UNTAC Left Cambodia in With Two Governments
Before starting our meeting, please allow me to take this chance to deliver a message live from Pailin in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Pailin area integration as well as the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Agreement. Please allow me to take this opportune moment to share with venerable Buddhist monks, compatriots inside and outside the country that on the forthcoming 23 October, Cambodia will celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Agreement.
I wish to emphasize, for Buddhist monks and people, that what the Paris Peace Agreement was supposed to do, and UNTAC did not fulfill it was UNTAC, after spending over two billion USD and using a great number of force for the operation in Cambodia, withdrew and left Cambodia with two control areas and Governments. War did not end.
The area of Pailin and others along the Cambodian-Thai border, we could say in general that a part of the country continued to be under the control of the political and military organization of the Democratic Kampuchea. In this situation, the Paris Peace Agreement was able to put together only three out of four factions. The faction refused to join the process led by Pol Pot and Ta Mok, with a few other leaders. They continued to wage war.
Three Core Elements of Win-win Policy
Faced with the fact that the Cambodian people are in need of peace, I initiated the win-win policy with its main objective to end protracted war. The policy consists of three cores elements. I wish to reaffirm them from Pailin where the initial rebellion took place. It was a very important step along with forces in Malai. The three elements are (1) to guarantee life and physical safety for those who disintegrated from the Khmer Rouge; (2) to guarantee their employments and business; and (3) to guarantee ownership over mobile and immobile property.
It is a coincidence that traveling to meet with people in the northwestern areas of Cambodia, I came across former battlefields from twenty some years ago. The division 415 led by Ee Chhien rebelled along with division 450 led by Sok Pheap. With my correct instruction and leadership of the win-win policy, the small rebel groups have grown until we achieved a real peace in which no Cambodian was loser. We all won.
No Peace Negotiation on December 2, There Would Not Be Paris Peace Accord
As we are celebrating the 20th integration anniversary, we have seen with our own eyes the fact that we are transforming former battlefields into market and development areas. Over the road of more than 200 Kilometers, I have seen the complete change from division and bloody battles to developments of all kinds. This is an achievement that the Cambodians are making it happen after the Paris Peace Agreement. We will not forget the Paris Peace Agreement but let me take this opportune moment to share with our Buddhist monks and compatriots that should there be no Sihanouk-Hun Sen peace negotiation in 1987, and later in January 1998, there would not be a Paris Peace Agreement.
I hope that politicians would interpret this event to its original fact rather than irresponsibly exploiting it for political gain and some had even falsified the content of the Paris Peace Agreement, which has now become the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia. I have had a belief that what we had achieved initially at the Sihanouk-Hun Sen peace negotiation on 2 December 1997 had in fact evolved from a forum of Hun Sen to involve other political factions, the Jakarta Informal Meeting (JIM) I and JIM – II, and to a conference on Cambodia in France. I have been one of the two actors of the process. Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, Preah Borom Ratanakaod already passed away.
The Paris Peace Agreement and Win-Win Policy Bring Peace and Development
The most important thing here is after implementing the Paris Peace Agreement, and the withdrawal of UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia), the country was in a state of endless war, and was still a divided nation with two factions – the Royal Government and the Democratic Kampuchea. Cambodian children then stood together for a solution for the country’s problem. We are the younger generation and we worked out together to untie the knots left from former generation. I have brought this point up on 22 October 1996 and in various other places such as Samlout, Kamrieng, Phnom Proek, Sampeo Loune, and Malai, along with other areas with integration.
Hun Sen and other secession leaders are not responsible for war created by people of former generation. We just did our best to end it. We have been happy to do so. As of now, former war fields have had peace, transformed into development areas instead of fighting. I have noted with pleasure that people living along the border areas – Malai of Banteay Meanjei, Phnom Proek, Sampeo Loun, Kamrieng, all the way to Pailin, are quite happy with their achievements.
I have contributed in reorganizing educational geography for them … the road distance is long but the road is good. It did not take us too long to get where we needed. However, people, teachers, and students are in dire need of infrastructures relating to education and I have the duty to address their calls. I did so too in areas, also former battlefields, along other parts of our border with Thailand such as Preah Vihear, Uddar Meanjei and today in Banteay Meanjei, Battambang and Pailin.
This is what I wish to share with our Buddhist monks, compatriots on the occasions that we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Agreement. Please let me stress again that should there be no groundbreaking Sihanouk-Hun Sen peace negotiation, there would certainly be no Paris Peace Agreement. Secondly, if there were no win-win policy that I set out and led the implementation – with supports from involved stakeholders and people – there would not be peace as present. I hope that politicians and our people in general will make fair judgments on what have been happening on the land of Cambodia./.