… Today I have a great pleasure to return once again to the district of Krochhmar and we are honoured that we have the presence of Samdech patriarch here at the inauguration of a Buddhist temple in this rather old-aged pagoda after it was destroyed like other pagodas under the genocide regime. The presence of Samdech patriarch has encouraged ourBuddhist followers as a source of inspiration for our people and me to continue to follow Buddhism. Taking the number of pagodas that we have constructed into account, we could say that, after the fall of Pol Pot, Buddhism has been making a speedy development in Cambodia, followed by education. As far as religion is concerned Buddhism, Muslim and other religions have made fast progress. They are the needs of our people and over the past 24 years after the fall of Pol Pot we have monks in greater number than those of soldiers and police. This reminds me of the Achar Hem Chieo’s era when our monks fought against the French colonists with their umbrellas in preventing the Romanization of the Cambodian letters, and we have nurtured our national letters since then.
… Venerable Khuoy Ieng has been twice the head monk in the Ubbolvaddei pagoda. This is unique in the Cambodian case as our Majesty has been crowned twice. Only 20 countries among over 200 countries in the world that are monarchies and in Cambodia our Majesty has been crowned twice. He was dethroned by Gen. Lon Nol in 1970 and (after the general election in 1993) our people from all walks of political tendencies have unanimously approved the re-establishment of the constitutional monarchy regime with Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk as King of Cambodia. Firstly he took the throne in 1941 when he was 19 years old and again in 1993. The case is identical with that of the venerable head monk of the pagoda – he first became head monk in 1970 and once again in 1997.
… As I have this rare chance of seeing Samdech patriarch, please allow me to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to Samdech patriarch for his brilliant wisdom to grant permission for all Buddhist pagodas to bring up from 20 to 30 children from poor families in each pagoda. This mindful thought has indeed alleviated their parents’ hardships and these children could continue their studies in various educational institutions in Phnom Penh as well as in various other towns. Take for instance in the pagoda of Botum Vaddei, Preah Pothivaing Nun Nget offers the pagoda as residence for over 600 students and I think we all should be grateful to these efforts. In the old days, when the number of schools in Cambodia was few, almost all Cambodian men went for education in pagodas and some were had become monks at least for some years. I remember being asked in foreign countries if all men had to be monks is true.
… As we now have more schools we still have problem of lacking hostels for students from poor community. Pagoda has got very important role to play in this regard and it is in this mission that I wish to express my sincere thanks once again for the offers made by all Buddhist pagodas throughout the country… It is now a fairy tale that my wife and I were married here under the Pol Pot time. We were couple number 13. We had gone through various dangers and hardships and today we have come to this place once again to contribute to our respectable Buddhist achievements with our people in the area.
Samdech Hun Sen on that occasion offered 20 million Riel to the pagoda of Ubbolvaddai, ten million Riel each to the pagoda of Mungkulvoan, Banteaychey Mungkul, five tons of cement to the commune of Tuol Snuol, five million Riel to the Village 6 Islamic community, five million Riel and ten tons of cement to the Village 3 Islamic community, five tons of cement to the Islamic community in Tuol Tra, five million Riel each to the pagodas of Kompong Krabei, Kandal, Khsach Propheh, and Barai, three school buildings of fifteen classrooms to the Primary School in the commune of Tuol, one school building of four classrooms to the Primary School of Bun Rany-Krochhmar, a school building of three classrooms to the Primary School of Doeum Chrey, a school building of five classrooms to the Primary School of Sangkum Meanchey, a school building of six classrooms each to the Primary S