- Esteemed Samdech Preah Akka Moha SangrajaDhibadei, Samdech Preah Sangraja and Buddhist monks;
- Samdech, Excellency, Ladies, Lok Chumteavs, National and International Guests;
- Members of the Meetings and Dear Compatriots
Today is the 39th anniversary of the great and historic victory on 7 January 1979 that saved millions of Cambodian people’s lives from massacre under the brutally genocidal regime, and ushered in a new era of Cambodia in independence, freedom, democracy, and social progress.
We are celebrating this anniversary to commemorate always our supreme gratitude for our heroic cadres and soldiers of the National United Front for Salvation of Kampuchea, and the heroic Vietnamese voluntary troop, who sacrificed their flesh and blood in the fight to overthrow the genocidal regime of Pol Pot, and defense of Cambodian national and people’s survivals. We are expressing our deep gratitude for friendly countries, near and far, and peace and justice loving people in the world for supporting wholeheartedly for the course of national salvation and saving our people from the death abyss. We are bowing in respect for souls of millions of compatriots who pitifully and unjustly lost their lives under the regime of genocide, and praying for their souls to rest in peace.
On this occasion, we all are expressing fidelity and highest gratitude for Preah Karuna Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia, and Samdech Preah Mohaksatrei Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, the Heroic Queen Mother of Cambodia in Freedom, Dignity, and Happiness. We wish Their Majesties good health, strengths, intellects, and longevity to stay as cool shade for the Cambodian nation and to continue leading the Cambodian ship to the shore of progress always in full independence, peace, national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Meeting Participants, Compatriots,
Though decades have passed, we are still remembering always the massive tragedy, national disasters, flamed by wars caused as a result of the coup conducted by the Lon Nol group on 18 March 1970, wired-pulled by foreign nations, and the greatest criminal regime of genocide of the Pol Pot’s Democratic Kampuchea in a period of three years, eight months and twenty days, after the victory on 17 April 1975, turning Cambodia into the most brutal killing fields, a sea of blood and tears of the Cambodian people. Over three million Cambodian people were killed tragically, while national infrastructures were demolished to their roots.
In circumstance of severity that the nation suffered disaster, pure patriotic forces of the Cambodian People’s Party, left from the Pol Pot’s regime of massacre, stood up and heroically fought against the regime, and united to establish the National United Front for Salvation of Kampuchea on 2 December 1978 to lead the people to struggle to liberate the country from the brutal regime. The army of the National United Front for Salvation of Kampuchea, with great, timely-manner and effective support from the Vietnamese voluntary troops, toppled the regime of genocide and scored a brilliant victory on 7 January 1979. The 7-January victory saved lives of people surviving the killings in a timely manner, brought back to the Cambodian people rights that were lost under the regime of Pol Pot, restored and revived spiritual and material values of thousands of years of the Cambodian nation, and contributed actively to peace and security in the region. The 7-January victory gave the Cambodian people their second births and hope for national future. It is the true history that no force can deceive, exaggerate, and destroy.
After the liberation, while enjoying the national revival, Cambodia encountered uncountable challenges and hardships caused by the threat of attempted return of the genocidal regime, destructive war conducted by remnants everywhere, and severe consequences in every fields left from the regime of Pol Pot. It should be reminded that after the fall of Pol Pot’s regime, their broken forces dispersed and re-grouped at the western border. They were aided and abetted by some countries to survive and to make war aimed at infiltrating and overthrowing the authority of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea, which was established after the 7-January victory. It was another difficult phase that the Cambodian People’s Party had to restore economy, society, and people’s livelihood from scratch and empty hands, on the one hand, and to fight to prevent the return of the regime of Pol Pot on the other, while in its poor condition, suffered further unjustly political and economic embargos from some countries, who united together to eliminate the People’s Republic. Should we not be able to prevent the return of the genocide, we would not have survived and have had everything we do today. However, with leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party, and the great solidary of the people, our nation overcame threats victoriously, stood up, and scored great achievements in all fields. That was very deeply meaningful in our history for long lasting existence, and progress of the Cambodian nation.
The past 39 years clearly indicates that stemming from the 7-January victory, Cambodia has been marching on a correct direction in accordance with our people’s sacred aspiration, and in lines with common tendency in region as well as the world, no matter how many difficulties and flexibility required:
- Cambodia – previously was a killing field, a protracted battlefield of war, a fearful insecure place – has become a land of peace and freedom, where people live in harmony, and an attractive tourist destination in the region and in the world receiving up to 5.6 million tourists in 2017.
- Cambodia – previously was covered with dictatorship of the Pol Pot’s butchers, a country insulted by many, has now become a country adhering strictly to principle of democracy, freedom, liberal pluralism, promotion on human rights and dignity; implementing regularly a free, fair and just elections; abiding by rule of law and legal principles; and a state that is full of sovereignty and cannot be infringed upon.
