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Activist denies previous life as pin-up girl

She has become one of the most recognisable faces in the people’s struggle against land evictions in Cambodia, but Tep Vanny isn’t – and never was – a pin-up model, she told the Post yesterday.

A news feature describing the land-rights activist and Boeung Kak lake resident as a former pin-up model surfaced online this week and quickly spread across the Cambodian blogosphere.

It did not, however, elaborate on Tep Vanny’s supposed glamorous past.

Asked yesterday if she had spent time cavorting for the camera as a model, Tep Vanny seemed amused.

“No, I have never done this,” she said as she awaited the arrival of UN Special Rapporteur Surya Subedi at Borei Keila yesterday.

“I was a card dealer at NagaWorld for five years, but I stopped doing that. Thank you, though, for thinking that I could be [a model].”

As village representative, Tep Vanny presented Subedi a petition from Boeung Kak lake residents, calling for their allocated 12.44 hectares of land to be marked.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shane Worrell at



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