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Newspaper stands forced to shut down

Newspaper stands forced to shut down

SIX newspaper vendors at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium who were forced to close their stalls to make way for a development project said yesterday that they planned to write to Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Ministry of Information to demand compensation.

Chan Thy, a representative of the vendors, said they received a letter from Prampi Makara district authorities on Tuesday ordering the closure and removal of their stalls.

“We could not sell any newspapers today because we have completely closed our shops here on the orders of Phnom Penh authorities,” she said.
“I would like to appeal to Prime Minister Hun Sen, [Information Minister Khieu Kanharith] and the Phnom Penh governor for intervention, and to pay compensation and find new places for us to continue our business.”

She said her stand had been operating in the same location since 1993, when she paid US$350 to district authorities for permission to set up there.

She added that if there was no immediate solution, the vendors would write to Hun Sen, Khieu Kanharith and Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema “in the coming days”.

Seng Heang, whose stall was also closed, said she’d been operating there since 2008, and that she too had paid $350 for her plot of land. “I have many family members and none of them work,” she said.

“This newspaper shop is my only business.”
District governor Som Sovann said the shops were ordered closed because district authorities needed the land cleared for proposed new developments. He declined to elaborate.

“We cannot pay compensation or find new places for them,” he said. “If they don’t move, we will force them from the area.”

Last week, officials evicted vendors’ stalls to the north and east of the stadium.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith and Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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