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No settlement for R’kiri vendors

No settlement for R’kiri vendors

AROUND 30 vendors from Ratanakkiri province’s Banlung Market plan to rally in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house today after a request from the premier’s Cabinet to resolve the dispute failed to yield an adequate solution, a vendor representative said Monday.

Vendors have accused the market’s owners of raising rents late last year following the completion of a renovation project.

You Eng Kong, who represents about 1,000 vendors, said vendors should only be charged US$90 per year to rent stalls in the market. Instead, he said, vendors have been asked to pay between $150 and $300.

Sa Leang, a spokesman for the Heng Dara Company, one of the market’s investors, said the $90 rate was no longer available, and that 15 vendors had agreed to the new rates during a meeting last week.

More than 1,000 vendors staged a protest at Banlung market last December to demand lower rent.

Amid threats of additional protests, Ho Sothy, the chief of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cabinet, sent a letter earlier this month requesting that Ratanakkiri province officials intervene to resolve the dispute.

Vendor representatives said Monday that deals had been made with only a handful of vendors.

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