Danielle Keeton-Olsen
A fence being built near plots granted to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s daughters Hun Mana and Hun Maly across the hilly terrain of Prey Nob district's Ream commune in Preah Sihanouk province, on December 1, 2020. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Villages Emptied Amid an Extensive Web of Elites’ Landholdings

In the past several months, some of the most powerful people in Cambodia have been granted Preah Sihanouk land that boasts stunning ocean views and proximity to key tourist developments. Much of the area sits empty, and interviews with hired guards and local officials suggest there is a web of elite landholdings as many hold onto the plots while their value steadily climbs.

L’bokator master Ke Som On, 80, at his house in Kampong Chhnang province’s Rolea Ba’ier district. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

An Ancient Martial Art, Transformed by Time, War, Seeks Return to Prominence

A small number of remaining old masters are fighting to preserve Cambodian martial arts l’bokator after surviving the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. Through their passion, the martial art is slowly regaining its popularity — with some of its ritualistic and violent traditions transformed as they are passed onto younger generations.

A l’bokator trainee, in Kampong Chhnang province’s Rolea Ba’ier district. (Hy Chhay/VOD)

Video: L’Bokator Seeks a Return to Prominence

A small number of remaining old masters are fighting to preserve Cambodian martial arts l’bokator after surviving the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. Through their passion, the martial art is slowly regaining its popularity — with some of its ritualistic and violent traditions transformed as they are passed onto younger generations.

Fisherman Ngoy Kim, 46, gathers his nets in a wetland near the new airport development in Kandal province's Kandal Stung district on January 8, 2021. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

2,600 Hectares Made Private Land for Airport Company’s Development

The new Phnom Penh airport’s developers have received nearly 2,600 hectares of state land to develop an airport city around the proposed travel hub, while fishers and farmers currently using the land hold onto their increasingly-challenging livelihoods for as long as they can.

The Laos-Cambodia transmission line’s planned path through the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary. Orange dots mark deforestation in 2019 and 2020 detected by the University of Maryland's Global Land Analysis and Discovery. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Power Line to Cut Through Prey Lang, Troubling Conservation Partners

Cambodia’s state electricity provider is pushing ahead with the construction of a transmission line through the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, a plan that has caused concerns for representatives of three multimillion-dollar conservation projects as well as officials in the environment and forestry ministries.

Sitanan Satsaksit gives interviews to the press after a questioning over the disappearance of her brother, Thai activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit, outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on December 8, 2020. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Thai Activist’s Sister Encouraged by Judge’s Questioning on Abduction

More than six months after Thai activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit disappeared from outside his Phnom Penh apartment, his sister Sitanan testified before the Phnom Penh court on Tuesday in an effort to prevent her brother’s alleged abduction from turning into a cold case.