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Siem Reap vendors celebrate eviction reprieve

About 100 vendors from Phuom Pheak Buon market in Siem Reap’s Kokchak commune celebrated the reversal of a decision by the provincial governor to relocate their stalls from Phuom Pheak Buon market by offering food to monks during a ceremony yesterday.

In a letter issued earlier this month, provincial Governor Sou Phirin ordered vendors to shut their stalls by yesterday and threatened administrative measures if they failed to comply.

“We prayed for the spirits to help us keep the right to operate our businesses, so we wanted to hold a ceremony to express our thankfulness,” said Thon Vannak, a vendor at the market.

The governor passed a resolution allowing the vendors to stay at their current location following a protest held in front of the Saing Num hotel, said another vendor, Nuon Chea.

“He did not say whether we will be able to continue selling there for ever or only temporarily, but we are happy to get this resolution,” he said.

Deputy provincial governor Bunn Thavarith said the market posed a problem for the city’s tourism sector.

“The shops are located too close to Angkor Wat and affect ... tourist activities,” he said.

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