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Sihanoukville beach businesses given brief reprieve

Sihanoukville beachfront vendors protest an eviction notice outside Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall last month. CCFC
Sihanoukville beachfront vendors protest an eviction notice outside Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall last month. CCFC

Sihanoukville beach businesses given brief reprieve

Sihanoukville beachfront businesses that were due to be bulldozed this weekend have been granted a temporary stay of execution.

The latest eviction notice to be served to businesses on Otres, Damnak Sdech and Ochheuteal beaches came on February 13. It demanded they vacate before March 13. However, Governor Y Sokleng yesterday said that while Ochheuteal Beach will be cleared on Tuesday, Otres and Damnak Sdech beaches will be left to operate through next month’s Khmer New Year.

Phoeurk Sokkhen, who has run a business from Ochheuteal Beach for two years, said she was worried about the evictions, but her faith in Prime Minister Hun Sen meant she had not given up hope. “I’m not against the development, but please help the poor people to survive,” Sokkhen implored the premier.

Sihanoukville tourism association vice president Douglas McColl said what happened on the province’s beaches had national ramifications and deserved a policy driven by Phnom Penh.

He also called for greater clarity and transparency in the development process.

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