Solution Sought for Owners of Demolished Ochheuteal Businesses

Source: Phnom Penh Post | Thu, 19 May 2016, by

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The authorities and members of the public watch as an excavator tears down makeshift stalls on Sihanoukville’s Ochheuteal Beach last month. Photo supplied

The Ministry of Interior has urged the Preah Sihanouk governor’s office to resolve the grievances of 14 vendors whose businesses were cleared from Ochheuteal beach on April 9 following an eviction notice served on March 13.

Interior Ministry Secretary-General Khieu Sopheak sent a letter to Preah Sihanouk Provincial Governor Yun Min on Tuesday in response to a complaint filed with the ministry by the evicted vendors.

The letter called on Min to “find a solution and justice” for the vendors.

“Governor, please check and clarify this case,” wrote Sopheak, who could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Min said he had not received the letter as of yesterday, but was keen to stress that the situation was complex.

He said following the evictions far more people registered for compensation than there were stalls cleared from the beach and that the province lacked the budget to compensate them.

“It’s difficult. Overall, the provincial authorities have no ability to pay compensation to these people, but we will keep looking for a solution,” he said.

The day after the evictions, community representative Phoeuk Sokhen told the Post the authorities had offered the vendors $3,500 each.

Yesterday he said just two of the 14 evictees had been compensated and eight of the remaining 12 had not even been registered.

Meanwhile, 146 businesses and vendors on nearby Royal and Otres beaches, who were also served eviction notices in March, remain in limbo.

The Ministers of Land Management and Tourism held a meeting on Monday to discuss development plans for the beaches.

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