After presiding the meeting of the National Committee for Combating and Preventing against Terrorism (NCCPT), Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen clarifies some relevant issues to the press, while expressing his pleasure over the US President’s determination on waiving the prohibition on the US military assistance with respect to Cambodia.
… I wish to share with all of you that the National Committee for the Combating and Preventing of Terrorism (NCCPT) has today opened its first such meeting officially. It is not a new thing though. Since January 31, 1992, the former State of Cambodia already adopted the anti-terrorism law. The State of Cambodia’s Government, quite similar to the present Royal Government possessed a mechanism against terrorism. Normally, so to speak, there always is an anti-terrorism unit in the military as well as police structure. In 2000, we have established a committee which is placed under the leadership of HE deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng.
… Having observed that the situation evolves in an increasing scale and complication, last year Cambodia has established this NCCPT that I am chairing. Today we have convened this meeting for the first time to make an assessment and evaluation of the overall situation aimed at putting out a number of directions for the prevention of terrorist acts. We have set our objective in this matter to safeguard our people from terrorism…
… In 1992, while some countries had not yet paid attention to this issue, Cambodia already possessed the anti-terrorism law – but the law itself has not been comprehensive yet since only a few articles were written on the matter. Still that should be seen as Cambodia’s efforts in this consideration. We always take a step before the situation, and now Cambodia has not yet experienced any terrorist acts. Having said so, we do not and will never underestimate whatever possibilities that may occur. The fact that a special committee is established with Prime Minister as its Head signifies that Cambodia sees this task a universal one and not a particular issue for any particular country.
… Terrorism is an international issue, where each country will have to resolve it through a set of cooperations within the regional, inter-regional and international framework in response to the issue’s complication level. Today’s meeting is of great interest as we have looked into our national defense experiences in the prevention of the return of the Pol Pot’s genocide, while probing into new national security issue. We have decided that this matter cannot be handled by lower-level of competent authorities and institutions, or the armed forces alone. Each and every one of the Cambodian people has to participate in the defense of national security, which is in fact his/her personal security as well.
… I wish to mention one of the experiences that we have proven out to be effective in dealing with this matter – that is to keep a secret. I remember when we held the ASEAN meeting in 2002, as the host country we all discussed the issue of anti-terrorism. A reporter asked me what about anti-terrorism measures. I told him there was no need for a plan for anti-terrorism at all if it had brought out in the open already. Cambodia has an experience though that a secret must be kept.
… The mass media these days, TV, radio and written press, have in some ways leaked out state’s or states’ secrets about how to fight against terrorism, which to me undermines the might of the state. Terrorists watch TV to see what has been done to avert their actions by the states. They also know who have been arrested, a true culprit or a wrong person. The fact that I mentioned this does not mean to tell any country of what to do but because we all have to defend our national security, while incorporating international efforts aimed at doing away with the threats of terrorism.
… [The fact that the US President determined to waive its prohibition of the military assistance with respect to Cambodia] is indeed a good thing. In this development, Cambodia does not suggest to the US to do this or that but observes that it is a show of the US “sympathy.” It is in this respect that I welcome non-lethal military assistance and affirmed that Cambodia does not need lethal ones as weapons or bombs. If the US sees fit, resumption of training, like before, for engineering corps and providing engineering equipment would be great. As far as training military officers is concerned I would welcome training in the engineering and medical fields… rather than officers for wars.
… As usual I keep quiet on this because we shall not feel disappointed when the US rebukes, and not be pleased when the US praises. It is said that there are many US – as it can be US citizen, US civil society, US congress, US Senate, and Governmental and non-Governmental ones. I have good relations with President George W. Bush. I send letters to him to hail the US national days, and he replied with thanks. What is the most important to us is to make further efforts to work harder, and not bother with ranking methods. We should see how to improve our living condition as important matter and not be bothered with what so and so says about us. Further, we wish to see that one should say white when it is white, and not vice versa./.