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Asia-Pacific

Arnaud Dubus, former RFI correspondent dies in Thailand

media Arnaud Dubus, former Southeast Asia correspondent for RFI and other media. Arnaud Dubus

The French diplomat and former RFI correspondent Arnaud Dubus has been found dead in Thailand. The embassy in Bangkok said the 56-year-old had fallen from a train in the Yannawa district in the capital's south.

Police said they were investigating the circumstances of his death, which remained unclear on Tuesday. 

Dubus was known for his profound knowledge of the region, including Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines.

He worked as a correspondent for RFI (including its English service) since October 1988. Last year, he finally said goodbye to journalism and began working for the French embassy in Bangkok as press attaché.

Dubus, who also wrote for French newspaper Libération, studied communication at Celsa-Université-Paris-IV, where he produced a critical thesis called "Journalism and objectivity. Example of the attitude of Libération, Le Monde and Le Nouvel Observateur regarding the Cambodia of the Khmer Rouge (1975-1978): between blindness and partiality."

It launched him on a three-decade long journey through some of the most important events in Southeast Asia. He covered Aung San Suu Kyi confronting the Myanmar junta, before she was put under house arrest. He reported about the repression of the Rohyinga. He tried to make sense of the chaotic political landscape and the military coups in Thailand and made reporting trips to the Philippines.

He wrote several books, including Buddhism and Politics in Thailand and a book on the complex relationship between the Thai and Indonesian armies in the wake of popular uprisings.

For his colleagues in the newsroom in Paris and to those who visited him, he was always ready to share contacts, advice, hospitality and jokes. He will be missed.

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