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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vendors plead for PM's help

Vendors plead for PM's help

Tonob market vendors protest yesterday outside Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house in Kandal province’s Takhmao town.

We do not know whether our letter has reached Hun Sen or not.

Nearly 200 vendors from Tonob market in the capital protested for a second day outside Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house in Kandal province’s Takhmao town yesterday to seek his intervention in what they said was the sudden closure of the market.

Vendors claim that the new owner of the market in Russei Keo district’s Tuol Sangke commune had closed it in order to develop the land, despite the owner’s claims that he was only building a new roof.

Pok Vanthy, a representative of the vendors, claimed that on Saturday protestors had briefly clashed with district police after they reportedly attempted to confiscate the protestors’ motorbikes.

“One man … was injured on his mouth while he tried to take his motorbike back,” he said, adding that yesterday was the fifth protest since the market closed on October 1.

“We do not know whether our letter has reached Hun Sen or not.”

Vendor Eung Ton said protestors had requested that the premier ensure that the market was not dismantled, that any development was halted, that there was no increase in rent and that vendors could sign 10-year contracts for their stalls.

“We have no ability to pay to rent if the stalls are built new, and right now the market has stopped giving us electric and water services,” Eung Ton said.

Officials from Tuol Sangke commune declined to comment yesterday.

Tonob market owner Ou Sethanou said he had become the legal owner of the land this month. “The land is not state owned, the land is private. I am just building a new market roof, but the vendors do not
agree to this.

“It is difficult for us to understand each other,” he said.

Ou Sethanou added that he would continue renovations despite the protests.



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