… I have a great pleasure to return to Prey Veng once again, especially once more to Ba Phnom District, to inaugurate the temple in the Pagoda of Chrak Svay. HE Governor Chuong Sivuth mentioned of various contributions made for the construction of the temple with the total cost about Riel 200 million. I have contributed a small amount at the beginning, and I think I will contribute some more.
… My trip here today is made even more pleasant by some rains in the dry season. I have seen water in the rice field and our dry season rice is also growing well. I wish to take this opportunity to express my deep thanks to the people of Prey Veng, particularly the people of Ba Phnom district for the efforts they made in overcoming consecutive floods in 2000 and 2001, and flood with drought in 2002. Equal thanks go to the authority of all levels and the CP work team who have reported to me on the situation of the people in this province. HE Nhim Vanda, Vice Chairman of the National Committee for Disaster Management, in my representation, has come to assist our people in Prey Veng as well as in other disaster affected areas. He is also making use of my bodyguard units in ploughing and irrigating for our people. As of March 17, in the district of Kanhchreach, they have ploughed 620 hectares for 200 households. In the district of Peareang, they have pumped water to irrigate about 300 hectares of dry season rice.
… Please allow me to inform you all of some developments in relation to Cambodia and international arena. First, in relation to the issue of the trial of the Khmer Rouge leaders for the crimes they committed from April 1975 to January 6, 1979. I wish to inform you all that an agreement has been reached between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations. This is an unexpected result by the world. Our people who had gone through the Khmer Rouge regime have expected this for the past 24 years, now they could be pleased by this development. The Khmer Rouge regime was toppled for the crimes committed resulting in death of about 3 million Cambodia people but the regime was not brought to justice in 24 years. HE General Secretary of the United Nations will report to the general assembly tomorrow and there will be a couple of procedures to be made. As for the part of Cambodia, I will have to report it to the Council of Ministers, and once the approval is granted by the Cabinet meeting, I will submit the agreement to the National Assembly and from there to Senate. We also have to introduce amendments to some of the laws for the trial of the top leaders of the Democratic Kampuchea.
… Second, it is nothing else but an issue that everyone is paying attention over last night – is war taking place in Iraq or not? There is very likely that the war in Iraq is going to happen. HE George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, in his thirteen-minute address, has illustrated the five points for the sake of evading the war. The five conditions were met with tough opposition from President Saddam Hussein who decided to die in Iraq. So I see that war is very probable. What I wish to say here is what would affect our country if the war breaks out. We will continue to fulfil our daily works and duties, and I would demand our traders to keep prices of all items stable especially the price of gas. Minister of Trade has to take measures in controlling the price situation. So whatever happens, we all have to remain calm and carry out our duties and business as normal.
… I wish to take this opportunity to place an appeal to the authorities at all levels and the armed forces to provide all sorts of protection to foreigners who are residing in Cambodia. We have in fact taken this measure since last night in around Phnom Penh, and especially at all foreign embassies. We have to bear in mind the increasing number of tourists to Cambodia and we have to take strict measures for their safety. So the security of foreigners in our country — US, Britain and allies and others, is in fact the security of Cambodia. Because of insecurity in some other places, the number of tourists to Cambodia’s Siemreap has increased. So safety is our prime concern and we wish that nothing happens to Cambodia. I used to compare economic destruction to that of a bomb. A bomb could destroy one or two village but the area of destruction by economic bomb would be unimaginable.
… March 18 has been a special day for Cambodia. This date is the 33rd anniversary of war because Lon Nol and his allies overthrew Samdech Norodom Sihanouk, our legal head of state, leading to a destructive war and genocide in Cambodia. As Cambodia has now found peace, others have encountered war. Cambodia has is now no longer at war and we no longer are not disturbed by gunshots but are enjoying the prayers of Buddhist monks.
During the inauguration, Samdech Hun Sen has offered Riel 24 million to the pagoda of Chrak Svay, two school buildings to the Primary School of Chrak Svay, two school buildings to the Secondary School of Ba Phnom, a 60 meter Bailey Bridge for the commuting between Ba Phnom, Mesang and the Provincial Town, and one hundred thousand Riel for each teaching staff in the pedagogical school of Prey Veng to visit Siemreap...