Radio Free Asia

Where’s the beef? Laos can’t meet Chinese cattle import demands

China has agreed to import half a million cows this year from Laos, but the landlocked Southeast Asian nation is having trouble filling the order due to a lack of capacity to produce them and high quality standards imposed by Beijing, Lao government officials and ...

Translated by Sidney Khotpanya for RFA Lao service. Edited by Eugene Whong and Malcolm Foster.

Rights group: Bangladesh failing to protect Rohingya against rising violence in camps

Bangladesh is not doing enough to protect Rohingya from increasing violence by armed groups and criminal gangs operating in the refugee camps near the country’s border with Myanmar, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday. Some of these stateless refugees who fled from persecution in Myanmar’s Rakhine ...

Ahammad Foyez and Abdur Rahman for BenarNews

Ancient alligator species identified in Thailand

Scientists have discovered a previously unknown alligator species with a distinct skull structure that thrived in ancient Thailand about 230,000 years ago, offering additional insights into the evolutionary history of Asian alligators, according to a new study. The creature in question shares a close evolutionary relationship ...

Subel Rai Bhandari for RFA

Laos to proceed with seventh Mekong dam despite impact concerns

Pressing ahead with its vision to become the “Battery of Southeast Asia,” the government of Laos is going forward with plans to build its seventh of nine mainstream dams on the Mekong River, despite widespread concerns that it could inflict social and environmental damage. The 728-megawatt ...

Translated by Sidney Khotpanya. Edited by Joshua Lipes and Malcolm Foster.

Bangkok’s ‘Hazibition’ points finger at corporations for toxic haze in lower Mekong

Thailand’s clean air campaigners are staging an exhibition in Bangkok to show how industrial-scale maize cultivation to produce animal feed is partly responsible for the toxic annual smog in the lower Mekong region.  “Hazibition,” an exhibition on haze pollution by environment group Greenpeace, started Tuesday at ...

Subel Rai Bhandari for RFA

Malaysia deports 114 Muslim Myanmar nationals, including children, their lawyer says

Malaysia has deported 114 Muslim Myanmar nationals who will be persecuted by the ruling military when they return, although they are not Rohingya, their lawyer said Thursday. Amnesty International Malaysia said Kuala Lumpur returned the Myanmar nationals to their strife-torn country, despite condemning the Burmese junta’s ...

Iman Muttaqin Yusof and Iskandar Zulkarnain for BenarNews

Satellite photos show expansion of Chinese-funded naval base in Cambodia

Recent satellite images taken of the coastal area around Sihanoukville, Cambodia, show a significant development of a China-funded naval base that would help Beijing boost its power projection not only in Southeast Asia but also the Taiwan Strait. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2019 that Phnom ...

RFA Staff / Edited by Malcolm Foster

Lost in Laos: Systemic problems are far greater than one new leader can solve

On 30 December, Lao Prime Minster Phankham Viphavanh (72) resigned ostensibly on health grounds, but amidst an economy in sharp decline and saddled in foreign debt. He is succeeded by the scion of one of the country’s two political dynasties, Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone (56). Politics in ...

A commentary by Zachary Abuza

Cambodia sentences 36 opposition officials to prison terms on conspiracy charges

A court in Cambodia on Thursday sentenced 36 senior officials of the banned Cambodia National Rescue Party, most of whom have already fled the country, to between five and seven years in prison. The opposition officials were convicted of supporting party Vice President Mu Sochua in ...

Translated by Samean Yun. Written in English by Eugene Whong

Escaping the chaos of home, Myanmar migrants face exploitation abroad

Forced to flee her Magway village in southeast Myanmar during a junta attack, Theingi Soe spent a “terrible” month living in makeshift shelters in the jungle during the rainy season. In her misery, she began to plot another escape – to a life in a ...

Nayrein Kyaw and Gemunu Amarasinghe

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