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Market vendors up in arms

Market vendors up in arms

Company is blamed for breaking lease contract.

VENDORS at Phnom Penh's Serei Pheap market say they will protest today if the owner of the property attempts to break their contract and evict them from the site, which is slated for  the development of luxury apartments, stall holders told the Post Monday.  

"The market owner came to tell us to move out of the market by January 13. Otherwise, they will do violence to us because they want to close this market," said  vendor Roeun Koun Thy.

"We have a 25-year contract with the market owner. Now, only 13 years have passed but they want to break the contract," she added.

"They forced us to move from the Dumex market in 1996. They sold us spots in this market and promised us a contract for 25 years, but now they want to move," said another seller, Ly Bunly. "Why don't they make up their mind?"

Keo Sakol, chief of Veal Vong district said: "The vendors ... should sue in the Municipal Court because they are under contract.

"They want to get the restitution from the market owner, and we ask the company - do not allow them to move with empty hands," she added.

"The market owners want to take this land to develop it as apartments, but they should not do this because they have the contract with the vendors," she added.

Srun Sran, governor of Prampi Makara district where the market is located, said: "We have invited vendors and the market owner to negotiate already, and told them to respect the law."

Lim Kimpheng, the market owner, could not be reached for comment Monday. 

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