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Victory for vendors at B'bang market

VENDORS at Battambang's Mong Russei market have won the right to stay at their stalls at the old market after a private development group tried to move them to a new location at their personal expense, vendors told the Post Tuesday.

"We got a good resolution from the authorities at a meeting with them on Saturday. They said they would respect their promise and allow us to manage our market by ourselves," said Reun Ra, representative of vendors at the market.

"Now they are allowing us to repair the market by ourselves and manage it ourselves, and the [adjacent] road construction will be constructed bit by bit, so that there is still space for us to sell," she added.

"All of us welcome this decision because our contract with the district governor says that the market belongs to the sellers, and the authorities say they will not develop the site in the future," she said.

But despite getting a green light from local government authorities, some vendors are still concerned as representatives for the private developer Chiv Battambang Cheak (CBS), who threatened to make vendors sell and buy back their stalls while they repaired the market, were not present for the meeting.

"Now, we are happy but still worried about future company investment in the market, or that authorities will change their minds," said Yim Sary, a vendor.

Authorities pleased

Long Som, governor of Mong Russei district, said Tuesday that he had never wanted to sell the market in the first place.

"I have said already that we have never had a plan to close the old market. I only wanted to construct a new road and repair it for vendors," he said.

"So during the meeting, we agreed with the vendors' proposal, and we have given them the right to manage the market by themselves," he added.

Kok Cheak, director of CBC, was not available for comment Tuesday. 

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