… I am glad to be back today with all of you to inaugurate a new Dharma assembly building and the office of chief monk. I am feeling great to notice various other achievements that have been realized one after the other. HE Governor Chieng Am has mentioned in his report just now about history of the pagoda, which is now in its 89 years of existence. I would add some information about the pagoda’s history as in between 1970 and 1975 it was an artillery position of the Lon Nol regime to provide cover attacks to eastern side battles of the river Mekong. There were two artillery positions in those days in the area – one in the pagoda of Chroy Thmar and another in the pagoda of Dey Doh. It was no doubt that the Lon Nol army used the pagoda as its military position and one of my eyes was wounded on April 16, 1975 by shells fired from one the two positions.
… I lay in coma for a week and after I recovered I immediately asked for a visit to the town of Kompong Cham. I came by a small boat but was stopped by the 304 army group as the army of 304 and 203 took the Mekong River as their line of control. Because of my contact with one of the 304’s commander I was allowed to get to bank. I went into the pagoda and I found not a single monk in the pagoda on April 30, 1975 but only the army. I requested to enter the Kompong Cham town in a purpose to observe if people who had been evacuated earlier were allowed to return, but was granted no permission… One more recall is that in 1979 the pagoda was not yet rebuilt because it was requested for use as a political training centre. I would seek your mercy on the fact that the pagoda was used for a different purpose other than Buddhist teaching for quite sometime before renovation is possible.
… By gathering here today, it is reflecting that we are true followers of Buddhism. Also present are Muslim people who coexist peacefully with Buddhist followers. This shows that our people have confidence in the leadership of the Royal Government, the local authority as well as my leadership. In some countries this does not seem to exist as people have different beliefs and they could not accept that everyone has got the right to personal belief. Take for instance in Cambodia we have two Buddhist sects – Dharmayudh and Mahanikay. But for us religion cannot be a barrier to solidarity between people and people at all. Religions – Buddhism, Christianity or Islam — instruct people to believe and to act in good faith. It is in this sense that we will not let the different beliefs be a hindrance to our march for development. I believe in good faith if one act in good faith one will have good karma, if one acts differently one will suffer karmic reciprocation. Take for instance Pol Pot committed bad faith and we all see how Pol Pot faced his death, how Lon Nol faced his karma. We all understand that Lon Nol was the one who brought about war in Cambodia, and though he went to the United States as his last journey, the Government of the United States returned the money he took to the Cambodian Government. What is left for his family? Pol Pot died and was cremated with car tires, and the remainders will have to face the court of justice… As today we all have come in good faith for religion. Reconstruction of the pagoda took a lot of time and resources. It created some debts and because we all are acting in good faith, today I am sure the debts will be resolved.
… Before my departure to China (returning on November 08) I have instructed the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology to provide our people with effective assistance in irrigating their rice fields that are under threats of drought. We have had recently some rains in Kompong Chhnang, Kompong Thom, Kompong Speu, etc. In fact weather has changed dramatically not only in Cambodia but through the world. This year Japan is affected by both earthquake and storm. Drought has affected countires around us like Vietnam, Thailand, China, etc. As for Cambodia, according to our memory, we should still have more rains because kapok trees do not seem to bloom yet. This is a locally traditional memory that we could still have more rain. Once we have wind from north and another from west. There has been a prediction that there might have a huge and consecutive rain by the fourth week of November. Well that would likely to be a disaster as well as it would negatively affect rice because at that stage most of the rice would be in its blossoming period. Too much rain would destroy them. Though we cannot control weather, we could still control ground surface water system. Wherever water reservoir is available, rice in the area must not be left dried. By saying so I am very glad to see actions taken in the past week by our officials, local authorities, the armed forces and our people and monks for rescuing rice plantation fromdrought.
… From my visit to various places in Khsach Kandal the district of Kandal province, Kompong Cham, Kompong Chhnang, Prey Veng, Kompong Thom I have learned a lot on issues relating to the lack of water, inappropriate decisions made with regard to water distribution, etc. I have found out that some decisions could not be made at the local level and they have to be brought up to senior authority. What is also remarkably important is that in each affected place has got to have a commander to regulate water provision system. As we are talking about water scarcity today I wish to bring to your attention some remarks for further analysis. When the country is affected by flood, as a result of a lot of rain, deforestation was the culprit and when the country is affected by drought, the culprit is again deforestation. Take another example, when there is an intention to put blame on China, if there is too much flood down the Mekong, it was because of dams in China. It is also because of China when it is vice versa. Certain ill-thought persons make use of this for their personal benefits. Some of them make criticism to satisfy foreigner’s intention and own interest. I would urge them to stop going against the current which would bring about no positive result for the country and people.
Samdech Hun in that occasion offered a contribution of 79 million Riel to the pagoda and 25 water pumping machines for the province of Kompong Cham for combating drought.