… Today I am very pleased to return to the Kanhchreach district once again after my last visit on September 18, 2000 in the wake of flood disaster to offer emergency relief to our people here. In 1992 I also was here with HE Sin Song and Madame when he offered to build a four-room school building. My presence today makes it in all three times already that I have come to this place. I am coming today, together with Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, and Oknha, to bring you all a new achievement. May I take this opportunity to first thank Oknha Men Sarun and other generous fellows for their contributions in the construction of such a valuable achievement – the school building.
… According to the report by HE Governor Chuong Sivuth, this school is one of the oldest as it was first built in 1925. It has gone through various hardships and regimes. According to some historical notes, like between 1955 and 1965, the school collapsed and was rebuilt by the contribution then made by our people and monks. The venerable Nut Nguon of Preah Sre pagoda in the commune of Kanhchreach was leader in rebuilding the school to its functional condition. But again under the regime of Pol Pot it was destroyed completely. In 1979 the school was again reconstructed step by step with the contribution made by the schoolchildren parents and old-age people in the area. As we could see now there left in front of us a building built in 1991 for our people here by the late HE Sin Song. Today we have more constructions in place contributed by Oknha Men Sarun, the Social Fund, and the Ministry of Rural Development – all of which should be able to serve the need our people here for many years to come.
… I am very pleased to see that our people have learned to share one another’s resources, which is also a long tradition of our people, to initiate achievements such as school buildings, clinics, water canals, etc. in their communities. If we leave it all depending on the national budget, we would be still far away from the ability that we have realized thousands of school buildings – using both national budget and other contributions.
… A point of concern for this area is that it suffered consecutive flooding following by drought in 2000 and 2001, and is dragged on to 2002 without any advanced rain at all. Some rice field has turned to be very dry that it could easily burn. This situation brought about severe deterioration of animal’s health, which would make them unable to cope up with tilling when rain finally comes. I would like to reserve my appreciation for the authority, the armed forces as well as the working team sent from the central level (of the Party) together with members of the Senate and Parliament to actively help resolve the needs in this area. Poverty has not got wing to fly away. Every one of us has to make own effort. The Royal Government or the generous fellows could build you schools, hospitals, roads and water canals only with the contribution by our people in project implementing places. Take for example the construction report indicated that despite there has a huge donation for the construction; the local people also contributed a sum of 10 million Riels. This proves that our people see it is necessary to help oneself.
… On behalf of our people and country, yesterday I hosted Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of India who is the second Prime Minister of India to visit Cambodia after the first visit in 1954 by Pandit Neru. The Cambodia-India dialogue has brought to light the importance of our bilateral relation. His trip to Cambodia has been mainly to express his thank to the Royal Government of Cambodia, I myself is also included, for the initiative made in February 2000 during my visit to India to establish a new mechanism for the region — i.e. ASEAN-India. Normally we have the ASEAN+3 summit. The three (countries) are China, South Korea and Japan. The ASEAN+1 forum has been the ASEAN + China, the ASEAN + South Korea and ASEAN + Japan. As in 2002 Cambodia will host the ASEAN Summit and ASEAN + 3 with three other meetings – ASEAN + India, the Summit of the Head of States and Governments of the countries along the Mekong River (China, Burma, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam) and the Senior Meeting of ASEAN Trade.
… With regard to our requests, India has positively responded to the renovation of Ta Prom temple in Siemreap. Yesterday we have agreed for ten experts from India to come to Cambodia concerning the above matter. HE Prime Minister of India also declared that India offers 10,000 tons of rice for the relief efforts of the Cambodian flood victims.
… In four days from today we will have a new Devada for whom the Buddhist followers in our country will be hosting him with flowers, incense stick and candles. We hope that new Devada will bring us rain, not too much and not too little so that our farmers would be able to draw on good cultivation. Let me take this opportunity place an order that no shooting is allowed in the cause the Khmer New Year as it has been four years already – 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 that the celebration extends to though out Cambodia in peace. Our people could travel from one side of the country to another to see each other. So no shooting is allowed at all in welcoming the Devada. The welcoming pattern should be the traditional music, flowers as well as fruits. Let me warn that drivers of all type of motors should maintain a controllable speed and we also should refrain from splashing water on one another. You may agree with me also that we have to refrain from quarrels in dancing time, etc. …
… I am glad to see that we have about ten thousand people coming today to this event. May I inform HE Governor Chuong Sivuth I wish to stand to inaugurate only this school and I would not accept your request for me to inaugurate ten other achievements. Let them be inaugurated by others or I would be blamed for having interceded on their behalves. I would not want to intercede on others because our people would know already what I have been doing. (The Cambodian) people know well and will make judgement who is who, and who is doing what? I was the one to had contributed to the fall of Pol Pot, I was the one who prevented the return of Pol Pot to power, I was one of the signatories of the Paris Peace Agreement, and I have initiated the win-win policy to bring peace to Cambodia. Who then kept the Khmer Rouge in the United Nations? No one could cover the sun with his/her own hand.
… Some people are annoyed of my presence to inaugurate new achievements. They said Hun Sen claimed he is the one who made all the achievements. It is not so. Like the Kizuna Bridge, Japan offers to Cambodia and Hun Sen was invited to the groundbreaking and inauguration ceremonies only. It is our people who use the bridge. So people have to thank the Japanese people and Government and not Hun Sen. At the same time our people deserve appreciation as they also share a certain amount of money within the total cost of US$ 4 million …