The Nippon Foundation of Japan has built a sum of 100 school buildings in Cambodia’s rural areas and Samdech Hun Sen was invited to give a symbol inauguration on a school in the district of Phnom Sruoch of Kompong Speu. Following is the selected comments that Samdech shared with the guests and the Cambodian public on the occasion.
… Today, I have a great pleasure to participate with all of our people and guests here to inaugurate the Porprith School building in the village of Kaun Trom, O commune, Phnom Sruoch district, Kompong Speu province – an invaluable donation of the Nippon Foundation (NF) along the national road number 04. This is one of the 100 school buildings that NF built for the Cambodian rural people in 14 provinces throughout Cambodia. Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, the President of NF recalled of one of his meetings with me in Tokyo, Japan and if I am not mistaken, it was on February 26, 1999, in my visit to Japan for a Consultative Group meeting. It was correct that then I told him that key to future development of Cambodia lies in education.
… Let me inform our people that this Porprith School building is one of many others built throughout Cambodia – two school buildings in Kompong Speu, six in Preah Vihear, three in Koh Kong, three in Kompong Cham, five in Kompong Thom, nine in Pursath, ten in Banteay Meanchey, two in Mundulkiri, one in Steoungtreng, two in Takeo, 38 in Battambang, nine in Kratie, three in Uddar Meanchey and seven in Pailin – that we symbolically inaugurate today. When Mr. President Yohei Sasakawa and his team arrived in Cambodia in Novemeber, 2000, there was a fighting in Phnom Penh caused by the Cambodian Free Forces (CFF) and I was on my ASEAN mission to Singapore. He could have cancelled his trip to Pailin but on the contrary he did not hesitate to be present in Phnom Penh and to travel to Pailin.
… What may have impressed us all is that in his speech he mentioned about selecting most places which were formerly under the Khmer Rouge influence for the construction of school buildings. We are grateful for this gesture and decision and this has in fact promoted the implementation of the win-win policy that I have put out for the completion of the national reconciliation since 1996. So far, NF has provided a sum of close to nine million US dollars for the assistance to Cambodia. In response to UNTAC Head — HE Yasushi Akashi’s request, NF had provided assistance in media coverage relating to the elections and there followed by assistance in various forms for the humanitarian benefit such as in the fields of prosthetics and orthopaedics in Cambodia… In general the Royal Government of Japan and its people has been the biggest donor in grant to the Royal Government of Cambodia so that the latter could rebuild its infrastructure such as the national road 6A, the Kizuna Bridge, hospitals, seaport, etc.
… More projects that are going to be funded by Japan and this include also the feasibility study for the construction of a bridge across the Mekong at Neak Loeung to join Cambodia’s ASEAN road together. According to expert’s estimate, the construction may start in 2006. Some Japanese tourists have also contributed their own resources for the construction of schools, water ponds and wells, canals, etc. upon their visits to Siemreap province. Through HE Shinohara, Chargé d’Affairs of the Japanese Embassy, I wish to give my sincere appreciation to the assistance for peace, reconciliation and development of Cambodia. Also on this occasion, I have scheduled to meet with the Japanese Prime Minister HE Junichiro Koizumi in Japan upon my forthcoming visit to Japan for the Japan-ASEAN Year of Exchange event, where I am sure that further progress between our two countries’ relations would be brought into light… It is worth mentioning that Japan is maintaining its level of assistance to Cambodia despite the fact that it has scaled down its foreign assistance due to its economic difficulties.
… I am grateful for the report made by HE Governor Ou Bun that the province is in steadfast development and the armed forces are fulfilling their duties well since when we organized the general elections on July 27, 2003. Kompong Speu was one of the provinces that were keeping stable and good security at the time of elections. I wish to also express my sincere thanks to all Cambodian voters, no matter what political parties they may vote for, for their participation and fulfilment as citizens of the country. In 1998, we had 39 political parties in contest, while in 2003 we had 22 parties. All registered parties have won some votes and we should see this people’s power that the elections has to be organized once every five years on the fourth Sunday of the month of July according to the Cambodian Election Law.
