Straits Times

Laos banks on new high-speed railway to draw tourists and investment

The men arrived in dark jackets, and the women in fine woven silk skirts. They filed into the gleaming railway station under a red sign that said “Vientiane” in Lao and Chinese. Then they set off. Laotian lawmakers took a test ride on their country’s first ...

Tan Hui Yee

Construction begins on fifth bridge linking Laos, Thailand

Work on a fifth bridge linking Laos and Thailand across the Mekong River has begun after a construction agreement was signed in December. The bridge, which will take 36 months to build, will connect Bolikhamxay province in Laos to Thailand’s north-eastern province of Bueng Kan. Local daily ...

From drink bottles to tobacco sachets, UN study traces plastic pollution hot spots in the Mekong and Ganges

Municipal trash dumped at an open landfill in Thailand risks filling a nearby tributary of the Mekong river with plastic waste whenever it is rainy or windy. Along India’s Ganges river, small sachets that used to wrap chewing tobacco are abundant, but are difficult to collect ...

Tan Hui Yee

Locals wary as Laos powers ahead with hydroelectric goals

With one palm on his shaven head, Phra Khamsee Manivong stares at a backhoe levelling dunes of compacted mud by his temple. All around the ornate red and gold edifice, crumbled remnants of a boundary wall tangle with fresh creepers. It has been 17 months since ...

Tan Hui Yee

Thailand to open anti-fake news centre by Nov 1 to address rumours on social media platforms

Thailand will open its first fake news centre by Nov 1 to combat unverified news circulating on social media platforms, said Minister of Digital Economy and Society Buddhipongse Punnakanta on Wednesday (Sept 25). “These days anyone can be a reporter. Anything can be posted and shared. ...

Hathai Techakitteranun

Victims of Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy dam collapse in Laos languish in shelters as aid, supplies dry up

Even six months after the collapse of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy hydropower dam, which washed away numerous homes in southern Laos, the victims are still having to live in temporary shelters with no certainty about their future. The camp residents are suffering from a severe ...

Concrete-stuffed bodies found in Mekong were Thai activists

The mutilated bodies of two men found stuffed with concrete in the Mekong River last month have been identified as Thai activists living in exile, police and family confirmed on Tuesday (Jan 22). The pair were among dozens of anti-monarchy activists who fled Thailand to ...

The tussle with China in the Mekong Basin

Countries in the Mekong Basin, notably those located in the lower part of the river – Asia’s seventh longest – are in need of a collective strategy to secure their future, given China’s control of the upstream part and ongoing changes in global geopolitics. The ...

Japan vows quality infrastructure in Mekong region in push for Free and Open Indo-Pacific

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday (Oct 9) pledged to promote quality infrastructure projects in five South-east Asian nations along the Mekong River, while their leaders said they supported Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy (FOIPS). “The Mekong region is a corridor that connects ...

Thailand prepares evacuation in northern provinces as Mekong water level rises

The Thai government has instructed the governors of all northern provinces to prepare to evacuate residents as water level in the Mekong River continues to rise. Before noon on Tuesday (July 31), the Mekong River has burst its banks, allowing water to flow into riverside ...

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