a Bri­tish of­fi­cer played by Alec Guin­ness blows up a rail bridge that his fel­low pris­on­ers of war have just built was shot at sleepy Ki­t­ul­gala, two hours' drive from the cap­i­tal Colombo.

In re­cent years, the vil­lage has be­come a mag­net for adrenalin junkies who can white-wa­ter raft down the river, whose real name is the Ke­lani.

So when Sri Lanka's Elec­tric­ity Board un­veiled plans to dam the river as part of an $82 mil­lion hy­dro-elec­tric project, there was wide­spread dis­may among lo­cals whose liveli­hoods de­pend on tourism.

But in a bid to soften the blow, the elec­tric­ity board has an­nounced that it will pay for the re­con­struc­tion of a new wooden bridge, built on the orig­i­nal's foun­da­tions, to at­tract fans

Tourists go white-wa­ter raft­ing on the Ke­lani River at Ki­t­ul­gala, some 50km east of Colombo, where a key scene from the 1957 film, The Bridge on the River

Kwai was filmed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Viet Nam

© PressReader. All rights reserved.