VOA

Praying for Rain by the Mekong as Monsoon Season Begins

As the monsoon gets underway across Indochina, farmers and fishermen are praying for rain after a lengthy drought — aggravated by climate change and dam construction.  This year the Mekong River has seen its lowest levels since record keeping began 60 years ago.  According to the Mekong River Commission, ...

Arrests, Suspension of Vietnam Media Signal Crackdown

A wave of arrests and a one-month publishing ban on a news site over its investigations into environmental damage signal that Vietnam is suppressing criticism ahead of the country’s Party Congress, press freedom groups said.     On June 12, authorities charged Le Huu Minh Tuan, from ...

An Hai

Thai Activists Raise Alarm Over New Proposed Lao Mekong Dam

Thai activists and organizations have raised alarm bells following last month’s announcement that the Mekong River Commission will begin its prior consultation process on the Sanakham hydropower plant, a new Mekong River dam project in northern Laos.   The plant would be the sixth dam in Laos, costing more than $2 billion, and would follow Laos’ Xayaburi Dam, farther upstream, which began operation in November.   The MRC prior consultation ...

Steve Sandford

Vietnam, Despite Low Coronavirus Caseload, Will Take Months to Recover Economically

Vietnam has reported few new coronavirus cases every day since mid-April. Now schools are reopening, smaller restaurants are back in business and traffic jams are forming again in the financial center, Ho Chi Minh City, as commuters head to work.  The Southeast Asian country has controlled its coronavirus caseload at ...

Ralph Jennings

Thailand Faces Record Drought

The monsoon season, which usually runs from about May to October, came two weeks late in 2019 and ended three weeks early, leaving Thailand with less rainfall than usual, according to the Mekong River Commission.   That is contributing to a drought that is drying up ...

VOA News

Thai Activists Protest New Xayaburi Dam on Mekong River

A series of dams on the transboundary Mekong River has reduced water levels, damaging fisheries and causing other environmental problems for the people who depend on the waterway for their livelihoods and food.  Now, as the latest dam, the Lao-owned Xayaburi, begins operations on the Lower Mekong, a Thai activist group is ...

Vietnam, US Cooperate on Arrest in Child Sex Case

Vietnam and the U.S. have announced that cooperation on cross-border crime has led to a U.S. grand jury indictment of an American teacher accused of traveling to the Southeast Asian nation to have sex with minors. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California ...

VOA News

Vietnam Turns to Private Companies for Public Services Needs

Last year companies like Coca Cola and Tetra Pak, an international food packaging and processing company, collaborated with Vietnam’s biggest city to lower garbage levels. Their work included putting recycling bins around Ho Chi Minh City and investing in the waste management system. Garbage collection is ...

VOA news

100s of Children in Cambodia Work in Brick Factories, Report Finds

Hundreds of children work in Cambodian brick factories, according to a survey by labor groups. A government spokesman denied the report’s findings. The Labor Ministry last year launched a campaign to end child labor in brick kilns and announced it would crack down on brick kiln ...

Leonie Kijewski

Thailand Touted for Rare Move to Drop Chinese Plan for Mekong River

Rights groups and researchers have welcomed Thailand’s decision to cancel a Beijing-backed project to dredge and blow open a shallow and rocky stretch of the Mekong River along the Thai-Lao border. The move is a rare victory for groups and communities fighting to save Southeast Asia’s ...

Zsombor Peter

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