Upon arriving at Paris, Samdech Techo shared with over 1,000 people and students who reside and study in France various national issues, which CNV unofficially selected and translated as followed:
Cambodian Tradition Uplifts Female Value
Today I am so pleased to be able to meet with our people who have traveled here either from near or far for a get-together on this Sunday. I am very grateful for this welcoming event as I am here in the capacity of head of the Royal Government of Cambodia to conduct official visit in response to the invitation of the President of the French Republic, Francois Hollande. Those who could not enter this room or are elsewhere can also listen to my briefing live via Facebook. […] Since we all are here, can I ask some married Gentlemen a question “how many of you are not afraid of your wives?” I am sure no one dare raise hands to say – “I am.” This is a special point for us Cambodians. We always consider women heads of households. Though gender has recently been a concept that promotes role of women, we have always uplifted women in our country. I am so proud that wherever Cambodians are in this world, they always keep up with their tradition. Compared to other nations in the world, promoting women’s role is not completely new for the people of Cambodia.
Everyone Has Political Rights
Today we have some people demonstrating outside. I do not want to take this opportunity to speak ill of Cambodians, who have endlessly conflicted and blame each other abroad. I do not know what the opposition leader said in New York, but we have here another demonstration. I just wanted to tell you that everyone has his/her own right. I received a message from Phnom Penh that there has been a request for holding a demonstration in Phnom Penh tomorrow. What am I to do? There will be a demonstration in Phnom Penh against the opposition party and to remove the Vice President of the National Assembly, from the opposition party, who had the votes of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and now has had to go by the CPP votes too. I respect right of people to demonstrate […]
In New York, there were about 30 or 50 demonstrators and here there are over 100. In this hall, we are getting together with between 700 and 800 people. I do not demand people in here to do a demonstration. I wish to keep up Cambodian dignity and honor. However, everyone has the right for a demonstration. In France too, there are certain people who support Francois Hollande and some support (Marine) Le Pen, while supporters of (Nicolas) Sarkozy also grow […]
In this get-together, even though I spend hours, there will not be enough time to talk about Cambodian issues. However, I am focusing on a number of issues for our people present here. There is nothing secret and some of you might have traveled to Cambodia too. Some also just returned from the celebration of Phjum Ben ritual and some may have got information from relatives in the country. Some information may have come with proper analysis, while some may not. There is no such thing as secret anymore as people now can exchange messages and pictures altogether. Just now, I saw my wife message coming in but I do not have time to respond […]
More Reforms Cambodia Needs
[…] I think that effort to achieve 7% economic growth is not that hard. To reduce poverty rate 1% per annum in a stable political context is not that hard. However, just economic growth is not enough. Cambodia requires more reforms. Anyone country has to face up with challenges. Should there be no challenges, there would not need to have reforms. France also has to reform and figure out what and where to reform. Europe also undergoes reform. ASEAN Economic Community is coming our way. […] There had been debates in the National Assembly the other day. At the start (lawmakers) said they were not going to talk politics but in the end they did. I took the floor and rebuked. ASEAN has own agenda as far as reform is concerned. Cambodia has reforms to undergo on its own, so does the world and region. The United Nations, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and World Bank -all need reforms of their own. In older days, anyone to be President of the World Bank has to be US citizen. Now they have changed it. Anyone can take this position as long as s/he is competent for the job. Coincidentally, situation has improved for us. It is because there is this group of five major countries called BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The World Bank cannot do whatever it wishes to as before. In Asia, Cambodia is one of the founding members of the Asian Infrastructural Investment Bank (AIIB) […]
In France, according to figures (available publicly) France has external debt of about 85,000 USD per person. The opposition leader came here and said Cambodia owes external debt heavily. You may want to point statistics to him to tell him that in France, anyone new born is 85,000 USD in debt. Cambodian only owes about 400 USD/person. Anyone country in the world owes money to another country or institution. Maybe Brunei is an exceptional case. In order to receive votes, they deceive people. Public debt management requires a ceiling of no more than 40% […] France would have its way to deal with its own problem. France is more than 200 years old democracy. In 1989, when I came here for negotiation for political settlement to the Cambodian conflict, France celebrated its revolutionary event when they decapitated their King. France is a mature democratic country and with ample experience of rule of law. They still need to undergo reform. Cambodia has to make greater efforts – legal, judicial, public service, financial, armed forces, land, fishery, forestry, anti-graft reforms. These are no minor issues. We cannot have only economic growth. We would not survive. We have to work on many other fronts to develop the country.
