Radio Free Asia

China Shuts Down Ivory Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Continues

China deserves credit for shutting down the illegal trading in elephant ivory that has contributed in recent years to the killing of thousands of African pachyderms. But much credit should also go to international nongovernment organizations that have championed the elephants’ cause and raised public ...

Rights Groups Call on ASEAN Members to Halt Cambodia’s Backslide on Democracy

The governments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) must intervene to end Cambodia’s ongoing slide from a democracy into a dictatorship, several human rights organizations said, as member states kicked off the 32nd ASEAN Summit in Singapore. Keep reading ...

Sovannarith Keo/Joshua Lipes

Mekong River Commission Warned on Development Impacts to the River

The four member countries of the Mekong River Commission today confronted predictions of social and environmental disaster if damming and other development projects in the region are allowed to proceed as planned. The warnings, contained in a 3,600-page report prepared by the MRC Council, point ...

Richard Finney

Myanmar Hopes UN Security Council Visit Can Help Repair Frayed Ties With International Community

Myanmar’s agreement to receive a delegation from the United Nations Security Council is a positive step towards improving relations with the international community, which has been highly critical of the Southeast Asian nation for months over its handling of the Rohingya crisis, former politicians and ...

Lao Factory Owners Say Proposed Wage Hike Will Shutter Businesses

Owners of garment factories and other businesses in Laos are rejecting a proposal to raise the minimum wage by as much as one-third, saying the increase in expenses would force them to shut down operations, despite reports of workers seeking opportunities elsewhere due to low ...

Radio Free Asia

Environmental Concerns as Mekong Nations Vow to Promote River Development

An action plan agreed by the leaders of China and five Southeast Asian neighbors to step up industrialization and urbanization in their common Mekong River region has sharpened longstanding concerns about the environmental damage from Chinese dam-building on the key water source.Keep reading ...

Paul Eckert

Rapid Decline in Tonle Sap Raises Alarms For Key Southeast Asian Fishery

Cambodia’s Tonle Sap, a lake known as the country’s “beating heart,” faces a more rapid decline than previously estimated, according to a new study. Experts say that urgent countermeasures are needed to save Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, which has served Cambodia for millennia. Millions ...

Dan Southerland

Myanmar Seeks Agreements With Southeast Asian Countries to Send Maids Abroad

Myanmar’s Labor Ministry is seeking labor migration agreements with the governments of other Southeast Asian countries and territories to send women there to work legally as maids, a government labor official said Monday.Keep reading ...

Thiri Min Zin

High-speed Rail Project Will Force Thousands of Lao Families to Relocate

More than 4,400 Lao families are being forced to relocate to make way for the U.S. $6 billion Lao-Chinese high-speed railway whose construction began nearly a year ago as part of a longer rail project that will link China to mainland Southeast Asia, a public ...

Roseanne Gerin

Faulty construction, heavy rain cause dam to flood Lao villages

Hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of muddy water have flooded eight villages in central Laos’ Xaysomboun province after the reservoir of a dam upstream burst its banks last week following heavy rain, damaging infrastructure, farmlands, and water supplies. Keep reading ...

RFA's Lao Service News Staff

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