Samdech Hun Sen and Madame went to the district of Kompong Siem of Kompong Cham province to inaugurate various religious achievements and to lay the cornerstone for the construction of a deceased Buddha and the temple of Charity. Samdech talked to people about some geopolitical situation of the province of Kompong Cham, the renovation of the national road 7 as a main blood vein of the country and the border issue.
… My wife and I are happy that we could come once again to the Pros (male) mountain and Srey (female) mountain after my visit here in May 2004 for a Buddhist ceremony in inaugurating a number of achievements in this place. We are here today to inaugurate a Buddhist teaching hall, to lay the cornerstone for the construction of the Buddha statue of 21 meter long and 6 meter high, and a Charity temple with Angkor feature of 12 meters by 9 meters. I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to people who have contributed to the achievements in this place – new and old, which will be useful for not only this generation but many more to come.
… I wish to recall a short history of the pagoda of the Phnom Pros Phnom Srey here which was first built in 1918. It is 87 years to the present. We had seven head monks taking care of the pagoda of Sovankiri Ratanak and each one of them had a long life, take for instance the first one passed away in his 84 years of age. The seventh head monk Tim Srun has taken up management of the pagoda in 2004. The war – took place in 1970 -brought about destruction in the province of Kompong Cham, starting with a plane that bombarded a university near the provincial town. I was then 21 and not a politician. After the withdrawal of the US forces and South Vietnam in 1973, the stage of Khmerization of the war began and Kompong Cham became a target of serious fight. The Governor of Kompong Cham in those days were Bu Khleng, replaced by Srey Ya, who was then replaced by Sar Hao, who brought along with him the marine forces docking along the Mekong river in front of the town of Kompong Cham.
… Sar Hao ordered the bombardment of the Boeung Kok levee letting water to flood in as he knew that the forces from the hill tribes did not know how to swim. The liberation forces then captured the Phnom Pros Phnom Srey. There was a dry season campaign by the Lon Nol forces to recapture the Phnom Pros Phnom Srey. At that time nobody knew about Pol Pot as Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk and Samdech Pen Nut were appearing as leaders. If we knew it was Pol Pot who stayed behind the movement I would not accept to follow them. History could not be falsified.
… I said to Samdech Preah Norodom in the peace settlement process and showed him the article, the tape, etc. and Samdech said to me, and it was taped, if Khmer Rouge, we all are. I said to him that I could not accept that because of three reasons. First, Samdech was a leader and I was a follower. I joined the struggle when I was 18 years of age. If there were to be a reward, Samdech would get it and I would be one of the well wishers. But if there being guilt, Samdech would be tried and I would be a non-guilty person. Second, when I led the struggle against the Khmer Rouge’s Pol Pot, Samdech was then the Head of the Democratic Kampuchea, even after resigning Samdech was still with the Khmer Rouge. Third, sitting together to negotiate a peace deal Samdech was the head of the coalition Government with the Khmer Rouge in it, and I led the anti-Khmer Rouge Government.
… After 1975 this place became a killing field and we built a stupa for keeping the victims’ remains here. We discovered 7300 skulls scattering at the edge of the mountain and over one thousand dead bodies in the village of Sralao at the foot of Phnom Srey. After 1979, especially in 1982 we started to rebuild the pagoda according to our limited resources. As of now in Kompong Cham, according to the report, rice cultivation has reached 97,37% of the planned area, as the provinces heavily affected by shortage of rain are Kompong Speu, Svay Rieng, Takeo, Kandal and a part of Prey Veng. In their last attempts with the late coming rain, take for instance, Svay Rieng has increased its cultivation to about 70% of plan. We have fulfilled a cultivation area of about two million hectares throughout the country or 90% of plan. We have predicted that this year seasonal flood would reach 10.30 meter at Chadomuk but in reality it has come to just 10.01 meters. Almost all typhoons have come out but we hope to continue to have some more rains.
… I hope that our people are taking precaution that late rain water is conserved in canals and ponds, etc. and leaving it flowing into the water system (river, lake) could be a problem when you need to have water for irrigation. I have seen from helicopter that some of the water reservoir started to dry out and I would urge our people to take appropriate action to conserve water for dry season rice. The Royal Government has set its agricultural growth at 3.3% and judging from the production we have already scored, it is positive to reach the set goal. I wish to take this opportunity to apologize for being late in renovating the road 6A and 7 as they have had severe damages. The damaged 6A road indicates objective and subjective reasons. Objectively, we have a discussion with Japan to do major repairs but subjectively we also have been negligent in taking care of the roads in face of heavy transportation.
… I have asked HE Sun Chan Thol Minister of Public Works and Transports to examine the length of road to be renovated and decide which part is to be given to whom – the Phnom Penh Municipality, the Kandal Province and Kompong Cham province, to implement. The Ministry of Finance and Economy will have to make pre-financing release for the repairing work. In some parts pot holes covering is all right, but others need substantial repairs. This is my order and it has to be implemented quickly and effectively.
