… I wish to express my sincere thanks and joyfulness for returning to share with all of our people here the new achievements in the pagoda of Anlong Romeat in the district of Kandal Stoeung of Kandal province, after my return in March to put into use the Primary School of Prek Kompoeus. May I seek forgiveness from the head monks, cleric committee, Buddhist parishioners and all charitable persons who have pooled their resources in putting together all developments in this pagoda, for the rescheduling of the inauguration of the temple. Because I will have to leave Cambodia tomorrow on trip to Japan. I would thank our people and the general contributors, for which includes the laying down of the cornerstone to today.
… I am glad and have a great pleasure to express my sincere thanks on the Royal Government’s behalf for the efforts made by the current head monk Uy Vorn in gathering assistances from various contributors for realizing achievements in the pagoda in the past 26 years. Despite his polio-caused handicap in childhood, the head monk has made true the leadership for development in general for the pagoda. HE Governor Lay Sunpha already reported the background of the pagoda, which came into being 82 years ago. The pagoda has so far been placed under the leadership of five generation of head monks. The new temple that we are putting into use today took only a little more than a year to finish the construction, which is very fast. The resource pooled in to realize such achievements has been recorded at US$ 110,500, which again is a big sum of money. I am very grateful to the honor given to me to lay the main stone to inaugurate the temple.
… I have had many invitations from various pagodas, but I have scheduled to lay the symbolic stone to inaugurate only three pagodas, one in the pagoda in my native village of Stoeung Trang district in Kompong Cham, one in Takeo province and this one of the pagoda of Anlong Romeat. These are the achievements of the Buddhist world but is indeed having direct and tremendous repercussion on the secular world, especially in educating people of the Buddhist ways of resolving one’s own problem, judging between wrong and right, pursuing a life of dignity and morality in the society. As we have heard from the Governor’s report just now that we have 387 pagodas in the province of Kandal in which lived some 6230 Buddhist monks. Take Kandal Stoeung district alone, we have 35 pagodas with a sum of 390 Buddhist monks. This stresses my usual remarks that we have more pagodas than military bases.
… In Kandal Stoeung district, most of the pagodas were damaged by war as the area was the safety belt of Phnom Penh in the war in 1973. The last part of the damage was conducted by the Khmer Rouge’s regime. Taking this solemn occasion I wish to express my sincere thanks and appreciations for the work-team led by HE Dul Koeurn, HE Ngin Khorn, HE Hing Bun Heang and others to provide assistance to the people in the district. I wish to recall that HE Dul Koeun had been transferred from Koh Thom to Kandal Stoeung’s district to do this job and he is now transferred to the district of Kien Svay, relieving HE Ho Noun and HE Mom Chim Huy to overview positions throughout the province. HE Ngin Khorn and Hing Bun Heang will stay in Kandal Stoeung, HE Suon Sitthi will take over Angsnuol, while HE Em Sam Aan and Lim Kean Hor continue to work in Muk Kampoul and Punnhealeu respectively.
… We have now come to the end of the month of Chetr (the fifth month in the lunar calendar and the dry season of the year) and it recalls us of a son g of Mr. Keo Saraat that “the month of Chetr had gone, the month of Pisaak (the six month in the lunar calendar and the start of the rainy season) has come, the Khmer people start working on rainy season rice cultivation.” But in reality this year the rainy season has yet to come. According to various international weather forecasts Cambodia was to have rain on Friday. But there was none. I wish to make today a sacred day for asking the rain to come. We also have a song that goes “may there be rain the Cambodian farmers need you…” This year drought has become worse as in addition to no rain, the level of underground water has gone deep down unlike every year. In some parts of our country the people could not fetch underground water for consumption anymore as the underground water level receded from fetching. Drought also affects neighboring countries and effort to make rain has brought about only too little rain.
… Take this area last year, we already had water in rice field along the national road 3 from the Canal O Kraing Ambel to the village of Proteah Lang. We organized a boat race in Roleang Ken in the Khmer New Year period in 2004, but we now have no water at all. As of now hundreds of worksites are under operation to provide better irrigation for our people. As usual, at the beginning of the new Government’s term, there has always been a tough test. Because of those hard tests, I have put out a well-known and long-lasting recommendation that “no one should be left to die of hunger without the knowledge of the authority.” Of course food security does not mean only to cultivate rice. Our people may pursue whatever legal means to acquire money enough to purchase rice for their consumption too. Some countries also have destructive consequences – of different kinds. Some suffered drought, while some suffered earthquakes, or flooding.
… There have been requests from various spheres of opinions that since we do not have rain why don’t we try and collect water from underground. Taking underground water for drinking and irrigating household gardening needs is alright but overuse of underground water would result in unimaginable consequences and a thorough study has to be conducted in this matter. According to the study done by JICA, in the Angkor Area, only a few ball holes for water from underground could be drilled. Along with this the Ministry of Water Resource is conducting its study as to how much water could be made use from underground and its consequences.
On that occasion, Samdech Hun Sen offered a sum of 20 million Riels for the payment for the reservoir making, five computers and a printer to the College of Kompong Kantuot, to build a school building of six classrooms to the College of Tropeang Veng, to build a school building to the Primary School of Choeung Koeub, and to restore a 6,600 meters water canal, which would help fetching water from the canal of Prek Thnaot to irrigate an area of 375 hectares.