On Log Book Theft Issue
Concerning the rations and allowances for veterans, It has been obviously noted that because of social affairs’ bureaucracy and the fact that they rarely get their rations and allowances in a timely manner, sometimes they had to make several trips to get them, our veterans showed their distrusts. I have brought this issue up on several occasions and warned against the situation too. This also includes warning from the Anti-Graft Unit. As they could not get their rations and allowances on schedule and being fed up with so many trips from afar, they decided to sell their logbooks. In most cases, it was those social affairs officials who bought them.
I must warn that this cannot happen anymore. The Anti-graft Unit has discovered so many aspects of this logbook case. The selling of logbook case has been found not only among the veterans but also government retirees. Therefore I publicly warn those Social Affairs’ officials of stern measures, arrest would be included, to be taken against these wrong conducts. I would define them as exploiting over blood and hardship of the veterans and retirees.
Therefore let those who bought the logbooks return them to their rightful owners. I have said on a number of occasions too about the case of Jan Aun, who had been indicated as a dead soldiers but is actually alive and met me at the city of Preah Sihanouk. As he happened to have met me there and I figured it out his case, now Jan Aun and family is living at the military handicap centre at Taken Koh Sla, Kompot province, where they are offered a house and plot of land and other rations and allowances.
I also warn of the case that certain dead veterans continue to be registered as being alive and accessible to rations and allowances. This is one other issue that I must publicly warn that this must not go on. I should advise all of you that wrong conducts so far have been discovered but measures have yet to be taken. I warn you all not to risk continuing to do so. It seems that thing has gone well lately because we have changed the system that allows the veterans and retirees to cash their allowances from the banks. It is true that their allowances have been small, but our service must be up to a standard that they could appreciate.
On Social Land Concession
It is true that we have a large number of families of soldiers who either are dead or maimed. I wish for a speedy solution in providing them with land concession and housing, especially those families of soldiers who have been dead and maimed from the recent fightings in the Preah Vihear front, where four soldiers and two policemen died. The two policemen died because of the clustered bombs fired from the Thai side. Six more were wounded. So in the February fighting, there were eight deaths. Now we are following up the social affairs policy and actions taken for their families.
Again in the fight in April and May, we have lost 13 more lives, and a few of them were shot by snipers. It was a shameful tactic that they used snipers to aim at our soldiers in this war. It was an act of what I called “shooting from concealed position and distance,” a practice that is not observed in an open war. This was what they did to Major General Khattiya Sawasdipol, alias Seh Daeng, key leader of the red shirt’s demonstration in Bangkok in 2010. They may do whatever they wanted to their own people but to shoot us from a hiding site at night is of shameful practice. Among the late thirteen soldiers, four died while I ordered to withhold retaliatory attack and three were shot at in the trench by Thai snipers.
I therefore request that the Ministry of Social and Veteran Affairs to take the case of the thirteen deaths in front III and 4 + 2 in Front I into full consideration and build their families houses, if they do not have ones, this year. As far as postmortem allowances for their families are concerned, I am sure that each of them has been offered a sum of not less than eighty million Riel – forty million Riel donated by the Royal Government and another forty donated from the Bayon Fund. They have also been offered with more assistance from provincial authority, the Cambodian People’s Party and charitable persons.
I would urge you to pay attention to a soldier who died from mine explosion while patrolling in the Front II area under command of General Jie Man. His case must be similarly observed in this process and his family must receive same donations from the Royal Government and the Bayon Fund. As far as housing is concerned, I would suggest you leave the job be taken care by the Association of Veterans. Yesterday I approved another 3000 hectares of land at the Front III area of Uddar Meanjei for use in giving as social land concession to needed soldiers’ families. Their families’ living conditions and education of their children must be looked after.
After our country achieve reconciliation and peace, ending a protracted war, we should not come back to this situation where more of our soldiers died in fighting anymore. I myself, and I am sure for most of us, almost forget everything about rifles, and we also went this far to destroy the A12 surface-to-air missiles so as to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists. We have been forced to pick up arms again and hope, however, to seek a solution and prevent the armed conflict from recurring.
As far as the land concession is concerned, we will put one site into official use on July 31, which falls on a Sunday, and I urged the Governor of Siemreap province to reserve more land as more charitable persons are looking forward to contributing to building more houses in those concession land for soldiers and veterans’ families. We have done in one place 125 houses, and each house is built on a land of 1.5 hectares for 125 families. I urge similar actions to take place in all provinces where such facilities can be organized.
On April 22 War Development and Response
We have been taking a peaceful stand and exercising extreme patience. The war broke out at Uddar Meanjei at six am. We were on line to three fronts – the front of Genral Kon Kim, General Chea Tara and General Chhin Janpor. Thai attacks increased by day and on April 22, at around ten in the morning their artillery fired on Kok Mon, some twenty kilometers from the border. Their offense had been defined with two options to attack a range of 40 km or 25 km into our territory. It seems they did with 25 km option. The range has been as far as Tonle Sar, within the range of 25 km too.
Again, as I did that already through the VDO conference from the Cabinet’s meeting, I apologize for not approving these commanders’ demand, General Chea Tara and Chhin Janpor, to retaliate with heavy weapons. My order to withhold the retaliatory attack went on to day four. I was sure that commanders along the border fronts might wonder about my tactic. It was understandable. I called to commanders Nak Vong and Pen Voi who oversee the fronts at Ta Moan and Ta Krobei temples for more thorough information. I assured our commanders that what the Thais did was to enlarge the scale of war and their heavy weapons gave us over 50,000 shells.
In the morning of April 26, at 7 am, I gave my order on phone to General Chhin Janpor to provide all coordinates and approved forceful and all-out retaliatory response. You may call it the Techo Sen tactic. While we decided to retaliate, even the satellite could not figure out as response came from hundreds of positions. It was a self-defensive retaliation measures. After 17 minutes there was a call from Thai side for a negotiation. My tactic is to allow no response to our offensive measure. It was not a simple matter that a one star general of the Thai artillery unit was killed in action. We wish to see no one dies, Thai or Cambodian, but what we have to do when we are being attacked.
Well I have one other story to talk about fish with no eyes. I just learned about this story last night from the Radio Bayon station, in which there has been a program that our soldiers could call in to chat. One soldier told the chat program facilitator that he had his dinner with fish with no eyes. From the probe, the soldier said it was a “seasoned beet.” I told my wife that they must be donation from HE Bin Chhin, Deputy Prime Minister. I thank all persons and institutions, state and private alike, at all levels, who have contributed whatever they can to the fronts.
We have been able to successfully establish a firm national defense foundation, the solidarity between the rear and the frontline, as well as our policies in relation to housing and social land concession. It is now confident to give a statement to question: how many soldiers does Cambodia have? A shorter version we now can give is the number of Cambodian soldiers is relatively the number of Cambodian eligible population.
I have been the one who builds up the armed forces, which originally was defined to be on November 9, 1954, so as to rescue our people. Those who joined me those days were Ung Samkhan, Chea Man, Srey Doeuk, Kul Vei, Va Soeun, Mak Sarun, Sao Sokha, Nheok Huon, and may more that I could not mention them all here. There was this trick that the Thais have ordered their soldiers to wear relatively similar uniforms to ours and relocated them to confront our defensive line. I told our field commanders to use our password trick from the past. So we must resort to password if they come from the flank, because surely coming from the front they are not ours.
They may be reminded that because of so many guerrilla wars we had gone through, we possess so many tricks. Our soldiers had been of various military sources – Vietnam, China, US, France, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, so to speak. Now from these sources, they have been made one of a kind and worked out one integrated Khmer military tactic./.