Wednesday February 8, 2023

Radio Free Asia

Villagers in western Laos woke up in a panic last week to the sound of workers blasting rock to prepare for the building of a dam that would submerge their homes on the Mekong River. 

They were distressed because the government has not clarified its relocation plans for them, or offered specific compensation. 

“The authorities haven’t said anything about the relocation or the compensation, but I see [Chinese workers] are working in the water, blasting rock in the river,” one resident of the district, called Pak Lay in Xayaburi province, near the Thai border, said Thursday.

“I think that they’re building a bridge across the Mekong River,” he said, asking not to be identified for security reasons. “Because of the construction, we can’t fish anymore and boats can’t pass through anymore either.”

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