… It is indeed a great pleasure for me to come back today to put into use the Tamouk water reservoir after its ground breaking ceremony 367 days ago. According to my record in just one year I came three times to the district of Punnhealoeu of Kandal province. Today we all are happy to witness another achievement that is the result of Cambodia-(Republic of) Korea friendship and cooperation. May I on behalf of the people of Cambodia express our sincere appreciation and thanks to the people and Government of the ROK through HE Kim Suk Hyun, president of KOICA and HE Ambassador, for the grant for the people of Cambodia, especially those who are residing in the area. In shaping up this water reservoir, we have used, according to HE Lim Kean Hor, Minister for Water Resources and Meteorology, US$ 1,369,000 grant from the RoK together with the Cambodian Government’s counterpart fund of US$ 60,000. Though the reservoir of water could irrigate a size of 1900 hectares of cultivation land for about 20,000 people of 3500 households, I think it is still a huge achievement in my vision of developing are north of Phnom Penh.
… I am very glad to see that the relationship between the RoK and the Kingdom of Cambodia flourishes since its re-establishment in 1996. In my first visit to RoK I requested to the then Korean president Kim Yung Sam to give to me, the donation for my personal account, in form of road construction machineries. I have offered them to the engineering team of the Ministry of National Defense for their task of building roads in Cambodia. My later visits to the RoK brought about more achievements such as donation of information technology, the establishment of vocational training school, and among many other valuable things, the renovation of a large part of the national road 3. This is what I wanted to share with our people today on achievements scored from the positive relation between the two countries in the past ten years. Let me take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology for making this happen. I also thank the local authority of all levels, especially the district authority of Punnhealoeu for their joint efforts in making the project going smoothly from beginning to end. My thanks also go to local people whose participations have proven to be significant for the overall operation of the project.
… The water reservoir is here now. I am sure the wish of the Government of RoK and the Royal Government is to see that our people are making maximum use of available water. If our people before harvested 1.2 or 1.5 tons per hectare, we want them to harvest four or five tons per hectare. And the living standard of our people will improve accordingly. We also have established here a water usage community and I am sure the reservoir will be in place for use not only by people of this generation but also of children and grandchildren to come. The only chance that the reservoir would be dismantled is the resurgence of the Pol Pot regime. I could guarantee that if Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranaridh, President of the National Assembly, or I, or Funcinpec and CPP are standing together, such a chance would be unavailing. Yesterday was the 26thanniversary of the January-7 victory over the Pol Pot’s genocide regime, and I was not present because I had to attend an urgent aid coordination summit to address the Tsunami disaster in the Republic of Indonesia. The meeting was even bigger than the one organized in Thailand last time to manage with the SARS situation.
… Due to the fact that Tsunami disaster has been unprecedented and affecting many countries in the region – Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand, among others – Heads of States and Governments of ASEAN and the world – Japan, China, RoK, Australia, New Zealand, the European Union and the United States of America came to Indonesia for the Summit. Well all was going well. In between 2004 and 2005, Cambodia was badly hit by drought which damaged our people’s rice cultivation. Thanks to our joint efforts, the country has seen to their own eyes how the Royal Government is making ends meet mobilizing the armed forces, local authorities of all levels, and the contribution made by the Buddhist monks in saving our people’s rice from total destruction. The damage caused by drought in Cambodia is incomparable to that caused by the Tsunami, which has brought about up to this moment over a 16 hundred thousand deaths… The people of Cambodia would like to express their condolences with those countries and families while attending the above summit as well.
… To compare what was caused by Tsunami with what was destroyed by the genocide regime in Cambodia in the period between 1975 and 1979 I would draw a conclusion that the latter is far more destructive. The destruction caused by Tsunami affected many countries with an extent, to my mind, far smaller than that suffered by the people of Cambodia in the time of genocide. They are lucky though as they enjoyed the assistances of many countries immediately and I am quite glad to see that happens. As I could recall there has been close to four billion dollars of pledge and a problem for the rescue operation is whether they could get the whole pledge or not. We see rescue and assistance provision operation rendered by armed forces of many countries. Let’s imagine the three million people of Cambodia died in tragedy and in negligence of the world. It may be difficult for HE Ambassador of the RoK to imagine how destructive Cambodia was after the genocide because Cambodia today is very colorful. In 1979, the whole Phnom Penh city lived about 70 people. Monks were disrobed and killed with the punishment for practicing religion of all kinds.
