Radio Free Asia

EU Issues Damning Report on Cambodia Before Looming Deadline on Trade Benefits Decision

In a scathing report, the European Union warned Cambodia that it has not taken enough steps to prevent a loss of its special trade privileges, noting particularly “further deterioration” of its human rights record since a review process was launched nine months ago. The confidential 70-page ...

Parameswaran Ponnudurai

Stakeholders Question Farness of MRC’s Impact Assessment for Laos’ Luangprabang Dam

Stakeholders are concerned about the legitimacy of the multinational approval process for Laos’ Luangprabang hydropower project, after recommendations to lower the environmental impact were raised, but few were accepted during a meeting of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) last week in Vientiane. The meeting was held ...

Mekong River Commission Says Dams Are Causing of Sharp Shifts in Water Levels

The Mekong River Commission Tuesday acknowledged that climate change played a role in this year’s widely varying water levels on the Mekong, but said that dam construction was the main culprit in sharp water level increases and decreases, emphasizing a need for data-sharing between countries. The ...

Eugene Whong

Two Large Mekong River Dams in Laos to Start Operations by End of Year

The first two of five planned large-scale Lao dams on the Mekong river are set to go online before the end of this year, amid controversy over their impact on the environment and people’s livelihoods. The Xayaburi dam in northern Laos will start operations on October ...

Lao Man, 69, Arrested for Refusing to Give Up Land His Family Has Held Since 1965

An elderly man in Laos was detained last month for refusing to give up land that had been in his family since 1965, family members said. Thitphay Thammavong, 69, was arrested on September 16 after declining to sign papers that would cede control of his 1.5 ...

Provincial Official in Laos Wants to Cancel Concession for Chinese Coal Company

Officials for the local government in Laos’ Houaphanh province say they want to cancel the survey contract of a Chinese coal company after learning that its operations in the province have caused hardship for villagers who have yet to see any compensation. The company reportedly damaged ...

Regional Government in Myanmar’s Sagaing Rethinks Support For Chinese Copper Mine

The Sagaing regional government in northwestern Myanmar on Monday cancelled permission for a Chinese company to conduct inspections for a new copper mine project following a protest by local residents in the capital Monywa. Hundreds of local residents staged a morning protest opposing the granting of ...

Mekong River Commission Defends Seven-Week Silence on Lao Dam Project Submission

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) Wednesday defended its decision to wait nearly seven weeks before officially notifying the public that Laos began a preliminary procedure for the construction of a large dam that would be its fifth on the Mekong river. The Lao government informed the ...

Thai NGOs Speak Out Against Proposed Dam in Laos

A new dam planned for construction on the Mekong River in Laos is causing great concern for environmental NGOs from Thailand, who say Laos’ fifth big dam on the river will have adverse effects on fish and people in the region. The Luangprabang hydropower project would ...

Flooding in Laos’ Southern Provinces Displaces 100,000, Kills at Least 28

More than 580,000 people have been impacted and at least 28 have died in floods caused by heavy rains over the past two weeks in Laos’ southern provinces, according to estimates revised during a cabinet meeting this week. The death toll figure was reported by ...

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