- Cambodia – previously was under economic and political embargoes, has now become a country that is integrating actively into the region and the world, good friendly relation and cooperation with other countries, while actively fulfilling its role with equal rights and footing in every international, regional and world affairs.
- Cambodia – previously received the UN peacekeeping troops, in just over one decade, has sent its peacekeeping troop to many countries under the framework of the UN operations.
- Cambodia, where its national economy foundation was destroyed completely, covered by poverty and lack of food, has now become a country that exports rice, ranks among countries that achieved sustainably high economic growth at an average rate of 7.7% per annum in the last two decades, while realizing progress in poverty reduction. Cambodia has achieved one of many important milestones in its history to transform from a low-income country to become a lower-middle income country, and is progressing to become a higher-income country by 2030.
These mentioned above are major historic transformations of Cambodia in nearly four decades. They stemmed from the correct leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party, from energetic participation with patriotism of our people of all strata, races, faiths, religions, civil servants, armed forces, farmers, workers, traders, laborers, and progressive circles in society in the course of restoring, building, and defending motherland, while enjoying faithful assistance from friendly countries – near and far, and international community.
Meeting Participants, Compatriots,
The 7-January spirit eternally exists in the heart of every Cambodian, and every generation thereafter. The 7-January spirit is a light that shows us the road to overcome every obstacles and consequences in every circumstances towards successes. The 7-January victory is a strand of great and unbreakable national solidarity. We are determined to safeguarding and promoting the glorious spirit of 7 January always to score more new achievements in the construction and defense of, and in preventing disastrous war and genocidal crimes from recurring in our motherland. Only those who wish to destroy and bring backwardness to the nation, and those who forget their births, nation, and people, were against the victory on 7 January.
As we are now stepping into 2018, the fifth year of implementation of the political platform and the third phase rectangular strategy of the Royal Government in the fifth legislative term, after so many new achievements we have achieved in the passing year:
- We have strengthened further people’s national defense foundation and national security to guarantee safeguarding of territorial integrity, peace, political stability, and social and national harmony. We have taken effective legal measures to thwart successfully attempt of color revolution by the opposition party acting in collusion with foreign circles aimed at overthrowing the legal Royal Government. The color revolution organization mastermind in Cambodia to cheat and betray people’s wills has been neutralized and certain persons have been brought for trial in conformity with laws in force. It is on this basis that Cambodia is firmly defending its peace, independence, and sovereignty, evading further national disasters, and guaranteeing progress on a correct path of democracy, human rights, and rule of law.
- We have furthered implemented with strong will and effectiveness process of state reforms at all levels and sectors. It has a positive repercussion on state institutions’ governances, strengthening of justice, social equity, national development, and is enjoying people’s accolades.
- We have maintained peace, political stability, and firm security to guarantee Cambodia’s realization of further achievements in process of socio-economic development and improvement of living condition of our people. Cambodia has scored a growth of 6.9% in 2017. Such a strong growth has been reflected through progress made in the field of industry, manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and services, including those of tourism and real estates, etc. It should be noted that Cambodia is transforming its economic infrastructure from one that depends on agriculture to one that depends on industry and service sectors.
Cambodia has implemented a careful macroeconomic policy and stabilized its economy, while driving and raising high economic diversity, competition, including productions and domestic consumption. The exchange rate stabilizes, and inflation rate has been at a controllable level, while foreign reserve has increased every year thanks to positive growth of foreign direct investment, and improved balance of payment.
People’s living condition improvement has been reflected through social indicators, especially increase of GDP average per capita from 1,042 USD in 2013 to 1,435 USD in 2017. Poverty rate has dropped sharply from 53.5% in 2004 to 13.5% in 2014, and continues to drop further. Along with this, gap of people’s incomes has also narrowed gradually.
Realization of high economic growth and macroeconomic stability in context of low inflation, and stable exchange rate, has allowed chances for the Cambodian people of all levels in the country to have more jobs opportunity, and make more incomes. It is in this note that civil servants and the armed forces will receive higher income year after year, while we are implementing policy to increase a salary of over one million Riel in 2018. Hundreds of thousands of workers and employees working in the private sector will benefit from chance to have increased income to 170 USD per month in 2018, through the implementation of the Royal Government’s policy to increase minimum pay for workers and employees in garment and apparel sectors every year. That has not yet included other Royal Government’s social protection policies. Agricultural production this year has achieved a higher yield, while there is a better price for agricultural produces. Aside from chance to seek more jobs and higher incomes for millions of people above, the Royal Government has issued necessary measures and policy aimed at resolving difficulties, concerns, addressing aspirations of our people, and solving national social and economic challenges. In 2018, the Royal Government launches a healthcare fund for civil servants and armed forces, retirees, councilors of all levels, and village officials. The Royal Government is also continuing organization of social protection policies on health and other risks to extend its coverage for people in the whole country.
