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The Diplomat  |  Author

Tom Fawthrop

Tom Fawthrop

Tom Fawthrop, based in Southeast Asia, has been a regular contributor to the Guardian, Economist, South China Morning Post, and The Diplomat for many years.

He has been reporting from Phnom Penh, Manila, Chiang Mai, and Dili since the 1980s. He has also produced features for BBC and Al Jazeera TV.

A film-maker, he has directed documentaries including Killing the Mekong, Dam by Dam; The Last Undammed River (The Salween); and Swimming against the Tide (about the Cuban health system).

He is also co-author of the book Getting Away with Genocide? about the long struggle to bring about the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Posts by Tom Fawthrop
April 01, 2021

Can Myanmar’s Protesters Win?

By Tom Fawthrop
They are up against a ruthless, entrenched military. But history tells us not to underestimate the power of the people.

February 27, 2021

Myanmar’s Ethnic Groups Join Together to Reject Military Rule

By Tom Fawthrop
The protest movement is boosted by rare ethnic solidarity as the nation unifies against the coup.
December 23, 2020

Hydropower vs Heritage: Will Laos Lose Luang Prabang?

By Tom Fawthrop
Another Mekong dam project threatens to cost the former royal capital its UNESCO World Heritage status.

October 17, 2020

Myanmar’s High-Risk Election

By Tom Fawthrop
Aung San Suu Kyi’s dangerous gamble to push ahead with a controversial election as a second wave of COVID-19 hits Myanmar hard. 

September 02, 2020

The Last Farewell to the Mighty Mekong

By Tom Fawthrop
The shrinking Tonle Sap, the river's “beating heart,” is the latest wake-up call of the damage wrought by dams.

July 28, 2020

Can Vietnam Prevent the Next Pandemic?

By Tom Fawthrop
As zoonotic diseases become more dangerous, Vietnam moves toward cracking down on wildlife trafficking.
June 01, 2020

COVID-19: Thailand’s Looming Second Wave

By Tom Fawthrop
Can Thailand avoid following in Singapore’s footsteps by upgrading its treatment of migrant workers?

April 24, 2020

Cuba’s Improbable Medical Prowess in Asia

By Tom Fawthrop
Cuba is developing a foothold in Asia with its biotechnology. COVID-19 is likely to expand that cooperation still further.

March 04, 2020

Who Will Save Luang Prabang?

By Tom Fawthrop
The World Heritage site in Laos is endangered by mega-projects and Mekong dams.

November 26, 2019

Did Vietnam Just Doom the Mekong?

By Tom Fawthrop
A policy reversal on Mekong dams has put Hanoi’s credibility – and the river’s fate – on the line.

August 26, 2019

Something Is Very Wrong on the Mekong River

By Tom Fawthrop
This year's drought is just a preview of more dire problems to come if government don't change course.
March 11, 2019

Myanmar’s Myitsone Dam Dilemma

By Tom Fawthrop
As the unpopular project sits in limbo, the government has to choose between upsetting China and enraging its own people.

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