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Market plans inspire rally

Vendors from Doeum Kor Market protest yesterday in Phnom Penh’s Wat Botum Park demanding a halt to redevelopment plans.
Vendors from Doeum Kor Market protest yesterday in Phnom Penh’s Wat Botum Park demanding a halt to redevelopment plans. Heng Chivoan

Market plans inspire rally

Nearly 200 vendors from Phnom Penh’s Doeum Kor Market gathered in Wat Botum Park yesterday to offer a petition asking Prime Minister Hun Sen to block city plans to demolish and replace the market with a multi-storey building.

The petition states that vendors are still concerned following a meeting with municipal officials last month that the city plans to transfer the market to private management, resulting in a rent hike.

The document goes on to request that the premier postpone the renovation of the market until 2021.

Rice vendor Sab Sony said that City Hall had promised to hold off on construction as long as vendors opposed the market, but in recent days city and market authorities had been seen taking measurements.

“We strongly disagreed with [the renovation], because we are poor and we sell inside the market.

Where are we supposed to sell if the market is modernised?” she said.

Phal Chandara, an official on Hun Sen’s cabinet, received the petition and told demonstrators he had immediately contacted the municipal governor’s office about its plans.

“There will be no reconstruction of the market.

The plan has already been formulated, but it will not be carried out if the people disagree,” he told the group, which then dispersed.

Doeum Kor Market director Seng Sarorn and Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman Long Dimanche could not be reached for comment.

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