… May I express my deep respect and offer my affection to grandfathers/grandmothers, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews, who have come to participate in the ceremony to inaugurate various achievements at Serei Watanaram or Prey Phaae pagoda today.
… These are results of efforts made by the Venerable Ouk Chanthan who originally stayed in this pagoda and lately went to reside in the United States of America. Taking this opportunity I would like to express my gratitude, on behalf of the parishioners, the Cambodian people and the Royal Government of Cambodia, for the contributions made by His Venerable in saving from preaching sermons until he could make such achievements. They cost in all US$ 180,3274. I wish also to express my deep thanks and appreciation to HE Sok An, Chan Sarun, So Khun, Mok Maret as well as others for coming to help people in Takeo province. As for myself alone, I have already contributed 178 school buildings of 892 classrooms in Takeo. If we put 50 students in one class, we would have a great number of students.
… In my trip to Kompong Trach of Kompot province, I have flown over this area of Takeo province. Travelling with me was an overseas Cambodian from the United States of America. From the helicopter he pondered and asked what they were when he saw roofs of corrugated sheets. I responded to him: “they are school buildings.” Nowadays schools buildings are built of concrete and roofed with corrugated sheet unlike before when they were roofed with thatch. But need is growing everyday as I now have another triplet in Takeo. All triplets will receive support from me. That is why I say they are my children. As we know, one child delivery could be dangerous, how about three babies at a time. Triplet never gets born in rich families but usually in poor ones. As there are more children getting born, it means there needs more school buildings accordingly. As we all have seen here there are many children. Some of them when being asked said they finished the sixth grade or primary education. May I suggest HE Governor Kep Chutema to give more thought on the establishment of a junior secondary school right in this place so that these kids could continue their studies.
… I wish to also thank the provincial and municipal authorities for their efforts to overcome difficulties caused by floods in the last two years. In 2000 and 2001, Cambodia had encountered heavy floods that destroyed its infrastructure, rainy-season rice, dry-season rice in many places. Implementing the order of not letting any individual citizen die of hunger because the authority does not know or does not offer assistance, even in the case that food shortage prevails, we should not let the incident happen in Cambodia at all. Death of hunger has gone away with the fall of the genocide regime already.
… From January 07, 1979 up to the present, it is already 23 years. The quality of sharing spirit has enabled us to effectively solve many problems. I wish to see this model continue to exist in the heart of every individual monk and follower. In the past 23 years, the experience has given the Cambodian people not only the spirit of sharing among the people of Cambodia but also a show of assistance from abroad. They provide us with assistance because they have seen that the Cambodians love, help and have strong solidarity with each other. Therefore we should help ourselves before Devada helps us.
… Yesterday Supreme Patriarch Tep Vong opened a conference to discuss about Buddhist Children Assistance. During his 70th birthday, the Supreme Patriarch mentioned about the Buddhist Children Assistance whose idea is that every pagoda has to offer help to poor children. If each pagoda could feed ten children, we would have saved 37,000 children as we have 3,700 pagodas. This figure should in average relieve difficulties from at least 30,000 families. This solution would provide the most appropriate shelter for poor children. But these places offer regular dwelling only to boys. What are we to do with girls? I am thinking of a center for young girls in the cities so that they could further their studies.
… The most important point here is to decentralize junior and senior secondary education close to the local community so that both boys and girls have equal opportunity of schooling. Traditionally young girls are not allowed to settle in pagoda as well as to reside far away or separately from their parents. This is one of the reasons why there could be major differences in number of girls and boys going to college between the year 2000 and 2003. With the solution we have suggested earlier, those students who finished their studies in the Prey Phaae junior secondary education could go on to the senior secondary education in the same place.
… Takeo has scored many successes in agriculture, except in the last two years where consecutive flooding caused heavy damages. Particularly in 2001, it was both flood and drought affected province. Looking from helicopter I have observed well-grown dry season rice. It could also be reminded of excellent dry season rice production. Especially farmers here benefit from canal 15, which has been made to cater both for water traffic and water supply for dry season rice cultivation. Talking about land reform in Takeo, it would not be complicated as individual owners have receipts recognizing their land title requests already. As far as arts performance is concerned, Takeo is well known in preserving traditional arts, especially the Yike (a kind of theatre.)
… Just now HE Governor mentioned about the Leo theft group. We must not let them operate and they must be arrested and tried by the court. But please refrain from committing acts of violence causing death or personal injuries to any one. May I request our Buddhist monks to advise their Buddhist followers to refrain themselves from extreme acts (of anger and revenge.) Now I would like to say a few things on requests. I accept to offer according to the request a school building with six classrooms and it should be built in the Hun Sen Junior Secondary School so that the facility would become the Senior Secondary School. You are also given a rural road of 5,000 meters that links Prey Phaae to the National Road 2. HE Minister Ly Thuch and Secretary of State Yim Chaily of Rural Development are given the task to implement this project. In response to a request from the monks and parishioners of Sramaovattey pagoda of Khvao commune, Srok Teang, Takeo, I declare offering a 2,000 meters rural road. The Ministry of Rural Development is the project-implementing agency. 12,000 liters of diesel is also provided for the renovation of National Road 2 and HE So Khun (Minister of Posts and Telecommunications) and Chan Sarun (Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery) would finance this demand.