In addition to his prepared text, Samdech Hun Sen elaborated on the Japanese assistance, the 7-January victory anniversary, which are being selected and translated as follow:
… I have a great pleasure to be present here again after my visit here on January 5, 2001, with HE Gotaro Ogawa, the Japanese Ambassador. There were then a number of proposals and HE Ogawa and I had jointly accepted and they are being inaugurated today. In addition to this event, my wife and I will also present the graduates of the 11th and 12th batches with their diplomas and open the mid-level teachers training course for the 13th and 14th batches of students. Furthermore, today is January 6 and by this time in 1979, a number of provinces had already been liberated and the army was ready to march into the capital city of Phnom Penh – the main headquarter of Pol Pot. So our meeting here today embraces quite a number of meanings – the inauguration and the greetings to our revival by the January-7 victory. By taking a bit of this and a bit of that in my speech today, I hope HE Ambassador of Japan would grant me his understanding.
… First of all I would like to take this opportunity to express my profound thanks to the Royal Government of Japan, through HE Ambassador, who had given his speech in Khmer. He recalled that he visited the place with me on January 5, 2001 and I (Hun Sen) was requesting for his assistance in building the auditorium and the girl’s apartment… I am glad that the proposals have been addressed and I hope that Samdech Hun Sen would not give me a new task to fulfil… I wish to stress that I would not offer HE Ambassador a new task as throughout Cambodia we have seen the Japanese assistance whether in school building or in road and bridge construction. Take for instance Japan has promised to assist in renovating the National Road 1 and building a bridge over the Mekong at Neak Loeung. I have filed this request already to HE Prime Minister Koizumi already. So I would not ask Your Excellency to assist this small project, but a big one.
… In the last ten years, Japan proved to be the number-1 donor whose provision of development assistance has played very important role in the development of Cambodia. Let’s take for instance this great property of the Kizuna Bridge over the Mekong at Kompong Cham. If we were to have no Japanese assistance, we may have to wait 20, 30 or even 100 years for the bridge to take place. We might at this moment think of fixing the old ferry or planning to purchase a new ferry. Now the bridge has stood to close the gap in traffic from one side of the river to another. This helps our people to commute better. The Japanese assistance, whether by its Royal Government or NGOs, private companies, and generous fellow Japanese citizens are being provided to the Royal Government and people of Cambodia. Aside from the small-scale assistance by the Japanese Government, we have hundreds of school buildings built with the Japanese assistance. On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Cambodian people, I wish to express our deep thanks for the generous assistance given to the people of Cambodia for the sake of the reconstruction and development of Cambodia.
… May I recall that this idea of building auditorium and girl’s apartment has been my wish for a long time and it has now become a reality for the first time in Kandal province’s regional pedagogical center. When we talk about gender equity, problems could not always be solved by meetings in huge hotels but could be addressed by real action. This is why I used to mention that we should spend the little amount possible of our money on meetings, and allocate the biggest amount possible to real action. If we were to address the inequality between men and women, we then had to provide opportunity to women. I could remember that in 1989 or 1990, we had decided to relocate school facility at the closest distance possible to the village or commune. Otherwise we would not be able to address the issue to gender inequality (in education.) Our people would not let their girls to study far away from homes. We are now making every effort to provide primary and secondary education closer to them. Take for instance in Rolea Phaea there are up to two secondary schools in the district so our girl students do not have to travel far away, which is the concern of their parents. We are now addressing this issue of gender equity among male and female teachers. This is the Teachers Training Center, equal access should be guaranteed for both female and male teachers. This girl’s apartment is having this issue of residence solved. As I used to say that men are more fortunate because they may have no problem in taking residence in the Buddhist pagoda, while we have to take this need of apartment for women students into consideration. I wish to once again thank HE Ambassador Ogawa for his prompt response to my request. The regional pedagogical center (RPC) absorbs teacher trainees from Kompong Chhnang, Kompong Speu and Kandal. Starting from there the Royal Government will also look into possibilities to provide similar facilities to other regional teacher training centers (RTTC.)
… In 2002, the amount of budget spent for the education sector absorbed 18,5 % of our current expense and we have planned to increase the budget to 20% of the current expense by 2005. I am sure we will be able to do that. This is what I say “the frog-jump movement.” Maybe I should take this time to tell you all a bit about the people and country of Japan. The people of Japan have been working hard in order to survive and share their resources to other people. I used to spend some time in a small city or what they call “one village, one product.” Three factors impressed me most. Firstly, the Japanese people are very creative and economical. They made use of all sorts and sizes of wood. They made soupspoon from small bamboo, while the small bamboo would be firewood in Cambodia. They sell those products for both their livelihood and the country. Part of the income has been shared to other country like Cambodia. This deserves appreciation and praise. Secondly, this kind of leave to be consumed with raw fish, I saw an old lady putting together a bunch of about ten leaves or so. What she was doing looked like the work of an ethnic group but the leaves are exported throughout the world. So the Japanese people are working hard and the school of pedagogy here in Kandal province is also the result of the people of Japan. Thirdly, I seemed to see no land left idle. They grow in every inch of their lands while we have thousands of hectares left uncultivated. We went to observe the transplanted rice and I could say from my seeing that they were there to look after their rice all the times.
