Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Olympic Stadium vendors told to bolt

Olympic Stadium vendors told to bolt

Olympic Stadium vendors told to bolt

A MEMBER of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet yesterday told vendors located near Olympic Stadium that the government had approved a plan to carry out their eviction today.

About 100 vendors gathered outside Hun Sen’s Phnom Penh villa at about 8am yesterday morning to protest the eviction, saying officials should grant them a two-year extension so that they could find new locations for their stalls.

A statement signed by Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema and dated October 4 said vendors located to the north and east of the market would have 15 days to relocate to make way for new offices for the
National Olympic Committee. Representatives of the vendors say roughly 1,000 will be affected.

The cabinet official, Kong Chamroeun, told the vendors gathered yesterday that top officials had signed off on a letter written on Monday by Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Im Sethy saying no extension should be granted.

A copy of the letter, obtained yesterday, states that the Education Ministry assumed control of “the controversial premises” from the Chinese development firm Yean Tay Group in July 2007.

“The premises have created lots of problems, such as the problems stemming from the renting of the area to vendors and other business owners,” the letter says.

It goes on to say that “the government has exercised its utmost mercy three times already” by allowing the vendors to stay. A two-year extension was granted in 2003, a six-month extension was granted in 2007 and a three-month extension was granted in May of this year, according to the letter, which was signed by Hun Sen on Wednesday.

After Kong Chamroeun relayed the contents of the letter to the demonstrators yesterday, vendor Khim Sarum shouted in response that it made little sense, saying that the stalls that stand to be affected had been erected in 2005.

“He is not right,” Khim Sarum said.

“He worked improperly. I do not believe Samdech [Hun Sen] knows about this eviction statement. We will never believe it until Samdech tells us directly.”

About 10 minutes after the vendors gathered yesterday, more than 20 military police officers with shields and batons pushed them towards Wat Botum, where they remained for much of the morning.

Though there were slight scuffles, no injuries were reported, vendors and officials said.

City military police commander Thong Piseth said the action had been necessary.

Lim Sophea, the deputy governor of Prampi Makara district, where the stadium and stalls are located, said the eviction would go ahead as scheduled today.

“We have all of the required documents, so we will act in accordance with the ministry’s request,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s