Mekong River

Controversial Mekong dam could devastate local population

Construction works at Xayaburi dam. Its builders say they have addressed concerns using new technology. Photo: Tom Fawthrop

Environmentalists are again raising concerns about the controversial Xayaburi dam on the Mekong River, saying efforts to make the project in Laos more "fish friendly" are not serious, and employ untested technology.

Saturday, 14 September, 2013, 9:15am

Mekong area as lost third of its forest cover since 1970s, WWF finds

Mekong River area has lost nearly one-third of its forests in the last 35 years. Photo: Reuters

Five Southeast Asian countries have lost nearly one-third of their forests in the last 35 years and could be left with less than a fifth of their original cover by 2030 - with devastating effects on wildlife and humans, a new report suggests.

5 May 2013 - 2:51am

CCTV 'to broadcast live execution of Mekong River massacre drug smugglers'

Screen capture of a February 28 CCTV story on the planned live broadcast.

UPDATED at 2.50pm: The four have been shown on live TV being transported to their place of execution.

1 Mar 2013 - 2:54pm 5 comments

China considered using drone in Myanmar to kill wanted drug lord

A drone strike to kill Naw Kham in Myanmar was ruled out.

The hunt for a Myanmese drug lord wanted for killing 13 Chinese sailors in 2011 could have ended with a drone strike launched on foreign soil, China's top drug tsar told the Global Times newspaper.

20 Feb 2013 - 4:32am 1 comment

China considered drone strike on foreign soil in hunt for drug lord

Mekong drug lord Naw Kham is restrained by two Chinese police officers. Photo: Xinhua

Liu Yuejin, director of the public security ministry’s anti-drug bureau, said one of the original plans to end the months-long manhunt for drug lord Naw Kham was to strafe a mountain hideout in north-eastern Myanmar using unmanned aircraft.

19 Feb 2013 - 11:44pm 1 comment

Laos may need incentive to stop building Mekong dam

Construction work on the Xayaburi dam. Photo: EPA

Laos is building the Xayaburi hydroelectric dam to block the Mekong, despite promising its neighbours that share the river it would not. The dam will irreversibly change the nature of the river already under stress from several dams upstream in Yunnan. Cambodia and Vietnam, which lie downstream, pleaded for delay, to no avail, at a recent meeting of the Mekong River Commission, a think tank in all but name.

28 Jan 2013 - 3:04am

Laos' construction of barrage triggers Mekong crisis

Laos' construction of barrage triggers Mekong crisis

The four-nation Mekong River Commission (MRC) that supposedly co-ordinates activity on Southeast Asian's most important waterway faces a credibility crisis over the refusal by Laos to listen to objections to its controversial Xayaburi dam project.

19 Jan 2013 - 2:47am

Letters to the Editor, November 25, 2012

Construction work on the Xayaburi dam. Photo: EPA

Dam will not disrupt flow of Mekong

I refer to your editorial ("Laos risking decades of co-operation with Mekong dam project", November 17).

In pursuit of its poverty reduction policies and modernisation programmes, the Lao government is developing its hydropower potential for the benefit of its people.

25 Nov 2012 - 2:06am

Finnish firm Poyry defends role in approval of massive dam in Laos

The Mekong is the world's greatest inland fishery, feeding 60 million people, according to the Mekong River Commission. Photo: Reuters

The consulting firm that gave Laos a green light for a controversial dam on the Mekong River, despite objections from downstream nations, is defending its role in the project, even as the Finnish government considers an ethics complaint against the company.

22 Nov 2012 - 3:56am

Laos risking decades of co-operation with Mekong dam project

Thai activists and villagers protest opposite Laos. Photo: EPA

Agreement between Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam on shared use of the Mekong River has long been hailed by the United Nations as a shining example of resource management. For 55 years, the countries have been able to shelve differences to co-operate and consult on the river's development and use of water and fisheries.

17 Nov 2012 - 1:17am

Briefs, November 9, 2012

Japanese parties in deal to fix 'fiscal cliff'

9 Nov 2012 - 3:20am

Vietnam drops objections to Laos dam on Mekong

Thai activists and villagers who are affected by the controversial Xayaburi dam protest with with banners on the Mekong riveron Monday. Photo: EPA

Vietnam has apparently dropped its objections to a dam that Laos is constructing on the Mekong River, saying on Thursday that the neighbouring country has made changes in the design to mitigate any negative downstream impact.

8 Nov 2012 - 6:27pm

Laos holds “groundbreaking” ceremony for contentious Mekong dam

The site of the controversial Xayaburi dam. Photo: EPA

Laos held a “groundbreaking” ceremony on Wednesday for a US$3.5 billion hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and some neighbouring countries because of the possible impact on livelihoods, fisheries and agriculture.

7 Nov 2012 - 3:15pm

Death sentences for Mekong River murderers of 13 Chinese sailors

Drug lord Naw Kham (right) and his five accomplices as the verdicts were announced in Kunming, Yunnan province, yesterday. Photo: Xinhua

Four men, including notorious Myanmese militia ringleader and drug lord Naw Kham, were sentenced to death yesterday for murdering 13 Chinese sailors aboard two cargo ships on the Mekong River in Thailand.

The verdict was handed down by the Intermediate People's Court of Kunming, in Yunnan province.

7 Nov 2012 - 4:09am

US urges Laos to address mega dam concerns

Construction workers prepare the site of the controversial Xayaburi dam in Laos on 28 September. Photo: EPA

The United States urged caution on Monday on plans by Laos to build a multibillion-dollar dam that has raised environmental concerns from neighbouring nations, saying its impact was still “unknown”.

7 Nov 2012 - 3:12pm