Nearly 100 vendors who sell outside the Kralanh market in Siem Reap province’s Kralanh district yesterday blocked the road in front of the market after the owner of the market ordered them to move to a new location inside.
Teang Sokoeun, one of the affected vendors who sells along a public road in front of the market, said that the market demanded they move to a new place even though they have been selling in that location for nearly ten years.
Ms Sokoeun said some people complained that the vendors sold on the road, which made it difficult to walk, but the vendors said they had no other place to sell.
“We have been selling there for nearly 10 years. If they give us $10,000 each, we will move to find another place,” she said.
La Chamroeun, another vendor, said that the vendors have protested many times against their potential displacement but still no solution has been found so they blocked the road, seeking intervention.
“We blocked the road in front of the market but we didn’t do anything affecting public order. We just need a solution to keep our place for selling as usual,” he said.
He said the market owner demanded they move to the second floor of the market, which was rebuilt last year, but the vendors refused.
“If we sell at the old place, we sell good but we don’t know if we’ll sell good if we move to another place because our customers know where we are and prefer to find us there,” he said.
After they blocked the road for nearly an hour, local authorities came to intervene and suggested they get out of the road. The vendors agreed to stop and wait for a solution.
Sok Ton, a representative of Kralanh market, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Do Ver, chief of Kralanh commune, said it was very difficult to find a solution because there were mixed feelings among the affected vendors.
“The authority is trying to negotiate with the vendors but some have agreed and some have not,” he said.
Kralanh market was rebuilt after being destroyed by a fire in 2013.