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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fish sellers protest removal from streets near Olympic Market

Fish sellers protest removal from streets near Olympic Market

Fish sellers protest removal from streets near Olympic Market

090224_05_2.jpg
090224_05_2.jpg

Authorities have cracked down on sellers using makeshift stalls in streets around the market, saying they are creating ‘traffic jams'.

Photo by:
SOVANN PHILONG

Olympic Market protesters outside the National Assembly Monday.  

MORE than a 100 Olympic Market fish vendors protested in front of the National Assembly Monday after authorities dismantled their makeshift street stalls during nighttime raids.

Vendors said the protest had been called to request that the vendors be allowed to continue to sell in streets surrounding the market, where many said they had been operating since the early 1990s.

"They came to break down our stalls at 2am, with six police trucks and guns in hand," said vendor Them Sophorn, 48.

"In the morning when I arrived at the market, everything was destroyed and police didn't allow us to enter our stalls. Everything was lost. They should have told us to take all our property out," she said.

Although she said people have sold on Streets 310, 193 and 199 "since 1991", authorities said the vendors were blocking traffic and issued a letter February 2, advising them to move from the area by February 22.

Chamkarmon district Governor Lo Yuy said that the vendors were selling "100 percent on the street", and that city authorities wanted "to move them to put things in order and provide them with new stalls".

"They can't take the street to do business, and take it to belong to them," he said. "This place always has traffic jams."

But Khorn Yan, 45, said the sellers were not encroaching on state land since they confined their activities to the footpaths. "I don't think it impacts the state's land because we pay rent to the people owning houses [in the street] to sell on the sidewalks," she said.

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