Stadium Vendors Protest, Petition Hun Sen

More than 200 vendors gathered yesterday in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house in Phnom Penh and submitted a petition asking for the postponement of a fast-approaching deadline for their eviction from sites near the city’s Olympic Stadium, vendors said.

City officials on Oct 4 posted a notice giving vendors 15 days to leave stalls on the north and east sides of the stadium, where the city plans to build offices for the National Olympic Committee.

The petition submitted yesterday, signed by 286 vendors from the roadside stalls which are known as Phsar Sampov Meas, asked for a two-year delay in the enforcement of next Tuesday’s deadline, vendor Sok Thida said by telephone yesterday.

“We submitted the letter to Samdech Hun Sen asking him for a delay of two years more,” Ms Thida said. “I cannot leave this place immediately because I do not have money to buy a stall in a new place.”

Ms Thida said vendors hoped to hear back from the government soon.

“We have only five more days for the deadline, so we cannot wait for a long time,” she said. “There will be a lot more vendors protesting if we don’t get an answer in two or three days.”

Vendors have estimated that at least 300 businesses face eviction, while Prampi Makara district governor Soam Sovann said earlier this week that between 150 and 170 stalls were affected by the order. Mr Sovann also said there would be no compensation offered as some vendors’ leases were expired, while other sellers had set up shop illegally.

Phnom Penh deputy governor Pa Socheatvong said yesterday he could not say whether Tuesday’s deadline would be pushed back. “This issue has been sent to the prime minister’s cabinet already,” Mr Socheatvong said. “We have to wait [for a decision].”

Neou Ra, an officer with Mr Hun Sen’s cabinet, confirmed that he had received a letter from vendors. “I already obtained the letter from the vendors,” he said. “We are working on this letter and we don’t know the result yet.”


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