Meeting Participants, Compatriots,
The past 39 years have been ones of solidarity, heroism, and victories. Our efforts in the last 39 years have transformed our country from ashes to revival, and proud progresses. That has bolstered foundation for us to advance further to realize supreme goal of “a Cambodia of independence, peace, freedom, neutrality, democracy, and progress.” It is certain that our way ahead is still full of obstacles. However, none of them would be able to prevent our endeavors to realize our aspiration as long as our people are in unity, solidarity, and of the opinion to continue on this correct path. We must have confidence in our efforts and remember always that national internal factors determine victories and not those external ones. It is in this spirit that we are determined resolutely to defend and keep our hard-won peace firm, and long lasting, no matter what price it requires us to pay. Peace is essential factor to guarantee progress of democracy and human rights, to ensure sustainable and equitable development, and to guarantee honorably peaceful lives and living conditions of our people. Should we lose peace, we would be losing everything.
In this point, I am underlining for our compatriots that though the organization of color revolution was dismantled, perfidious schemes of ill-willed circles taking commands from behind their backs for color revolution in Cambodia have not yet ended. They continue to use good words on democracy, freedom, rule of law, and humanity, but in reality, they block true democracy, freedom, and rule of law from progressing. They choose certain individuals who are against the Royal Government, encouraging certain non-governmental organizations and media to abuse the laws, while abandoning the Cambodian people and holding them their political hostages. Such actions are not new though. Those are what they had been doing in the 1980s aimed at suffocating the People’s Republic of Kampuchea militarily, economically, and politically.
Those foreign circles pretended to overlook actuality in Cambodia and are making efforts to cover up their failures, while continuing to pressure the Royal Government to act at their wills under the pretext of democracy and human rights, and through threats to cut off assistances and other strict measures, which are interfering grossly in the sphere of competency of a sovereign state. On behalf of a sovereign state, Cambodia bows to no external pressure, and would not allow resolutely changes by color revolution to happen because such policy has been creating internal conflicts, instability, insecurity, war, sufferings, displacements, and unjust loss of lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in some countries. Cambodia has had sufficient lessons on which to continue its march forwards on the basis of defending independence, sovereignty, and holding rights to determine our own destiny. Along with this, we hope that those circles will see and accept the truth, live with the Cambodian people and stop creating obstacles for our pitiful Cambodian motherland.
In this auspicious occasion, I wish to affirm that a true democracy in Cambodia does not backtrack or drop low. It is on the contrary, it has been kept and bolstered firmly further along with rule of law principle in the Cambodian people and national interests. Only fake democracy has been eliminated. The Cambodian People’s Party adhere firmly to a political regime of democracy and liberal pluralism stipulated in the Constitution. The Party will take parts in competing freely and in equal footing with other political parties that are operating legally in Cambodia in the forthcoming fourth legislative Senate elections on 25 February 2018, and the sixth legislative term National Assembly elections on 29 July 2018. Cambodia is deeply grateful to countries that are understanding the true situation and the Cambodian people’s aspiration, while continuing to provide faithful assistance to the elections in Cambodia.
The Cambodian People’s Party is furthering implementation of measures taken by the Royal Government in raising high good governance of public institutions of every level, strictly and equally implementing laws to guarantee effective works, to eliminate negative phenomena, to strengthen social justice and equity, to guarantee public order, and to provide public service closer to people’s access. The Party will continue to make efforts to implement its political platform to score more new achievements in every fields to respond to people’s aspirations and to address people’s concerns, while continuing to implement measures and policies aimed at improving and raising high living standard of the people. Along with this very effort, I am calling on the whole Cambodian people to increase further national unity, and solidarity for the protection of peace, to safeguard achievements that we have scored so far, and to continue national and social development making Cambodia a “Kingdom of Wonder” that many in the world would wish to know, visit and take pictures of a symbolized prosperous civilization of our nation.
On this auspicious occasion, on behalves of Samdech Akka Moha Punhea Chakrey Heng Samrin, leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party, and my own behalf, I wish to convey my deepest respect and gratitude for our compatriots, inside the country and abroad, for providing their steadfast supports for the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party in the last 39 years, making it capable of fulfilling successfully missions to serve our nation. The Cambodian People’s Party will continue to do everything for the sake of peaceful life and happiness of our nation and people.
I also thank deeply political parties, and civil societies, who participate in safeguarding peace, political stability, defending of national sovereignty, bolstering democracy, human rights, and rule of law in Cambodia. On this occasion too, I offer my thanks to friendly countries – near and far, development partners and international organizations for providing assistances and supports for the just course of the Cambodian people in every phases, and for continuing to strengthen and expanding further relations and fruitful cooperation with the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Finally, please allow to offer the five Buddhist blessings for Samdech Preah Moha Sangaraja Dhibaei, Samdech Snagaraja, and Buddhist monks, and Excellency, Ladies, Lok Chumteavs, national and international guests, members of the meeting and compatriots./.