… According to the Constitution, the National Assembly cannot dissolve before the end of its mandate unless the Royal Government is dissolved twice within twelve months. Otherwise an election is held according to schedule. As of present a new Government has yet to be formed, the current Government would continue and the Constitution states the existing Government will be replaced by a new Government and it doesn’t mention of a provisional Government. By all accounts I wish to thank our people in Kompong Speu for giving their confidence in the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) where it obtains four of the six seats with one each goes to FUNCINPEC and Sam Rainsy party. In 2003, the Cambodian people gave CPP 73 seats in the National Assembly or 60% of the total seats, where in 1998 it received 53% of the seats. If we were to have a simple majority (50+1) Constitution, CPP could have form a unilateral Government already.
… Our Constitution is the one with compromise for the sake of national reconciliation but it is so unfortunate that some parties have used its essence to place conditions on the winning party. If I were to walk out, there would be troubles as the National Assembly which is not functioning yet cannot deal with the position of Prime Minister that is left empty and the whole cabinet would dissolve automatically. What is the most severe problem, however, is the fact that the majority of Cambodia people voted for CPP with Hun Sen as the candidate of Prime Minister. I could not afford to neglect the voters’ will, so I would rather go against the will of the opposition rather than that of the people. It is unbelievable that on November 11, under the presidency of HM the King, in a get together to clarify issues relating to the misinterpretation of the 5th November Communiqué, the opposition took advantage of stating that the opposition’s would like to have a tripartite coalition Government with a “new” Prime Minister. They dare to lie under oath to HM the King so they would keep no promise to people like us. There will be a meeting on December 04 and CPP would leave them no room for cheating. CPP could not trust them. The National Assembly will not be functional as long as there is a confidence that the Royal Government will not be left in an uncertain state. The two have to be approved all in one.
… By doing so the two organs could take births at the same time or we may have a situation that one is voted in the position of the Head of the National Assembly while another could not be assured of the formation of the Royal Government. So “bloc vote” is a good way to save mutual confidence – who and who would be the Head of the National Assembly and all its commissions, and who and who would be Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, etc. So this formula is brought in here because we are lacking confidence and this has been explained by their disrespect to the election results and lately to HM the King. After the elections on July 27, they used too many tricks as they proposed for a national salvation Government, neutral Prime Minister, no Hun Sen, etc. The November-5th communiqué written by HM the King has not been respected and they publicly announced that they were forced and they dare not contradict HM the King. Samdech Chea Sim and I do not know French, and HM the King wrote the communiqué in French and HM translated for us. They all know French so they listened twice to the reading, why didn’t they tell their disagreements and why did they say the text is correct? They have asked for signatures to be signed under the text.
… Let me tell you that with or without a new Government, we all have to harvest rice and we should move on to grow dry-season rice, the teachers have teach in schools. We could not depend on the normal procedure of who is approved first, but both are approved together. If the “bloc vote” fails to give parties concerned what they need, then the CPP 73 members of the National Assembly could go on working as CPP would made loan so that they all get paid, while the 50 others – 26 FUNCINPEC and 24 Sam Rainsy party members – will have to wait for the President of the National Assembly to be elected and to approve their payrolls. According to the formula, the formation of the new Government has to abide by the principle of 60% for CPP, 20% for FUNCINPEC and 20% for Sam Rainsy party. Before CPP was thinking of forming a coalition Government of two, but later accepted to form a coalition of three that was suggested and supported by HM the King too.
… Taking this opportunity I wish to declare my order that all illegal checkpoints have to be banned and I would not hesitate to remove Governors or Deputy Governors for leaving this situation going on. Normally those who place checkpoints are those from the military, police, military police, forest control and environment. I have my reports that there are many of them in Siemreap. They all have to act on this issue or face removals…
On that occasion Samdech Hun Sen offered Riel 20 million to the pagoda of Porpriksa, ten million Riel each to five other pagodas and a school building with six rooms to the Primary School of Prey Rumduol in the district of Phnom Sruoch.