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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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May 31, 2017

Smuggling Away Myanmar’s Chance for Peace

By Tom Fawthrop
Jade smuggling is fueling ethnic conflict in resource-rich Kachin state.
January 28, 2017

China’s Myanmar Dam Hypocrisy

By Tom Fawthrop
China is preserving the ecology of the Nu River within its borders. Downstream in Myanmar, it's a different story.

November 28, 2016

Killing the Mekong, Dam by Dam

By Tom Fawthrop
Regional governments have been underestimating the environmental and economic costs of Mekong dams.

June 13, 2016

East Asia’s Last Undammed River

By Tom Fawthrop
The Salween is one of the last major rivers undammed along its entire course. Can it stay that way?

August 08, 2015

‘Drug Free’ ASEAN by 2015?

By Tom Fawthrop
There is a growing consensus within the region that the war on drugs has failed.
December 29, 2014

The Growing Mekong Controversy

By Tom Fawthrop
Mekong consultants have exposed serious flaws in the Don Sahong Dam project, which continues regardless.

July 02, 2013

Trouble on the Mekong

By Tom Fawthrop
Europe’s Pöyry Energy and its controversial role as Xayaburi dam consultant have been challenged under new OECD CSR rules.
March 26, 2013

Burma: A Fragile Peace

By Tom Fawthrop
The feting of Burmese President Thein Sein in Europe and elsewhere is premature. Much work remains for Burma to achieve a true peace.

November 30, 2012

The New War on Drugs: ASEAN Style

By Tom Fawthrop
ASEAN nations are stepping up their fight against illegal drugs as other parts of the world are taking a much different approach.

August 02, 2012

Battle for the Mekong Heats Up

By Tom Fawthrop
Laos’s Xayaburi dam project faces opposition throughout the region over its ecological impact.

May 16, 2012

Will Reform Bring Burma Peace?

By Tom Fawthrop
Signs of democratic reforms in Burma are welcome. But are they likely to help bring an end to ethnic unrest in Kachin state?
April 06, 2012

Burma’s Misguided Drug War

By Tom Fawthrop
Keen to impress the West and get sanctions lifted, Burma is cracking down on opium production. But hundreds of thousands may be left in poverty.

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