No to Color Revolution; No Apology, No Good Relations
There had been ideas in Lyon that “if people were not united, the country would disappear.” I wonder how poor are Cambodian brains? We have some 15 million or so population. How could it disappear? I am so happy to see that our people could escape from death under the regime of Pol Pot and war, to reside in France and become French citizen. As Prime Minister, I have instructed a visa that can be used for the whole life for Cambodians living abroad for entry to our country. However, the opposition challenged more. They promised our people living abroad to have right to vote. Though I also wish to do so, there is a big technical question. Would a person possess the right to vote under two nationalities? I think we have done a great deal as our understanding for the opposition party by not listing one nationality as a condition in the election’s law. In Myanmar, if one person is married to a spouse of foreign nationality, the person cannot be President. If I am not broadminded, we may just call for a National Assembly session and propose one nationality law. They will have to leave French, US, Australian nationality to get rights to run for the elections, to become Ministers, State Secretaries, etc.
In Cambodia, voting would start at 7 o’clock in the morning and close at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, at which time relevant officials start counting on the spot. Even the procedure was this clear they accused us of fraud. Every (relevant person) was there, counted votes together, and approved the results with signature together. They claimed the result was fraud […] they organized endless demonstration. What were the goals of those demonstrations? Their ultimate goal was to overthrow. After the elections, they claimed there was no other time better than that time (to do so). What kind of change did they have in mind after the elections? It was nothing but color revolution like in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, etc. (For what they did,) now they have to deal with the consequences. (Immigrants) have fluxed in. They had better receive them. That is the result of color revolution. They overthrow Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Hosni Mubarak, etc. militarily. Now these are their results.
One of the opposition’s goals during the September-15 negotiation […] was to take the post of President of the National Assembly. I asked, in a parliamentary system, please tell me has there anyone country allow leader of the minority to take post of National Assembly’s President? In Cambodia, may I reiterate, we would not allow that. They blamed HM the King, the National Assembly, and Royal Government to be half-full. Is the National Assembly overfull now that they joined? Sam Rainsy said “to arrest a thief, one has to get close to him.” Listening to what he said, would that be acceptable? You may have read (an interview in) Liberation, he likened me to Gaddafi. Let me send a message here if he does not apologize to me, he would not be in good term with me. We had lunch together. We took selfie and posted photos together. After all these, he gave interview likening me to Gaddafi. I then replied – “before I become Gaddafi, you die first.” […]
Did Sam Rainsy respect my dignity? I said if you do not give me peace, I have no reason to give you peace. In 2003, Sam Rainsy said in his campaign “where there is (Sam Rain)Sy, there will not be (Hun) Sen or vice versa.” He is right. There is only (Hun)Sen. There has no (Sam Rain)Sy. In the negotiation, Sam Rainsy said “we are getting old now. We should leave good example for the people.” I said – it is right. I have been waiting for this word to come by. I never implement policy to eliminate anyone. I detest the policy pattern of “fish eating ants while flooding and ants eating fish while recession. We need to dialogue more.” It was then that the culture of dialogue took place. As he said to get close to a thief to catch a thief, I think he has an apology to make before our relation gets back to normal […]
Falsified Maps and Treaty
[…] Tomorrow I will thank President of France about maps they provided to Cambodia for verification. We will follow together where the issue of falsifying treaty leads. (Senator) Hong Sok Huor (arrested and jailed for posting and commenting on falsified treaty of 1979) would not be satisfied to stay in jail alone. Falsification of the treaty could, I do not know, implicate Sean Peng Se […] I was foreign minister then. How could I not know about that article (4). Suddenly, they said – “the two sides will abolish state border …” on Facebook. It was a guilt caught in flagrante, by which either member of the National Assembly or the Senator could not resist arrest […]. As it became a major issue, the content was removed from Facebook page. Who owns that page? It is Sam Rainsy. I would not involve in granting him anymore pardon. I did twice already. They would say I depend on prison, police, and army (to rule). Well, what should I use instead? Please ask (President Francois) Hollande, what does he depend on while in power?
