The absence of independent media and shrinking civic space have effectively deprived the citizens of Laos of timely and qualitative information, including those that are critical in keeping them safe from harm. Not surprisingly, more and more Laotians have turned to social media to seek and share news and information that are censored in the mainstream media, and to voice their criticisms against government policies and inactions, as well as their concerns over political and social problems in the country.Read more
More than 7,000 survivors of the disastrous collapse of the hydropower dam in southern Laos’ Sanamxay district have been struggling to survive for nearly seven months.Read more
Six months after the collapse of the Xe Pian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam in southern Laos triggered floods that swept them from their homes, survivors are now suffering from dengue fever and malnutrition.
Those health challenges come despite firm agreements between local and international health agencies to work together to prevent disease and otherwise attend to the needs of the displaced.Read more
Fears linger about lost livelihoods as new villages may not be suitable for agricultureRead more
Flash floods following the collapse of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy dam in southern Laos washed away the homes, families, hope and dreams of dozens of villagers living downstream. This is one of their stories.Read more
Even six months after the collapse of the Saddle Dam D section of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy hydropower project, which severely destroyed six villages in southern Laos and buried more than 55,200 hectares of land under deep floodwater, the victims still have no certainty about their future.Read more
The people of Kua village in Sangthong district depend on the Ton River for their livelihoods. It is a prime source of food for the community and provides fishermen an income. It is a source of drinking water for the many diverse animals that live in the area. Locals use the water from the river on a daily basis for drinking, bathing and washing.
Villagers say the number of fish and aquatic life in the Ton River has been on the decline ever since the Chinese-owned Yongzhen Import-Export Production Promotion Company started planting bananas there in 2014.Read more
Six years on, the search for truth about Sombath’s enforced disappearance continues while his family and friends, and kindred spirits within and beyond the borders of Laos, firmly hold out hope he is still alive and will surface sooner rather than later. This, notwithstanding the unremitting curtailment of rights and silenced voices that continue to cast a pall of gloom over the prospects of democracy in Laos.Read more
Discussions on highly sensitive issues and taboo subjects were limited or missing in the mainstream media. Lao netizens, helped by the country’s Internet boom, have managed to access taboo information banned in the state. But there were some incidents prompted the authorities to call some Facebookers who disseminated news, warning them to share only local official news, which is a big concern over the intrusive and expansive nature of the state internet surveillance network has so far covered.Read more
Laos remains stagnant at the low bottom of any international democracy and media indices highlighting it as one of countriesRead more