Siem Reap Province
THE question of which vendors will be allowed to do business at Siem Reap town’s Phsar Leu market remains unresolved one month after authorities announced they had settled a dispute affecting half the vendors.
On Tuesday, a group of nearly 40 former banana vendors who were evicted from the market in February gathered near the site of their old stalls, demanding that space be carved out of existing stalls to make room for them.
“If they don’t divide the area for us, we should set up stalls at our old location,” said Seng Ravy, one of 38 banana vendors who were kicked out because authorities said they were causing disorder in front of the market. She said authorities have promised to come and settle the situation – a promise that thus far has not been kept.
“When we come, they do not come,” she said. “Our rice has almost run out.”
Meanwhile, the banana vendors’ presence has caused other business owners to worry about their own futures, with rumours spreading throughout the market complex that they will be evicted to make room for the banana sellers.
Food vendor Morn Mong said she has heard the rumours, but believes nothing will come of them after Prime Minister Hun Sen earlier this month chastised market owners for provoking disputes that drive distraught vendors to protest noisily in front of his homes.
Oeun Pov, deputy governor of Siem Reap town, said the conflicts at Phsar Leu have been complicated, with decisions pleasing some vendors and antagonising others. But he said authorities planned to determine which of the vendors will be permitted to sell in the market by this week.