With Vietnam and Laos, and Thailand too, we have maps references. We use no other maps but the ones left by our ancestors, and Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk. With Thailand we are using the 1/200,000 scale maps produced by the French-Siamese commission of 1904-07 Treaty. Siam lost the case of Preah Vihear Temple for the maps. With Vietnam and Laos, we are using 1/100,000 scale maps printed by the French Geographical Service of Indochina. The maps were printed in between 1933 and 1953. I was very worried that our Constitution had two not very strong points. The opposition has made it necessary for me to speak out. We have defined our border with Vietnam on the maps, but not with Laos. We may use similar maps with Laos, though. With Thailand, however, we are using the 1/200,000 scale maps. This is point one. Point 2 is this area between Dak Dam and Dar-Hoyt. Decision of the Governor General of Indochina, the boundary in this area follows the Dar-Hoyt creek […] the French, however, drew maps following the Dak Dang (Dak Dam) creek. That has created a piece of land of about 50 square kilometers that is not corresponding to the decision. While working out with Vietnam, the opposition forced us to reveal it.
[…] As for sea boundary, we demand Brévié line while Vietnam demands equidistance. When the (South Vietnamese) Thieu-Ki occupied Wai Island and expelled the French company, where was Sean Peng Se at the time? He was a Minister of Lon Nol in those days. Why did he not do it? I signed an agreement and took it back to the fold of our nation, what did I do wrong? Where the historical water area comes from? It comes from that fact that we demand for Brévié line from 1936 […] and Vietnam demands a measurement by equidistance. The only option left was to create a historical water area, by which the Wai Island incorporated in our maps since 1982. We have our troops there over 34 years now. I hope you understand the gravity of the situation.
Some do not know a thing about the Paris Peace Agreement but yesterday they criticized it. Elements of the Paris Peace Agreement have incorporated into the Constitution. Commencement of power of the Paris Agreement and UNTAC ended when after the elections, the Constitutional Assembly adopted the Constitution and became the National Assembly, and with the establishment of the Royal Government. Some had suggested when we had problem with Thailand to bring the issue to the attention of the co-chairman of the Paris Peace Agreement. How could they think that? The Security Council of the United Nations is more powerful. The International Court of Justice in The Hague is more relevant. If we were to bring the issue to the attention of the co-chairs of Paris Peace Agreement, would Nicolas Sarkozy and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia be able to do anything? You may note that Thailand does not recognize Indonesian role as mandated by the UN Security Council to observe conflict between Cambodia and Thailand.
Cambodia – No More Division
[…] Relating to the Paris Peace Agreement, I would urge those of you residing in France to visit a number of historic places where Sihanouk-Hun Sen negotiations were conducted – Fere-en-Tardenois, Saint-Germain-en-Laye […] I told Sam Rainsy that dialogue is not new to me. Samdech Krom Preah in those days was not even my dialogue partner. His father was. Son Soubert’s father, Son Sann, was my dialogue partner […] Seating was arranged not alphabetically but according to age. I was given a pass to wear around our neck written “Delegation of Mr. Hun Sen.” I said to the French officials the pass reminded me of Cambodian people killed in Tuol Sleng, (who had to take photo of their identity below their necks), which I demanded that suitable place for Khmer Rouge Pol Pot is in court, not in the Paris Peace Agreement. Secondly, I said to them, the pass should not write “Delegation of Mr. Hun Sen” but “Delegation of 37 Years Old” […] Cambodia has nothing for anyone to fight to divide. Since 1970, Lon Nol who occupied the United Nations and Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk occupied the non-aligned movement. In between 1979 and 1991, the Khmer Rouge occupied the United Nations and the Cambodian seat at the non-aligned movement was left vacant. We now have only one Cambodia and one Royal Government. We have national unity. Every forum belongs to Cambodia. There is no need to lobby for so and so groups. I came to France and be received by the French President as Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia./.