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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
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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.

December 17, 2018

Sons of Revolution: Vietnam’s New Protest Movement

By Tom Fawthrop
Hanoi’s conservative leaders are increasingly haunted by Ho Chi Minh’s legacy.

August 02, 2018

Laos’ Dam Disaster May Not Be Its Last

By Tom Fawthrop
The cost-cutting and lack of oversight that led to the dam's collapse plague other hydropower projects across the country.

June 21, 2018

Vietnam Mass Protests Expose Hanoi’s China Dilemma

By Tom Fawthrop
The protests highlight the difficulties in embracing Chinese investment while defending Vietnamese independence.
July 17, 2017

Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Tribunal: Mission Accomplished?

By Tom Fawthrop
It took 30 years of struggle to make the tribunal happen. Now a new battle begins to fairly judge its legacy.

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