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A blind woman sings for donations on the side of a road in Phnom Penh in November as another singer (left) takes a break.
A blind woman sings for donations on the side of a road in Phnom Penh in November as another singer (left) takes a break. Sreng Meng Srun

Officials deny claims of plan to quash disabled busking

Government officials yesterday denied claims of yet another planned crackdown on disabled street performers in the capital.

City Hall spokesman Mean Chanyada on Wednesday was quoted by local media outlet Fresh News as saying a crackdown would begin this week but yesterday denied his office had any such plans.

Chanyada said he had only heard from municipal social affairs director Sorn Sophal that his office was planning a new crackdown, which have been criticised in the past.

When contacted, Sophal declined to comment and referred questions to the Ministry of Social Affairs, which said it had no plans for a crackdown, before pushing questions back to City Hall. “Maybe Phnom Penh has its own measures planned,” said Touch Channy, director-general of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Em Chanmakara of Cambodia’s Disability Action Council said he hadn’t received a notification of a crackdown, but had a meeting scheduled today with city officials and would raise the issue. “I think we need to find a solution for people with disabilities rather than having crackdowns,” he said.

Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro

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