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Battambang vendors protest

REPRESENTATIVES of 91 vendors from Snoeng Market in Battambang province’s Banon district travelled to Phnom Penh to file a complaint against their proposed relocation and called on the Ministry of Interior for help, a vendor said Monday.

On January 20, Banon district authorities sent vendors a letter that said the old market is due to be affected by the upgrade of National Road 57, which runs from Battambang to Pailin, and gave them until January 22 to move to a new market – a deadline that was not met.

One vendor representative, Suon Vannak, denied that the market would block the roadwork. “We would like to as intervention from [Minister of Interior] Sar Kheng to help stop local authorities tearing down our market,” he said.

Mil Sophal, owner of the new market site, said authorities had tried to help the vendors. “When we saw that some vendors would be affected by the development project, we built a new market for them to continue their business,” he said.

“We [offered the new site] free for them for six months, and after six months they have to pay 20,000 riels [about US$4.80] per month.”

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