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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vendors take rent grievance to PM

Vendors take rent grievance to PM

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A woman walks by the Toul Kork market in Phnom Penh on Thursday.

Tuol Kork stall holders stage protest in Takhmao, decrying operator's hikes of 95pc, 257pc.

ABOUT 100 vendors from Tuol Kork market staged a protest Thursday at Prime Minister Hun Sen's house in Takhmao to seek his intervention in a rent dispute with market owners.

Heng Chan Sry, a vendor representative, said management had announced large rent hikes from the start of next month.

"The market owners announced in a letter that they will increase stall rental fees ... from US$70 to $250, and from $180 to $350," she said.

Seng Khoun, another vendor representative, said sellers would accept hikes of about 20 percent but that the proposed rise was unjustified.

Market operator King Fortune Industry Co Ltd signed an 80-year lease with the government prior to opening in 2002, Seng Khoun said.

Tuol Kork district Governor Seng Rattanak said city authorities were in talks with the company and vendors to broker a solution to the problem. He said the company had so far signed vendors to one-year leases and that a possible solution was to give them rent cuts for signing five-year leases.

"The reason they [are protesting] ... is they are afraid the market will close," he said, but added that authorities will ensure the market stays open while negotiations proceed.

A King Fortune representative, who gave his name as Chhou, said rents had been raised because of taxes and staff salaries.

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