giving up the coast
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.

Ream National Park (Wikimedia Commons)

Tracts of National Park, Disputed Area Privatized in Preah Sihanouk

The government has granted nearly 200 hectares of Ream National Park and flooded forest land that a local official said was disputed in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nob district to companies and private individuals, to the surprise of two commune officials.