Dozens of vendors from Siem Reap province’s Angkor Kyung Yu night market protested to town authorities yesterday after they were forced to shut up shop with no prior notice.
Gates were erected around the market area yesterday, preventing vendors from entering.
The vendors gathered outside the town hall to demand they be given a replacement area to continue business if they could not return to the market.
A video of the protest showed a vendor representative explaining their plight.
“The town and provincial hall promised not to expel us and we had permission to do business here before, otherwise we would not dare to come here and protest,” he said.
“They said that if they need the land back for development, we would have to leave, but they would find us a new location for our stalls,” he added.
The representative said hundreds of families would be affected by the closure of the market, since their livelihoods depended on it.
Sours Narin, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said he hoped the authorities would find a solution for vendors.
“I hope both sides reach an agreement over a new location for vendors to continue their business,” he said.
However, Mr Narin also criticised vendors in the area for causing disorder by encroaching on the main road, leading to traffic congestion.
Town Governor So Platong told protesters the land was subject to ownership documents that he could not control.
He added that his administration had notified vendors to move out of the area three times already before putting gates up around the market yesterday.
He also said his authorities could not find a replacement place for the vendors to set up stalls. Siem Reap Governor Khim Bunsong could not be reached for comment.