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Market Vendors Protest Eviction

A Cambodian vendor wearing many kinds of glasses on his front shirt, cleans a sun glasses to sell in the Olympic stadium.

Vendors at the Phnom Penh’s Olympic stadium protested on Monday against an eviction plan saying they cannot move yet as they are still in debt to the bank.

Over 300 vendors gathered in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house to ask for a two-year extension before they can move to a new location.

“If the city authority postpones the removal for two more years, I have a possibility to earn the money to pay back to the bank for my house and land titles,” said Sok Sambath, a clothes seller.

Phnom Penh municipality has set October 19 as the deadline for some 1,000 vendors at eastern and northern parts of the stadium to vacate the areas to pave the way for development.

The authority has threatened to pull the stalls down “without responsibility for compensation and damage”, said a notice from the municipality.

“If the city authority pulled down the market, then I will lose my stall. I will lose everything,” said Sok Sambath.

“I do not oppose to the development project,” said Huan Sreymom, another seller. “But, first of all I will not be able to find a new place and secondly, I have loan from the bank. The authority should give me two more years. I will then sell out my goods to return the money to the bank”.