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Officials to meet over Thai work cards

A new requirement for Cambodian vendors at the Chong Chom Market in Thailand’s Surin province – across from Oddar Meanchey province on the Cambodian side – to get labour cards has been postponed pending further negotiations.

Thai authorities began demanding that the some 2,000 Cambodian vendors that sell goods at the market obtain the labour cards last week. The vendors would have to pay 1,250 baht (about $35) for the cards every three months.

About 10 vendors who did not have the cards were arrested by Thai police during a crackdown and released the next day.

However, following the intervention of Cambodian officials, the Thai authorities have agreed to delay enforcement until both sides meet, according to Than Kimkan, O’Smach border checkpoint chief.

Both sides plan to meet soon after the Khmer New Year to find an alternative solution that’s less costly for the vendors, Them Samath, O’Smach commune chief, said.

Sun Heay, director of the Labour Department in Oddar Meanchey province, said he met with Thai authorities on Wednesday and was told that the vendors must follow the law. However, the vendors don’t have visas or passports, which makes it impossible for them to obtain labour cards, he added.

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