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Officials, businesses resolve Otres spat

Officials, businesses resolve Otres spat

ALL vendors and business owners who have been ordered to relocate from Sihanoukville’s Otres beach have accepted payments offered by Preah Sihanouk provincial officials.
Sok Phorn, deputy provincial cabinet chief, noted that many of those who stand to be evicted accepted the payments – US$4,000 for business owners and $1,500 from landless vendors – at a meeting on Wednesday, and said the few holdouts had since acquiesced.
Vendors and business owners on a 1.5-kilometre stretch of the beach were told late last month that they would need to leave by June 30 to make way for a municipal garden project. They were granted a short reprieve after police and officials negotiated with rights activists the next day.
Sok Phorn said yesterday that the owners would be given until the end of the week to dismantle and remove their property, and that the redevelopment of the beach would begin early next week.
“The Lo Sokun Company will build a beautiful public park on the beach,” he said. “We hope Otres beach will become beautiful and more attractive for tourists.”
Vendor Eng Phanith said the evictees accepted the payments because they had no other choice.
“The amount of compensation is not enough for me to start a new job because it is too small,” she said.
“Even to build a house it is not enough.”
Vendors had originally requested payments of $5,000 for business owners and $2,500 for landless vendors.

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