Lao Dam Breach Highlights Fears Over Massive Projects
Non-government organizations and researchers are calling on the Lao Government to ensure transparency in its investigations on Lao populations affected by massive flooding from a breach in a hydropower dam wall that left more than two dozen people dead last month in southern Laos. The southern Lao township of Attapeu, bore the brunt of a wall of water after the July 23 collapse of a portion of the Xe Pian Xe Namnoy hydropower dam. In addition to the dead many people are missing, with at least 6,000 displaced by the torrent. Keith Barney, a specialist in environmental research and natural resource policy in South East Asia at Australia’s National University, says when faced with disasters and other tragedies governments will move to close down sources of information. "The tendency in many cases when faced with difficult issues or external criticism is to cover up and shut down and block out...
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