My wife and I are happy to join with all of our people here in the inauguration of achievements ten days after the inception of the Khmer New Year. The Devoda of the Year of Hen has taken a break for about ten days while the Devoda of the Year of Dog has taken over the task of figuring out what else need to be done for the people of Cambodia as a continuation of help given by the previous Devoda of hen. Devoda of the Year of Monkey – in between 2004 and 2005 – had not been generous in term of rain, while the Devoda of the Year of Hen had been better. The seven Devoda – daughters of Kabel Moha Brahma – has taken turn traditionally in taking care of the world, but we have those Devoda of residence, air, forest and the Kingdom of Cambodia, as well as the symbol of the Cambodian People’s Party. They keep themselves busy taking care of our people forever.
The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has taken Devoda as a symbol and the Devoda is here to help our people and is not subjected to change yet. I may take this topic for a discussion here as before the general election in 2003, there were suggestions that the Devoda of the CPP should change as naturally Devoda takes turn every year. I remember they said this in the district of Koh Thom in the province of Kandal. To put it simple they wish to take CPP out of power, while leaving the power vacuum to be taken by other parties. I responded at that time from the city of Kep that though the Devoda changes from year to year in taking care of the world, the Devoda child – CPP will continue to be Devoda of the people and no one could ever replace it. Having said that I do not infer we are Devoda.
Talking about the Party symbol, as UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority for Cambodia) and SNC (Supreme National Council for Cambodia) laws prohibit employing national symbol as that of the party, CPP has dropped its original symbol of Angkor Wat temple. We made a decision to have Devoda throwing flowers among many other choices. Samdech President and Honorary President of the Party accepted. No matter what people are making jokes of the CPP symbol, CPP is still the Party for the people as the Devoda has been done and continued to do for endless time to come.
It is indeed the first time for my wife and me to come together after the celebration of the Khmer New Year to Kompot for this auspicious occasion of inauguration. As usual, my presence in any inauguration would go along with more construction. We have here today seven school buildings of 35 classrooms, and a director’s office of three rooms, etc. May I take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and thanks to HE Pen Siman and other generous persons – from both inside and outside the country – for the contributions in scoring achievements in the commune of Angsdoc. According to some records, the college here was open in between 1969 and 1970 with 98 students. It was closed right after the war broke out in 1970 and the school was left in ruins coupled with negative effects of the Pol Pot’s regime.
After 1979, the efforts to reestablish the college had halted with there being only one building of seven classrooms, whereas other buildings were in shattered conditions with numerous holes in walls. Our people sealed them with coconut leaves and roofed it with palm leaves. In February 1993, I contributed for the first time some money for the college to build its director’s office. As of now I think I have been to Angkor Chey three times already. As I remember in between 1984 and 87, there had been 666 students graduated from this college and only one third of the number had a chance to continue their education to the College of Samdech Chea SIm in the commune of Tani – 12 kilometers from here. Two third of the students abandoned their studies. In May 2000, I offered a school building of six classrooms and another on November 5, 2005 through HE Pen Siman, Director of the Custom House. I wish to express once again my deep and sincere appreciation of the efforts made by generous persons, HE Pen Siman and members of the CPP working group for the district of Angsdoc.
I am glad to have heard from the monks and our people that the celebration of the Khmer New Year has been calm and joyous. I am glad to hear the report of HE Governor Thach Khorn about the progress achieved in the province of Kompot. I am also glad that I have come to the province in the previous year – to celebrate the symbolic groundbreaking for the construction of the hydroelectric stations from Phnom Penh when HE Prime Minister of China was here, and this year to celebrate these achievements. According to the report we have this year a good yield of rice but there seems to be a problem in the efforts to produce salt. I asked HE Khoy Khun Huor about this situation as it was not mentioned in the report.
This time of the year the salt production season has come to an end because it is the start of the rainy season. This year we produced only 30% of the plan – 50,000 tons over the planned 150,000 tons. This lack could eventually be addressed by the fact that drought in 2004-2005 allowed us to produce a sum of 220,000 tons of salt, the surplus of which could help complete the need of this year. HE Thach Khorn is not in the list of removal so you should continue to administer the province and I seek your cooperation with HE Khoy Khun Huor in fulfilling the salt production plan not only in quantity but also in quality and for healthcare purpose. What we should do is to make sure that next year’s salt production should not be falling behind the plan or we will have a salt deficit problem to tackle seriously.
I celebrated the Khmer New Year at home unlike previous year that I drove out with my wife to see people. What is important for me is that no matter where I am. I am glad to see that our people are happy. One reason I did not go out in the Khmer New Year days is because my going out would involve my bodyguards to go with me and they could not join their families for that matter. I have two memories from the Khmer New Year – on 14 APril 1970 I left my family to the marquis, and again on April 16, 1975, I had a wound in my eye. One more fact that I am glad is that this year’s accident has gone down, while death toll from accidents has decreased in numbers, whereas in Thailand, the number of accident is high.
Talking about the Khmer New Year, there has been a traditional belief that the Kabel Moha Brahma had seven daughters and he beheaded himself because he failed in a contest with Dhammabal Kumar. All of the Buddhist guides have repeated the same thing vaguely. I have gone a little bit further and I found out that it was because of his envy that Kabel Moha Brahma challenged Dhammabal Kumar with a problem. When Dhammabal Kumar could solve the problem, Kabel Moha Brahma had to keep his promise of beheading himself. Moha Brahma went into contest because he envies Dhmmabal Kumar, which is an ill will. But he kept his promise and beheaded himself that is his promise-keeping value. He could have cheated because he was the one who put the problem and the one who judged whether the solution is correct or not. Kabel Moha Brahma is an envious person but a promise-keeping or truth-bestowing one.
Talking about ill-will I happened to learn a story from an old man here in Kompot and I wish that if the authority could find him, please write to me. It was about greed. There were two men serving as Buddhist teaching guides. One of them possessed a corrupted manner stealing contributions from head monks, etc. I narrated this story twice before. When they both died, the ill-manner guide became a beggar and the good one became a Devoda. The Devoda one sees that his friend from the previous life was a beggar, and he went to see him. The beggar asked the Devoda to make him a normal person. The Devoda satisfies his demand. Wanting to be a commune head, the former beggar turned normal person asked the Devoda to make him a commune head. The demand was satisfied. He then keeps asking the Devoda to make him so and so higher and higher in the rank, until being a King but he was not satisfied and wanted to be the Devoda too. The Devoda sees that his friend could not change his past. The Devoda then turns him into a beggar the way he was.
This is a good story and it should be a thought that every one of us should not be too greedy. One should learn to accept what one has and is being offered. I did not mean to infer this story to anyone but one should take it as a piece of advice. It has been predicted by the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology that there would be more rain this year from the early part of the rainy season and less in the last part. Therefore it is wise if our farmer work to grow short-term and medium-term rice rather than long-term one.
On that occasion Samdech Hun Sen offers financial contributions for the construction of fence, access dirt roads, temples and water reservoirs to four pagodas, one school building of six classrooms and electric accessories to the College of Hun Sen – Angsdoc, a school building of 5 classrooms to the College of Samlanh, a school building of five classrooms to the Priamary School of Sre Chea, a school building of six classrooms to the College of Angchuok, a five-classroom building to the Primary School of Yuos Metrei and a laterite covered road from Sdoc Dambok Khpuos to the national road 31.