During the above event, Samdech Hun Sen made an ad-lib address that covers issues of Buddhism development in Cambodia, achievements scored in Svay Rieng with the assistance of the CPP working team, and remarks on verbal attack by a parliamentarian.
… I have a great pleasure to return today to the province of Svay Rieng after my presence here a few weeks ago in the district of Svay Teap. I also came here in 2000 to deliver flood relief to our people. I am very delightful as today we are taking time to gather together and I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation and deep thanks to the venerable head monk and others, including also HE Hok Lundy and Madame, in putting together their efforts and resources making this wonderful achievement possible. I have been to many pagodas for the inaugurations of their temples, but none of them is as old as this one. Most of them are between 200 and 100 years. But the Tachei pagoda is, according to historical note, 303 years. It is classified as one of the oldest pagodas in the country.
… Having said so, despite destructive campaign led by the genocide regime of Pol Pot during which period no religion, no monk, and no custom and tradition were allowed and practised, Buddhism has deeply rooted in our country. Tachei (or grandpa named Chei) had made a significant contribution for the Buddhism as he had provided this plot of land for the construction of the pagoda. After 1979, the pagoda was rebuilt in a slow pace and today we have this wonderful temple in sight. The remaining parts to be finished, I think we all will share our resources and efforts to complete this Buddhist place.
… I am glad today to have met HE Nhek Huon, who used to be with me in times of hardship especially we were imprisoned for twenty two days (in Vietnam) together when we crossed the border (into Vietnam) to carry out struggle (against the Khmer Rouge regime). I wish also to recall that HE Uk Rabun, who currently is the Secretary of State for Economy and Finance, was a teacher himself in the Tachei School when the coup on March 18, 1070 broke out. He then later became a professor in the College of Tep Pronom. Svay Rieng suffered serious destruction because it was a twin area of region 23 and 24 of Prey Veng. After the head of region 23 and 24 were arrested, the two areas were combined as twin administration. Because the local people suffered a great deal, so they turn out to be the most rebellious. In was for this reason that we have so many heads of police and military who are natives of Svay Rieng. They came from here to meet me on the other side, and we came back and liberated Svay Rieng on January 4 together with some others.
… I wish to take this occasion to thank the (CPP) working group led by HE Men Sam An, together with some parliaments, for the efforts they made to rescue our people in combating hardships that were affecting them in 2000 and 2001. I have also listened to HE Governor’s report in which he cited various canals, big and small, rural roads and other achievements being realized – with helps of donors or generous people. Samdech Chea Sim, Samdech Heng Samrin and HE Sar Kheng are also providing assistance to their areas. I am glad that 150 tons of rice, and I have just provided another 150 tons, were being made use in realizing some of those achievements and tackling the food shortage issue here. Not far from here I donated the O Smach Bridge, Ta Yeap Bridge, Romeas Hek Bridge and Toeuk Vil Bridge. I am glad and thankful to the people of Svay Rieng for the confidence they place in me and our working group here so that we all could serve the interests of our people, nation, Buddhism, and for the sake of development.
… Everywhere in our country, no matter where we are, we all are listening to the Buddhist preaching and music in place of armed conflicts. I am glad to have heard from the report of HE Governor that 94% of eligible voters have already registered and grateful to the National Election Committee for the decision to extend some more time for communes that have yet to have their eligible voters registered. Taking this opportunity may I appeal to all eligible voters, especially those who just turn eligible to register so that they could cast their votes, as doing so is to fulfil one’s obligation and to get register one’s identity clearly. It is true that the process is time consuming and complicated, but it is a normal procedure to get this implemented.
… I wish to take note that in politics, sometimes it is one’s internal conflict, and it was brought to me to help remove (this or that officials from the Government). When I did not do as they said, they opened attacks on me. I used to repeat a Cambodian saying that goes “don’t be angry once you accept to play a game, or you do not play at all.” I was attacked for so long and when I return a few words, The Cambodia Daily published an article of the person’s over-reaction. Let me warn again that the higher you climb, the greater pain you have from falling. Let me tell you that there have been so many files, in addition to this issue of “Neak Neang” (instead of princess). As I used the term neak neang (or lady) is not at all a nuisance but rather a polite term for the provocation one has caused (upon me.) I said already whatever we do together we have to be faithful with each other, as for if I have anything to tell I would get it all out of my stomach. Let me warn that one may lose support when s/he behaves well only before everyone’s eyes, but stabbing from the back at the same time. Our people could not give us trust anymore.
… What I have said is in fact not an advice to anyone at all but they may have to think about it. When I saw the reaction in The Cambodia Daily, I said to HE Uk Rabun that the fish is enjoying the bait. I have ordered this morning to copy the tape of February-14 Cabinet Meeting and also to file relevant documents from last year onwards. I was accused of threatening to send the person to Prey Sar prison, while the said person had gone oneself to the prison to see and to interview the prisoners. When I propose to send representatives of the Royal Government to the National Assembly (in response for call for an explanation on what was happening on the January-29 incident), they turn them away on ground that they are lower Government officials. What does representative mean? I would send anyone I think appropriate as my representative. So I wish to remind the person of a reversal effect.
… I have got a few political things explained and this is just a message. What I wish to reiterate is that we have to be frank and faithful to one another so that our country will prosper in peace. Take for instance because we all are frank and faithful with one another we could mobilize efforts and resources to build such a wonderful temple.
Samdech Hun Sen on that occasion offered to asphalt 50% of the requested road from the Ta Oeum Bridge to the Commune of Samraong, and the remaining part should be asphalted by end of 2003 or in 2004, to provide the Tachei pagoda Riel 66 million and US$ 16,370 to cover the remaining cost of finishing the constructions and to build three school buildings with six classrooms each. Samdech also offered to two school buildings and a sewing training building to be equipped with 50 sewing machines and two computers and one printer to the college of Hun Sen-Svay Chrum. A Bailey bridge of 72 meters was also offered to be built in place of Tahao Bridge across the Vaico River, and the flooring of the Hun Sen-Vaico Bridge to be replaced. Samdech Hun Sen approves the study for the renovation of a rural road of 16 Kilometres and a Bailey bridge of 120 metres for the people in the district of Svay Chrum, provides 72 tons of rice for the renovation of three roads in the commune of Kompong Chamlong…