… Seeing such destruction by Tsunami reminded me of what Cambodia was through and feeling sorry that the people of Cambodia could not in those days enjoy similar warmth and assistance spiritually and materially. What was worse was the fact that Cambodia continued to suffer from punishments. The Khmer Rouge represented Cambodia (after its fall in 1979) in the United Nations. But I felt encouraged when I met briefly with HE Kofi Annan at the Summit in Indonesia where he thanked the Royal Government of Cambodia for the completion of all tasks required (for the commencement of a trial of the Khmer Rouge’s leaders), including the ratification of financial obligation for the operation of such a trial. I have also appealed to many foreign leaders for providing financial assistance for a timely trial. I have an understanding that as long as the trial takes place then justice is given to the victims and those who lost loved ones. Unimaginably, a bout ten people took to the street to express their opposition to the January-07 rebirth of the people of Cambodia. January-7 is indeed putting an end to the genocide because of which many people of Cambodia died and monks were disrobed. Because of January-07 we now have a chance to be here altogether, we have monks and all basic human rights have been restored and respected.
… In Cambodia, seven people (the Khmer Rouge leaders) killed about three million people or one third of the then population. Some people blamed the slow process for the trial on Hun Sen by claiming that Hun Sen does not want such a trial. The Khmer Rouge leaders were tried in 1979 but no one recognized the effort. And I am glad that our people will enjoy justice this time. As for the Cambodian People’s Party and Hun Sen, such a trial is of great significance as it will prove that punishment on Cambodia in the past was wrong or render the CPP with a justice it deserves, so to speak. Despite all difficulties, efforts will continue to be made to make relevant laws and Cambodia has an obligation to contribute 13 million dollars to the trial. Well, 13 million dollars is a fairly big amount of money that this country could instead make use of building water canals, etc. but the trial is indeed a must. Sometimes it is ironical to see that some politicians turn bad calculators because they hate the genocide and Pol Pot but they blame the one who attacked Pol Pot. I wonder what would they say when they go to pagoda to observe the memories of their loved ones who died under the Khmer Rouge regime. My conclusion is whether one could place confidence in them since they turned their backs on the truth. I invite our people to consider the analysis.
… 26 years ago, our people in all parts of the country were set free from the genocide. They wandered collecting necessary utensils – plates, spoons, etc. But what was important for us then was survival. Some people were liberated right on January 07, but some were liberated since January 06 or even since end of December 1978. Liberated on January 07, and within the past 26 years, Phnom Penh has changed a great deal. But some politicians made an unrealistic remark that the country is getting poorer. That was an irrational remark. Phnom Penh turns from a ghost city to a traffic-congested one. Well, I may have to make clear that all I am talking is not to restrict anyone from expressing their different views but I have to share my side of rationality. I used to talk about two ship owners and a sailboat possessor in Sihanoukville while putting into operation a dry port at the seaport. The sailboat possessor came shouting from behind the ship that his boat was going to get to the shore before the ship. He invited people aboard the ship to join his boat. In fact the sailboat possessor would want very much to be invited aboard. As a matter of fact the ship owners also would like to have the sailboat possessor on board but could not do so because of the sailboat possessor’s greediness.
… The package vote that solved the political deadlock was announced from here and the Royal Government was named a package Government (or resembling a ship). The sailboat possessor remarked that it was wrong to focus attack on the younger owner of the ship because he is stronger. Later the sailboat possessor plans to direct attacks on the elder owner of the ship because of his weak strength and to eventually replace him in 2008 in steering the ship with the younger one. The younger owner of the ship told the elder owner that the sailboat possessor wrote him twice and promised him with no more blame. It is ironical and I advise him to go on discrediting me as the more he does the more people will see who is to blame. Take for instance as he discredited me irrationally on various things, I gained more votes as a result. From 53% in the parliament, CPP now has 60% — largely because of its hard works and partly because such insults. Now the target has shifted from Hun Sen to Samdech Krom Preah.
… The third legislature Royal Government, Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranaridh and I have agreed, is the Government of hydrology, while the second term Royal Government was the one for road construction. We have to start with water management or we could not make a jump-start in our economy. The realization of the Tamouk water reservoir is an achievement that comprises not only economic benefit for the people, but also their basic human rights and democracy for our people in this area. Or a question could be asked if all were dead under the genocide, what could one preaches about human rights? Some of them dare not show that they remember the killing field because they are afraid of losing financial donations. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein was toppled by the US led forces because he killed people, how about Pol Pot? Saddam killed even less than Pol Pot, but the US fight against Saddam was justified. Now that Iraq is approaching its Jauary-30 election date and I doubt how are they going to organize it in face of disturbances almost everyday…