Our colleague and brother Arnaud Dubus is dead. On Monday, 29th of April, the former journalist, recently turned spokesperson for the French embassy in Bangkok, stepped out of his office, leaving his bag and phone behind.
He rode a motorbike-taxi to the nearest sky-train station. Then, after taking the escalator to the platforms, he jumped onto the street below. A few minutes later, he was dead.
We, his friends, a small community of French journalists in Bangkok, are devastated by his suicide. We lost a precious friend, a true fountain of knowledge on the culture and mysteries of Southeast Asia, and a sensitive and kind man. We are also shocked because his death is symptomatic of the struggles thousands of foreign correspondents are facing around the world.
Of course, nothing can ever fully explain Arnaud’s pain and the personal reasons that pushed him to make such a final decision. But we all know that his financial difficulties, especially in the past decade, affected him severely. Even as he contributed to major French media outlets including Liberation, Radio France Internationale and Le Temps for several decades, he could no longer make a decent…