So the aims of our trip take another turn…the proposed link up with Borderlands, a rafting company in the central highlands of Sri Lanka has got a bit more serious. Not only are we going to offer some kayak instruction and help with safety and rescue training for their local guides, but we have also been tasked with helping to find Borderlands a new home, not just their base, a whole new river.  
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The old school kayak school in Sri Lanka at the moment
Latest transmission from Wade at Borderlands;
“I have a bit of a mission which I hope you guys can help us with out here. It is confirmed that the main river here is going to be damned and work starts within 6 months. Even more scary is the Chinese are heading the project which means things will move fast. With this reality we wish to put a HELP US FIND A NEW RIVER SPIN on your trips out here. We will likely look at moving operations when the time comes but maybe you can help us find a new home to build another rafting camp.”

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Rafting on the Kelani
Hydro schemes are an emotive issue, and one which becomes extremely obvious when you paddle in developing nations. Think China and you think of the massive “Three Gorges” Scheme. Think India and the Indus dams jump straight to mind along with the big schemes on the headwaters of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, then move to Africa and everyone is in mourning for ‘Silverback.’ As economies grow and modernize the thirst for power is massive, and essential for driving development along the Western model. As kayakers we hate dams, hate the destruction of the water drainage environment that we love to explore. Its’ strange that this is impacting on our little troup before we get there and paddle even a drop of Sri Lankan water. 
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Borderlands are in need of help moving to a new river
The river Kelani on which Borderlands run their rafting operation has been confirmed as the site for Sri Lanka’s latest hydro scheme, the scheme is backed by the Chinese which means that it will move fast. Our job is to find another section of whitewater suitable for rafting, suitable for this company to continue their comparatively small business in the face of mass economic development.
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P.S Here is some more of what Borderlands are up to…  http://www.discoverborderlands.com/Video.html

Sean
7/9/2012 06:02:26 am

Nice blog, just wanted to say I found you through Google

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8/24/2012 06:02:01 am

Google linked me to this page, nice reading

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