Authorities on Sunday warned some 100 vendors around the Preah Ang Thom pagoda on Kulen Mountain to take down their stalls in order to beautify the area for tourists, although no compensation has been offered by authorities, who say they are looking for a relocation site.
Chea Thorn, one of the vendors, said some of them have sold merchandise in the area for up to 20 years. “If [we] do not pull [the stalls] down, the security forces will pull them down, and they just told us that those shops affect the order at the place, but in fact, they do not cause any impact,” he said.
Sun Eng, police chief in Svay Leu district, said authorities had given vendors the first notice before the Khmer New Year, but vendors were allowed to sell their goods during the holiday for three days after they complained.
The Ministry of Environment last year promised the vendors it would find another location for them.
Sao Sopheap, spokesman for the ministry, said his ministry was in talks with the Ministry of Economy and Finance to build new stalls for the vendors at the Phnom Kulen National Park, but officials were still studying the project with a private company.