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Sihanoukville beach businesses take fears to assembly

Otres Beach vendors’ representative Ek Sothean (left) and other Sihanoukville vendors prepare to deliver a petition to the National Assembly yesterday.
Otres Beach vendors’ representative Ek Sothean (left) and other Sihanoukville vendors prepare to deliver a petition to the National Assembly yesterday. Heng Chivoan

Sihanoukville beach businesses take fears to assembly

More than 100 businesses from three Sihanoukville beaches hand-delivered a petition to the National Assembly yesterday, calling for the prime minister to intervene in a government directive to have them evicted.

The vendors, from Otres and Ochheauteal beaches, as well as the beach in front of the old royal residence, have been told by the government that, in the name of environmental protection and seaside development, they must vacate the beaches by March 13 or face forced eviction.

“Please consider development that allows us to [stay] and we promise to adhere to the state’s standards, to avoid the impact on environment, keep the beach clean, and follow the government. But please don’t move us out,” Ek Sothean, Otres Beach vendors’ representative, said yesterday.

The provincial government says that any business within 80 metres of the shoreline would have to leave. Lor Kheng, a ruling party lawmaker, accepted the petition yesterday but said she could not make any promises.

“The government will think about the local people, but we do not know how much attention the government will give to this. However, I will report back,” she said, insisting that there was no plan to hand the area off to corporate development.

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