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Runoff From Railway Project Pollutes River in Lao Tourist Destination

The Lao-Chinese railway project has released polluted water from construction work into the Xong River in Vientiane province’s Vang Vieng district, one of the most popular destinations in the country for tourists, an local resident and an environmental official told RFA’s Lao Service.

Bangladeshi Official: ‘We Will Not Send Any Rohingya Back by Force’

Bangladesh will not repatriate Rohingya to Myanmar unless the U.N.’s refugee agency confirms they are willing to leave voluntarily, a Bangladeshi government official told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service, on Monday.

Doubts Surround Bangladesh-Myanmar Plan to Repatriate Rohingya Refugees

A Bangladesh and Myanmar plan to begin repatriating some 2,000 Rohingya refugees later this month was in doubt Friday, as some on the list said they didn’t want to go back and 42 NGOs expressed collective concern about potential dangers awaiting returnees at home.

53 Lao Women and Girls Rounded Up in Karaoke Bar Raid in Southern Thailand

Police and military personnel rounded up and detained 53 Laotians–50 women and three girls who were allegedly employed as sex workers–during raids on karaoke bars in southern Thailand’s Narathiwat province, authorities said Friday.

Actor Kim Chi Leaves Vietnamese Communist Party Over Decision to Punish Publisher

A Vietnamese actor is the latest in a series of prominent celebrities to leave the country’s ruling Communist Party following the party’s decision to punish Chu Hao, a former technology vice minister-turned publisher, who was found to have printed books diverging from the party’s political line.

Fifteen Set to Appeal Sentences For Bien Hoa Protests in Vietnam

Fifteen Vietnamese protesters handed jail terms for their role in mass protests in Bien Hoa city in June will go before a judge on Thursday to appeal their sentences, sources said.

North Korean Supreme Guard Command Officer Purged for Listening to RFA

An officer of North Korea’s elite Supreme Guard Command (also known as Unit 963) was reportedly purged last month for having listened to an RFA broadcast.

Myanmar Gears up For First Round of Rohingya Repatriations Amid Doubts About Their Safety

Myanmar is gearing up to take back more than 2,260 Rohingya Muslim and Hindu refugees who fled to Bangladesh during a military crackdown in Rakhine state as its first group of returnees in mid-November under a bilateral repatriation deal made nearly a year ago, a foreign ministry official said Tuesday.

Myanmar Keeps Media Away From Rakhine Conflict Zone

On August 25, 2017, following a series of deadly attacks on police stations and guard posts in the country’s western Rakhine state by an obscure militant group called the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), Myanmar security forces launched what they called “clearance operations” in the Rakhine townships of Buthedaung and Maungdaw.

UN: 486 Million Still Hungry in Asia, Progress Stalled

Despite rapid economic growth, the Asia-Pacific region has nearly a half billion people who go hungry as progress stalls in improving food security and basic living conditions, a United Nations report said Friday.

Vietnamese Blogger, Rights Activist Vy to be Tried on Flag Affront Charges

A well-known Vietnamese blogger and human rights advocate is set to face trial for "affronting the national flag or national emblem,” a rights group and her lawyer said on Friday, three months after she was briefly detained and had her computer, books and other items confiscated.

Human Rights Watch: Sexual Violence in North Korea ‘Accepted as Part of Ordinary Life’

Sexual violence is so rampant in North Korea that it has become an accepted part of ordinary life, according to a report released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW) based on interviews with women from the North who have taken asylum in South Korea.

Malaria Cases in Myanmar See Huge Drop, Thanks to Efforts by Community Health Workers

Instances of malaria in remote and rural locations in Myanmar have fallen dramatically during a six-year period as a result of trained community health care workers providing a wider package of services along with screenings for the disease transmitted by mosquitoes in tropical regions, a study has found.

Wary Rohingya Refugees Set Out Terms For Repatriation to Myanmar From Bangladesh

A group of Rohingya Muslim refugees living in Bangladesh have called for recognition as an ethnic group and restoration of their Myanmar citizenship as key conditions for accepting repatriation to Rakhine state presented to officials from the two countries who visited the camp on Wednesday.

Exclusive Report: Bureaucratic Chaos Rife in Hours Before Laos Dam Burst

On the night of July 23, water poured over a saddle dam at the Xe Pian Xe Namnoy (PNPC) hydropower project in Champassak, Laos, sweeping away homes and causing severe flooding in up to 12 villages downstream in Champassak and neighboring Attapeu province.

Vietnam, Cambodia seek to strengthen defense ties

Defense Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich hosted a reception in Hanoi on October 30 for General Vong Pisen, General Commander of the Cambodian Royal Armed Forces who is on an official visit to Vietnam from October 29-31.

Myanmar Labor Groups Urge EU Not to Drop Crucial Trade Preferences

They say the withdrawal of tariff-free access to the bloc will lead to factory closures and job losses.

Myanmar Doubles Down on Denial as UN Official Sees ‘Ongoing Genocide’ Of Rohingya

Myanmar has rejected statements by senior U.N. rights officials that Rohingya are enduring “ongoing genocide” a year after a brutal military campaign drove more than 700,000 members of the Muslim ethnic minority into Bangladesh.

An Update on The Montagnards of Vietnam’s Central Highlands

A symposium on Vietnam has turned a spotlight on the country’s oppressed Montagnard minority, whose plight has drawn little attention in recent years.

Myanmar Courts Free Detained Eleven Media Journalists on Bail

Three journalists from Eleven Media who were detained on incitement charges were each freed on 10 million Kyats bail Friday at Tamwe Township Court.

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Opposition Leader Sam Rainsy Goes to Washington Seeking ‘Protections’ For Return...

Acting president of Cambodia’s banned opposition party Sam Rainsy traveled to Washington on Wednesday to request “protections” from the U.S. government ahead of his planned return from self-imposed exile, amid threats of arrest by Prime Minister Hun Sen.