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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UNTAC Clears the Market

UNTAC Clears the Market

Anonymous Reader's View

Reprinted with permission from the Nokorbal Pracheachun (People's Police) newspaper,

Oct. 6 edition

anytime we step into the market, we soon feel sick and dizzy. This is not because

of the bad smell of the goods, but because of the skyrocketing prices.

It is said that the price has to run up and down to catch up with the gold. The merchants

always blame the price of gold for increasing the price of things.

Consequently, one day an old woman stood shouting in the middle of a market to the

store owner, demanding that the seller not talk about gold because she only wanted

food for her children.

The store owners say that everything is more expensive now and there are fewer goods

because UNTAC has bought nearly everything.

The merchants say they don't care whether you can afford to buy their things or not,

because they can sell them to UNTAC. They say that selling things to UNTAC is very

easy, because UNTAC does not bargain. For Khmers, until they decide to buy or not,

they have to bargain and make a hot argument with the shop owners.

Worse still, sometimes the merchants do not want to sell things to the Khmer so they

charge them a very high price so that the Khmers give up their intention.

The poor Khmers can hardly afford to buy Khmer things to eat. The riels are cheap,

but earning them is very difficult for the poor and the price is going up every day.

Being unable to buy delicious food to eat, some poor Khmers have turned to the so-called

"UNTAC chickens"-the chicken carcasses discarded by UNTAC cooks.

Sellers should pity the Khmers and should not put them at the same level as UNTAC.

- Translated by Moeun Chhean Nariddh



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