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End of an era as O’tres beach cleared of vendors

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Authorities demolish the stalls at O’tres beach. KPS News

Sihanoukville Hall yesterday reported it has dismantled all stalls on O’tres beach.

Demolishing the stalls began on January 15 and to date, 156 stalls have been torn down on O’tres beach 1 and 2.

It said most of the stalls were built with cement and local authorities found 136 holes used for waste disposal after the stalls were removed.

The move prompted protest from vendors who depend on the location for their livelihood. Yesterday, 62 stall owners rallied in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s home in Phnom Penh to ask for an intervention.

Samon Tha, an O’tres beach vendor, yesterday in Phnom Penh said: “We fear that they are cleaning up the beach so the authorities can keep the location for foreign investment.”

Bo Ra, another vendor, said he travelled from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh to ask for an intervention from Mr Hun Sen because Sihanoukville Hall has not been able to provide a solution.

Mr Ra said the authorities must help the vendors find another location to use or provide new stalls at the same locations as this business is their livelihood. He said: “It also serves the interests of the nation and tourists.”

Kheang Phearum, spokesman for Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall, said: “We want to keep the beach clean for the public, not reserve it for investments.”

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