Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vendors at Banlung market protest alleged rent increase

Vendors at Banlung market protest alleged rent increase

Vendors at Banlung market protest alleged rent increase

MORE than 1,000 vendors at Banlung Market in Ratanakkiri province staged a protest on Thursday to demand lower rents and daily charges after the management reportedly raised the price of rent, vendors said Thursday.

“Vendors here had been paying between US$150 and $300 per year for their shops, but in November and December, everyone’s rent went up by $60,” said You Eng Kong, a Banlung vendor representative.

“We’ve been protesting for two days already, ever since we saw on the owner’s books that daily market taxes should have been fixed at 300 riels per shop. We were being charged 500 to 1,000 riels,” he added.

Claims of extortion
Disgruntled vendor Soun Thona said that in addition to overcharging, owners sometimes resorted to outright dishonesty to gain extra money from sellers.

“I sell only ice, but they asked me to pay $300 per year for my stand,” she said. “I had to borrow from my neighbour to pay them, but when I handed them the cash they wrote a receipt for just $150. Where did the other $150 go?”

She continued: “Until now we’ve been afraid to speak up, because they threatened to have anybody who filed a complaint arrested.”

Sa Leang, a representative of the Heng Dara Company, one of the market’s investors, argued that vendors were aware of the market’s policies when they rented shops there, and that these policies have not changed since that time.

“The Banlung Market provides all vendors with shops in the previous market with the opportunity to rent space in the new market once it opens, and about 90 percent of vendors agreed to our terms,” he said.

“While large shops rent for $800 per year, vendors with smaller shops knew they would be charged $50- $90 per year, but some vendors are taking this opportunity to protest and say we increased the price.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all