PREAH Sihanouk provincial officials said ahead of a meeting today that they had ruled out compensating 70 business owners slated for eviction from Otres beach.
Tuon Bunthol, the chief inspector at Preah Sihanouk provincial hall and the official in charge of resolving the dispute, said yesterday that business owners would be offered a small amount of money to cover transportation costs, but no compensation for the loss of their establishments.
“According to our policy, the province cannot compensate them,” he said.
“Only some small payment to cover the cost of dismantling [their businesses] and transportation will be offered because those vendors have been living and doing business on state property,” Tuon Bunthol added.
The business owners, who occupy a 1.5-kilometre stretch of the beach, were originally set to be evicted on June 30, but that deadline passed without incident after authorities granted appeals for a delay.
The negotiations to take place today appeared to be headed for deadlock, as the business owners reiterated their demand for some form of compensation.
Chao Sarath, a group representative, said authorities would have to force him off the beach if no offer of compensationwas made.
“The vendors were at consensus on Sunday that they will not accept the provincial authority’s policy and will not leave the beach either if there is no compensation,” Chao Sarath said.
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