Kratie market vendors protest

Source : Khmer Times

Vendors at a market in Kratie province are protesting the irregularity of stall distribution and asking Prime Minister Hun Sen to intervene.

Before the relocation and renovation of Orussey Market, most vendors asked the Kratie city governor and market investors to keep them in the same location, and it was agreed among stakeholders at that time.

But market investors built more than 700 stalls and are selling new stalls for between $2,500 and $10,000. Old stall owners are required to pay from $50 to $200, which contradicts Mr Hun Sen’s recommendation of giving stalls to old traders for free.

“Representatives of the investors have made up to 700 stalls and still say it’s not enough for division, which forces us old traders to move to a different location,” a petition from the vendors said. “With these strong irregularities, we all request Samdech Hun Sen to intervene.”

Market vendor Lin Srey Oun said market stalls had been divided improperly, which had been negotiated prior to construction.

She added there were now more stalls, which changed the location of some stalls and caused overcrowding.

“The stall numbers were set before construction, but once vendors went there after they were built, they found someone else was selling in their stall,” she said.

“It is very messy. Some stalls are required to pay and were not built in their original place.”

She asked Mr Hun Sen to solve their problem because some vendors still did not have a stall, making their lives difficult. During a visit to meet citizens in Kratie province in August 2016, Mr Hun Sen helped resolve an issue with 17 families who had yet to agree with the plan to repair the market.

For the construction and renovation of Orussey Market, the Prime Minister and some donors decided to pay the construction costs for all traders because of the living difficulties they faced.

Kratie provincial governor Sar Chamrong said he had yet to receive the report on the protest because he had just finished a mission in Phnom Penh.

“I will look at the request of those vendors and take action to solve,” he said.

Kratie city governor Yin Vannak, who is also chairman of the Orussey Market construction committee, could not be reached for comment yesterday, but he told local media that there were more than 100 new stalls constructed. However, they were built on an empty lot and did not affect the vendors’ existing stalls.

According to the city governor, only about three percent of vendors were protesting, while about 97 percent of vendors had accepted the conditions.

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