… Just now HE Ogawa proposed that we are taking care of the buildings that are born out of the Japanese assistance. This is not far beyond our ability to respond. First, we have to make use of the donation in an effective and efficient manner. Second, while using it, we also have to provide care and maintenance. These are done in order that we could use them for a long time. Through HE Ambassador Ogawa, may I send a message to the people of Japan that what has been pledged to provide to Cambodia has already been received by the people of Cambodia…
… Progress could be made in the area of gender issue only by providing opportunity to all, especially to women so that they could benefit from education. I would propose from here to all companies to recruit more female workers. Please be clear that the problem does not lie in female or male, rich or poor, living in a rag-tag home or huge villa because everyone is born naked. Some people underestimate the poor, and I have a duty to protect the poor. They make a difference only when they go through education. So we have to broaden our education service by sending our teachers to rural areas. Some kids are born in large house, air-conditioned room, but they become gangster leaders. Some kids are born in a contrary condition, but they turn out to be the learned.
… The building that I have built here is just an addition to what had already been done. 24 years ago, January 7, 1979, if I remember well, the districts of Saang, Koh Thom, Loeuk Dek and a part of Kien Svay were liberated already and the army were approaching the capital city of Phnom Penh. Also liberated by then was one part of Lvea Em and Khsach Kandal districts. We also had northeastern and eastern provinces of Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Kratie, Stoeungtreng, Kompong Cham, Svay Rieng and Prey Veng liberated on January 5, following by Kandal on January 6 and Phnom Penh on January 7. If we close our eyes and try to recall the past memory, 24 years ago, if we were summoned to gather together like this, one would be killed if one asked for one more soupspoon of rice porridge. Not to mention such a request for big assistance. Today, in this gathering, we have plenty of pleasure and there is also a request to go visit Angkor Wat. What is worse is that million of people died without the knowledge of their families. Up to now, many do not even know where the bodies of their loved ones lay. I also have such a sad memory and feeling when I, as head of the regiment, was refused to bury my child who died in front of me with blood outpouring from his mouth. If I were to make a wrong decision to shoot the barbarous commander, I would not stand a chance to lead the national liberation movement. It was a suffering to the extend that one could hardly bear. Seeing one’s child break the backbone with blood outpouring, it is hard to bear with the command “let’s the medical comrade take (him/her) for burial. Even if you go with them, your child would not revive.” One could not take it seeing one’s wife shivered after giving birth to the child, the child died, and one was chased to go away. I do not think this story is mine only…
… Some people, because of their political embarrassment, dare not say the true out loud. But deep inside their hearts, January 7 is their lives and souls. They may not say it because they have to confront with denunciation by their party bosses, but the true could not be turned untrue. Even HM the King and Samdech Preah Reach Akkemohesey, when I first met them in France, he said if there were no army of Hun Sen and the army of Vietnam coming to liberate (Cambodia), I would die also. HM said that to me and not one time. HM was detained while his children and grand children were killed. No one could endure such a dreadful situation. In this sense, January 7 would not be the birth date only for one or two people but for all in Cambodia – Buddhism, Muslim and Christian are also included. Yesterday was the 27th anniversary of my wedding (January 5) and it was the day that the Polpotist promulgated the Democratic of Kampuchea’s constitution.
… I think that tomorrow is a remembrance and long-awaited moment for the Cambodian people. Snuol in Kratie was liberated prior to December 2, 1978 because in May 1978, the place was liberated and organized into a liberated zone under the leadership of Samdech Heng Samrin, Samdech Chea Sim and became the place where the National Front for the Salvation of Kampuchea was founded. 24 years have gone by leaving us with sufferings, separation and orphans. We bet our lives for the reconstruction of our homeland. Ruined buildings, ransacked and abandoned cities were left for the reconstruction. We had had to gather teachers but development assistance was refused, while humanitarian aid provided in form of urgent assistance. They provide us nothing, not even a piece of chalk, for the sake of developing the education sector. We were not recognized. In just a few hours, however, from now HE Sok An will meet with the United Nations officials to negotiate about law of the trial of the Khmer Rouge. We have been waiting for this for 24 years, while the Khmer Rouge was recognized. If what Pol Pot did is wrong, then what we do is right. But what is more important than being wrong or right, is that our people’s lives are saved.
… This place was in fact the farmland of the Democratic Kampuchea’s Foreign Affairs. In 1987, being Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs (of the State of Cambodia), I decided to trim off a part of the land in provision for the people. Without the January-7, I would not stand a chance to meet my wife again and I would not have five more children… I think I am still luckier than some other people. Take for instance HE Mok Mareth has not found his lost child yet and we still have some people placing ads in search of loved ones… So we have to join hands to maintain political stability, the spirit of national reconciliation. We have to refrain from all sorts of violence – in arms or in words. From one political party to another, we should absolutely refrain from violent conflict and those who committed it should be brought to justice. In just seven months we will have the general election and may I take this opportunity to make an appeal to all the people to respect the decision of everyone. Each individual may like this or that party and it is his/her own rights. No one could force him/her. Any threats to voters would be seen as a senseless action, not as a clever politics… So we all have to maintain peace, political stability that we have obtained with great hardship…