More than 20 vendors living along Koh Puos and Lomherkay beach in Preah Sihanouk’s Ley Bey commune yesterday gathered in front of the Council of Ministers to protest the removal of their stalls and homes.
Men Kalyna, a seller who has been living and selling goods on Lomherkay beach since 1992 without interference , said herself and other vendors were asked to move by provincial authorities to make way for an unknown Chinese company aiming to develop the beach.
She said because she refused to move, provincial authorities forcibly removed her stall last week.
“The provincial authorities destroyed our livelihoods and homes, so we ask Prime Minister Hun Sen for support so they will stop. We have nowhere else to go,” she said.
Officials at the Council of Ministers rejected the petition signed by the vendors, and told them to file another one at the Cabinet of the Prime Minister.
At the Cabinet of the Prime Minister, an official who did not provide his name told the vendors the petition would be handed over to expert officers to find a solution on the issue.
Chhin Seng Nguon, Preah Sihanouk deputy governor, said the coastal land where the vendors live is state land, where authorities have to engage in development to welcome the public.
“Before the removal of the stalls, provincial authorities informed the sellers. The land is public, they cannot claim it as their own,” he said.