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Displaced Vendors: Evictions at market spur criticism

Displaced Vendors
Ratanakkiri provincial officials yesterday deployed police to demolish stalls outside a newly renovated market, in a move that drew criticism from affected vendors and rights groups.

Em Vun, the police chief in Banlung town, said yesterday’s eviction deadline had been announced last month, and that the operation had unfolded without violence. “We just take apart the stalls and umbrellas to inform them that we will not allow them to do business along the sidewalk anymore,” he said.

The Heng Dara Company renovated the market and reopened it on May 7. Vendor representative Heng Vin said none of the vendors previously operating just outside the market had been offered new stalls. Sa Leang, a representative of the company, said the area would likely be paved.

Chhay Thy, a provincial investigator for the rights group Adhoc, said the affected vendors had been stationed outside the market for “many years”, and that officials should not have dismantled the stalls without marking off a relocation site. “The authorities did dismantle the stalls in an orderly manner, but there is no solution for the vendors,” he said.

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