In his trip to inaugurate the new building in the College of Pursath in the province of Pursath, Samdech Hun Sen gave a speech from which comments are being selected and translated as follows:
… It is our pleasure that my wife and I are here today to inaugurate a two story building of ten classrooms that is a donation from HE Suy Sem and Chum Teav Chea Kheng to the College of Pusath (CoP). In just one year’s time I have come four times to the province of Pursath – first I came at the time when the province suffered a severe drought at the end of November of 2004, in which trip I also visited the commune of Santre and the Ba Kaan hydraulic damn. My second trip here was on March 8th, 2005 – the International Women’s Day, in which I also went to Santre to observe the irrigation construction in the place and to observe the one in Damnak Ampel. In early September, I came once again and offered a 138 meters bailey bridge over the river of Kravanh. And again today, I am here with my wife to put into use the new building for the CoP.
… On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and on my own and my wife’s behalf, I wish to express our sincere thanks to HE Suy Sem and Madame for the efforts they made for the sake of human resource training and development. I think that if we compare where we are now to 1979, we have been going quite a distance away from there, where this place witnessed ragtag buildings there were no different to situations elsewhere in the country under the Khmer Rouge’s Pol Pot regime. Having pursued the approach of joining hands between state and private in rebuilding the country, as well as the ability of sharing resources, and full participation from the Buddhist monks, parents and superintendents, in gradual process, we have overcome the most difficult time of external embargos.
… Thanks to what we have done since 1979 up to the present, we have improved vastly our material and technical foundation while bettering human resources through education. It is obvious that we have here buildings left from the 1950’s and 1960’s and those built in 1980’s and 1990’s, and I also had contributed two school buildings here. Still it is not exaggerating to say that we still need more of them. It has been my aim and wish to bring about a realization of the constitutional concept that all Cambodian children have to finish a nine-year education. To achieve this end we have to put more resources and efforts in building more schools, more buildings, more resources, while upgrading primary tiers of education to secondary ones.
… I wish to reiterate what I have said about how peace contributes to the betterment of education in Cambodia. As peace was achieved, we have dissolved internal barriers while creating further facilities for students and teachers to do their educational tasks. Let alone parents and/or superintendents are relaxed from concerns that their children and/or teachers were subjected to threats of war. It was a special relationship that is inseparable between peace and development. Without peace and stability, we could not have development, and without development, peace and stability could not prevail. Therefore it is necessary to maintain the hard-to-achieve peace and stability, while making efforts for socio-economic development with a focus on poverty reduction among our people in general.
… According to the report of HE Gover Chhay Sareth, the district of Sampeo Meas registers seven communes of 63 villages, in which 79% of them are farmers, with only 13% as traders and handicraft workers, 3% as civil administration officers, etc. Among the counted 10,700 houses, only 3,614 houses or about one third of the figure are still thatched. It is indeed our primary work to deal with needs in foods, clothings other utensils, transport means – education, health and so on. There is a Japanese charity who offers to provide solar-energized electricity to about 500 places in one year. It is a good thing as we need to provide electricity to rural hospitals for vaccine preservation and schools.
… I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the CPP working team in the western front of the country, take for instance HE Suy Sem in the province of Pursath, and to the Cambodian armed forces for their active and effective participation in lessening hardships as caused by drought that was extending from 2004 through to 2005. As in the case of Pursath, we had a good sum of rain from early season, less in the middle and more is still coming at the end of the season. In general I am glad with the rice cultivation efforts in the country this year as we have cultivated in all more than two million hectares or over 97% of plan. Our people have started dry season rice along with water-recessing rice. If there were to be no damaging factors, our estimate of the harvest would be about five million tons of rice – about four million tons of rainy season rice and about over a million tons of dry season rice. Having kept about four million tons of rice for local consumption, we would have a sum of over one million tons for exports.
… Along with this I would appeal to our people to swap from traditional variety to short-term variety. I have noticed already on my way here that people in the provinces of Kandal, Kompong Chhnang and a part of Pursath have harvested rice in wet condition. I used to say to the people in the commune of Put Sar in Takeo’s Baati district that we harvest rice in wet condition is better than to have nothing to harvest. With consecutive severe droughts I am of the opinion that it is better to have rice for harvest though in wet condition.
… At around 5:30 pm of yesterday, I led a group of Government’s border team to see HM the King Norodom Sihamoni to report to HM all border related issues. I have informed HM about my trip to the second Summit of the Heads of Government of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam in Economic Cooperation Strategy in Thailand in early November during which I have proposed a concept of transforming all borders into peaceful, cooperative and economic development ones. I said to all the Prime Ministers participated that it is always a sensitive issue to talk about border areas, which normally are heavily militarized places. I said we should try and work together as neighboring countries to transfer zone of fear along the border into income generating areas. I have also raised the issue of agriculture, including also contract farming like those we had implemented in Pailin for cultivation of maize, nuts, etc. We also are looking for possibility to replicate these practices to elsewhere other than the border area.
… Samdech Krom Preah and I have been in close consultation on the issue. It is important to ratify the treaty on the border issue between Cambodia and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and we are of the view that no one should be allowed to ruin the peace and political stability that we have achieved at all.
… I used to mention that “farmers are life partners, while customers are bosses”. Industry could not survive without farmers whose production would then be supplied to factories for purpose of processing into different forms of final products. Factories in this sense are the marketplaces for farmers.
… As for the Kravanh river bailey bridge is concerned I would suggest that we will officially inaugurate on March 8 next year. I have come to Pursath, and Kompong Chhnang, yet to Battambang, Banteay Mean Chey and Udor Mean Chey. I have come very often though to Siemreap as I will be going there again on November 19 to celebrate a ground breaking ceremony.
In that occassion Samdech Hun Sen offers ten million Riel each to the pagodas of Sovankiri of the commune of Roleat and Pea Nhek of the commune of Khteah Pring, a schoold building of six classrooms to the primary school of Khteah Pring, a school building of six classrooms to the college of Prek Sdey in the commune of Rolok Sar, and a school building of six classrooms to the college of 10 Makara (January) in the district of Krokor.