Social development

The Precarious State of the Mekong

The author Tucker Elliot wrote in “The Rainy Season” about the volatile nature of the Mekong:  “No matter the border, the Mekong has been an indiscriminate giver and taker of life in Southeast Asia for thousands of years. It’s a paradox like civilization’s other great rivers – ...

Nicholas Muller

Laos Ranks Lowest in Global English Proficiency Test

The Education First English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) conducts the world’s most expansive ranking of adults by their fluency in English. This year’s index featured 111 countries, Laos ranked the lowest on the list and Netherlands ranked the highest.  The countries were divided into five bands: ...

Amrita Paul

Myanmar: Freed filmmaker Toru Kubota returns to Japan

Toru Kubota landed in Japan Friday morning after he was freed from prison and deported by Myanmar’s junta on Thursday.   The 26-year-old filmmaker and video journalist arrived in Tokyo on a scheduled flight from Yangon via Bangkok. Kubota said upon landing that he wanted to express his gratitude ...

Martin Fritz Tokyo

Women in Rohingya camps face an epidemic of gender based violence

The world’s largest refugee camp is no haven for women and girls. Previously viewed as a safe place of refuge from persecution in Myanmar, Rohingya women and girls face daily risks of violence and abuse.  The Rohingya camps braced for, were hit, and have largely recovered ...

DAYNA SANTANA PÉREZ

Vietnam’s minorities lose right to farm forests

One afternoon at the end of 2017, officials in Dakrong district in Central Vietnam’s Quang Tri province visited Ho Thi Nieng’s house. They claimed she and her husband had “burned the protected forest to do farming.” “We had been cultivating that land for a long time ...

Nguyen Dac Thanh

Myanmar junta bans Irrawaddy news agency after months of harassment

Myanmar’s junta has officially banned online news outlet The Irrawaddy and charged the outlet’s registered publisher for violating national security laws, state media reported over the weekend, following months of legal harassment. The ban is the latest on at least 20 media groups – news agencies, ...

RFA Burmese

Southeast Asia remains world rice bowl as pockets of region suffer crop disasters

Rice crops in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar have taken a hit from flooding and conflict this year, casting a shadow on a mostly sunny outlook for Southeast Asia’s output of the key grain as the region deals with other potential longer term supply troubles, farm ...

RFA Burmese, RFA Khmer and RFA Lao

The cost of Laos’ quest to be Southeast Asia’s ‘battery’, and the World Heritage town at risk

With electricity exports to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia and even Singapore, Laos has arguably realised its ambition to be the battery of Southeast Asia. The bulk of these exports are from hydropower. Nearly 80 dams dot the landlocked country, and more along the Mekong River are in ...

Lee Li Wan

Why LGBT Rights Trump Environmentalism in Vietnam

Since its adoption of a market economy in the last 1980s, Vietnam has become what some have referred to as a new “Asian Tiger.” Over the last 25 years, Vietnam’s economy has enjoyed an average annual growth rate of more than 6 percent. Between 1994 and 2014, ...

Fight for truth: battling false and misleading information in Southeast Asia and beyond

From cries of “fake news” in the United States and Brazil to the Marcos family’s return to power in the Philippines, the growing role of misinformation and disinformation in the global political landscape is a very real concern. The spread of deliberately deceitful and unintentionally ...

STEW POST

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