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Otres owners move to postpone eviction

BUSINESS owners on Sihanoukville’s Otres beach who were told they would be evicted within the month have sent a letter to Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities begging them to delay the evictions by at least three years.

About 100 business owners were told by Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities at a meeting on January 9 that they would have to close their businesses and leave the beach to make way for a new garden.

Vendor representative Ek Vithen said that on Monday vendors sent a letter to provincial authorities appealing the decision because the time frame of the evictions did not give vendors time to relocate.

“We want the government to delay the date of these evictions by more than three years because we want to have enough time to make money from our businesses, and we want the government to develop an alternative beach for us,’’ he said.

Preah Sihanouk Deputy Governor Phai Phan, who is in charge of the issue, said it was impossible for him to delay the planned evictions because they had come as a directive from the Council of Ministers and the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

“As soon as possible – by the end of the month – authorities will move vendors from the seaside following a directive from the CDC and the
Council of Ministers so the company can start developing the beach,” he said.

Phai Phan confirmed that the Lou Sokun Company would develop the beach garden.

Another vendor, Sok Heng, said vendors were already feeling the impact of the decision and plan to organise a protest at Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Takhmao residence once they know the schedule for evictions.

“Customers know Otres beach will be developed by the government, so no one is selling much food,” he said.

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