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Arms firm ‘warlord’ removed

(April 8, 1998) One of the most powerful and enigmatic leaders in Laos has been removed from the head of the country’s biggest firm.  After building up the military development firm Bolisat Phakhana Khet Phoudoi, General Cheng Sayavong is now directing the National Tourism Authority as it gears up for Visit Laos Year 1999.

New Hydro Dam Threatens to Drown Lao Government in Debt, Experts Warn

(April 6, 1998) The Theun-Hinboun hydro dam in Lao PDR is scheduled to start generating electricity this week, launching what proponents believe will be a new era in public-private partnerships. Meanwhile, experts warn that megaprojects like Theun-Hinboun threaten to drown the cash-strapped Lao government in debt.

‘Battery of Asia’ may run flat

(April 6, 1998) Thailand’s economic crisis is raising questions over the energy exporting hopes of neighbouring Laos  As two giant turbines begin to roar in the middle of the jungle, Laos is starting to become the "battery of Asia." Last week the $280m Theun-Hinboun dam began producing electricity for neighbouring Thailand, the first of what Laos hopes to be as many as 21 dams spanning this poor landlocked country.

Probe Alert March 1998

A leaked report by the World Bank Inspection Panel has revealed that the bank committed a “serious violations of its policies and procedures” in approving its most recent loan to India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for the massive and controversial thermal power and coal mining projects in the Singrauli area of India.