Sihanoukville officials yesterday began dismantling 62 stalls along O’tres beach following warnings to vendors to remove them after an eviction notice was issued on December 4.
Provincial Hall spokesman Kheang Phearon yesterday said city officials and police officers tore down the stalls as part of an ongoing operation.
“I do not know how many stalls have been dismantled because the working groups have not finished the job and will continue tomorrow,” Mr Phearon said.
Mr Phearon said the authorities want to clean up beaches to provide a pleasant environment for the public and tourists.
On Sunday, Mr Phearon said the authorities had dismantled 126 stalls along O’chhoeuteal beach and there was no resistance from the vendors there.
“The vendors at that beach agreed to move out, but those at O’tres beach have not done so,” he said.
Samon Tha, a vendor at O’tres beach, yesterday said the vendors had refused to move out because their business supports their daily lives.
“Our business along O’tres beach is our rice pot,” she said. “We wanted the authorities to allow us to run our stalls at the same place.”
Ms Tha said O’tres beach vendors had protested for several days, but the authorities insisted the vendors had to vacate the beach.
“We even suggested that the authorities find us another spot to continue our trade but they did not do so,” she said. “We could not do anything when the authorities came to dismantle our stall and could only watch while our stalls were torn down.”
Another vendor Kouy Srey Pich said when the authorities came to dismantle the stalls, some vendors, including her, scrambled to remove their belongings.
“Even though we protested and suggested the Hall provide us with a solution, the authority still took action to clear our stalls,” she said.
In the eviction notice signed by Provincial Governor Kuoch Chamroeun on December 4, Provincial Hall said several vendors trading and living along the beach were doing so in a disorderly manner.
It said the vendors had set up stalls and their activities affected public order, the environment and hygiene in the vicinity of a resort for local and international tourists.