Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities banned trailer-based vendors from placing tables, chairs and umbrellas on the sidewalks of Samdech Techo Street, also known as Poy Tamong Beach Street, from July 12 onwards after some of them spray-painted spots to mark them as their own.

Provincial hall spokesman Kheang Phearom told The Post on July 12 that it would not be a problem if they were mobile, but in this case they placed seats and stands at pedestrian crossings and exercise areas.

He said authorities needed to prevent vendors from claiming state-owned property in a manner that disrupts public order, clashes with town appeal and congests public roads.

“They are selling on public sidewalks and even spraying paint to confirm possession, which is excessive. What I want to emphasise is that all these areas are state property, not privately owned,” he said.

Provincial governor Y Sok Leng on July 11 assigned working groups to educate vendors and informed them about the order, especially measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

For non-compliance, he said the town administration will impose administrative measures such as fines or impoundment of their trailers to maintain the coastal town’s appeal and order for the benefit of residents, tourists and traffic flow.

Sreng Vandeth, provincial coordinator for rights group Licadho, welcomed the move. He said selling goods to visitors from sidewalks will cause the area to lose its appeal.

He said educating vendors is also in line with the instructions of the Ministry of Health and provincial administration for people not to gather, which can cause the spread of Covid-19.

Vandeth requested that authorities arrange a suitable location for vendors so they can sell goods and serve visitors’ needs.