… In relation to the border issue, I would take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to all sorts of support as expressed through letters. Let me argue a bit about the border issue and the fact that why I am the one who is getting all the accusation. These people have gone too far on this issue that forgiveness and patience could not be exercised on them anymore. We have taken legal actions and as a result two have gone into jail, one still in France and two others in Thailand, and they would not escape because we have an agreement on extradition with Thailand. They will be brought to show us the land that Hun Sen gave out to a foreign country. They said I am responsible for the loss of between 4000 and 6000 square kilometers of land and I want them to show me where they actually are. They also said Cambodia lost an area of 10,000 square kilometers of water territory. Was not it funny that on October 10, 2005, I signed a treaty of land border and we lost the water territory?
… I consider suing Prince Sisovath Thomico, a cousin of HM the King. He said on the Voice of America that I was the one who maneuvered the loss of Koh Tral (Tral Island). No matter how incompetent a country’s leader would be, he would not fly to give land to a foreign country. Even Pol Pot was that bad and genocidal but he never gives land to anyone. I think of making documentary footages to show to our people issues relating to the border. We all should be clear about the Brevie line. The prince will have to answer to all the points concerned, if he failed then he should be sent to jail. I would not only step down but also give myself to the national or international court if they could present with fact that I am the one who allows the loss of the land of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
… Who actually caused all the problems? It was no different group to the one who opposed Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk in the past but they dare not criticize him now. I think the Royal Government and the National Assembly should be dealing with this matter together. I could not accept their silly remark that why the content of negotiation of the border issue is not brought to light for discussion with the non-governmental organization. Why NGO is more important than the people? Don’t they know the tactics in negotiation? For instance, HM the King issued a letter in defense of all members of the royal families and Kings no matter how bad they could have been in the past after the Angkor period. Why Hun Sen could not defend himself? The history clearly wrote that Jaya Jeddha II caused the loss of Kampuchea Kraom, and was later incorporated into Cochin-China by the French. All things considered Jaya Jeddha II is the traitor since 1600.
… In 1949, the French and the Khmer representatives met and the Cambodian representatives led by Prince Yukunthor, voted abstention on their own land. I am to take this matter according to the law. I would not do anything that is contrary to the law. I would not follow Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk’s trace of leaving a chance for someone to overthrow him. I wish to recall that someone in 2003 appealed to the armed forces to turn their gun at me, I could have taken legal action against him already but did not do so because I also wanted to see how things would turn to be. I warn him not to use such words as mobilizing forces to go against the Royal Government or action will be taken. My patience has its limit.
… It is absurd that they have messed up also the negotiation moves. I wish to inform everyone that the Constitution’s Article 2 bears its weakness and strength. It has two weaknesses. First, we have written that we will use the map that is printed between 1933 and 1953. So in relation to the border with Vietnam and Laos, we have tied up our hands, because it would be wise if we just mention any maps printed prior to 1953, so we can use those printed in 1928 or else. It is not that the Prime Minister do not know, it is just the Prime Minister do not want to lay bare its own Constitution, because I do not want other countries to see it. As for Thailand, the Constitution says nothing and we are adhering to the 1904-07 France-Siam Agreement. It looks as if our land borders are only on one side with Vietnam and Lao, and the other side with no one. That was why I have said in the Cabinet’s meeting that we should amend our constitution, and it could do a lot to help.
… Now they say the Royal Government is launching an anti-democracy campaign. I ordered no closure of radio or newspapers. All I did was arrest a person who makes a falsified fact. Where else can we claim the land from? or shall we go take Koh Tral by force? or Cochin-China by force? or also some provinces on the Thai side? I recall in one of our discussions, Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, Samdech Preah Reach Akamohesei and Samdech Krom Preah were on one side of negotiation team, and I had HE Dith Munti and HE Cham Prasidh with me, and we have it on tape. Samdech Preah Norodom said to me that we must keep the 181,000 square kilometers land. I said no as the exact size is 181,035 square kilometers.
… I took all the blames and I sue no one on count of criticizing the Royal Government in relation to poverty, illegal checkpoints, illegal logging, illegal land grabbing, lack of water and roads, etc. because they all are correct and I would listen to their ideas. But selling land to foreign country can not be ignored. In this concern I am glad that I have the support from our people of all walks of life from a younger generation in defending independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and clarifying issue of border demarcation. I have suggested to Vietnam to build concrete poles for long lasting. We will have to decide which map we are using and we have decided to use the one that is deposited at the United Nations. If We lost the land as they said CPP would not get any votes from villages or communes along the border, but in 2003 we won in all border’s communes.
In that occasion Samdech Hun Sen offered ten million Riels each to the pahoda of Koh Pen, Koh Prak, a set of computer, printer and photocopy to the Buddhist library, a school building of 6 classrooms to the primary school of Hun Sen-Khel Chey.