Samdech Hun Sen made a prepared text to the forum while some adlib comments have been selected and provided here in addition to that is already posted on the website.
… We are actually talking about six provinces that are bordering with the Lake namely Kompong Chhnang, Pursath, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Siemreap and Kompong Thom. As a whole we should also take into consideration whether the province of Kompong Cham should be regarded as bordering with Tonle Sap Lake or not as two of its districts – Baray and Choeung Prey are actually in the Tonle Sap area. Also Kandal province should be taken into consideration as the province is actually sitting at the way-in and out of the Lake. It is indeed important to be geographically clear in defining areas that are relating to the Lake.
… A few days ago the Cambodian People’s Party Central Committee’s Plenum issued more resolutions in which power has been granted to me to resolve issue relating to land grabbing by the CPP officials. It does not mean that I did not have power to resolve this before this Plenum but I sought for maximum approval on that matter. As far as land grabbing is concerned, along with its importance for the Plenum to resolve, some of the issues are within the Tonle Sap Lake area.
… In the last two days there have been some officials withdrawing themselves from the problem. I warn them if they were stubborn they would be stripped off their power. I wish to declare that the war against the land grabber has started but my method is not to attack the barrack to hold hostages but to circle the barrack and call them to lay down their weapons. There was one case at Taken Koh Sla and I have given my strong warning. I have discussed with HE Tia Banh, Minister for Defense, as to who will have their positions relieved. I just want to ensure that this problem is solved peacefully but in seriousness and I also guarantee an honorable exit for them.
… CPP would be removing some officials from positions and they should not be shocked. CPP could not afford to have those who would give us bad image as this is a decision by the whole CPP leadership and its Central Committee. This is not to lay bare internal affairs of CPP but it is a CPP’s polical line for the sake of our nation and people. Last night I was reported that a couple of thousand hectares were returned without condition. I order to return the land to the Ministry of Agriculture. Some people claim they bought land from the ex-Khmer Rouge. Are they owners of the land? The land is the national asset and they could not take the national land to sell to you at all and I will remove a three-star general this week.
… The establishment of the Tonle Sap Authority or the Supreme Council on Tonle Sap should be another point of consideration. It is true that we have various authorities that are seconded to the Royal Government but at this stage of development whether we should or should not have another authority to coordinate management of all related provinces is a critical issue. It would involve a great deal of discussion and consideration as to its term and function or else it would be a decision that is ineffective – to create expenses, to create positions … while it is contradicting with the provincial authority for that matter.
… It should not be a must to get that kind of authority established when it gives more problems than solution. Sooner or later we will have more to deal with on issue of oil and other mines. We have mines and oil not only in the sea but in the Tonle Sap Lake as well. A serious coordination and collaboration would be important. As far as issue of trying to get recognized as one of the world heritages, we should give a thorough thought on whether we could go on fishing or not. Take for instance the Mount of Kravanh, if we have it classified as a world heritage, we stand to lose 800 megawatts of power from the dam that is to be – a battery stock of Cambodia.
… It is worth noting that the lake is a stock of fish for Cambodia since ancient days and any improper decision that prohibits our people from fishing would indeed invite conflict. Our decision should not be to the extreme – either to right or to left. We should try and get a middle path so as people would be able to go on fishing in the lake, if being classified as a world heritage is prohibiting them from doing so. I demand total and comprehensive solution to all problems concerned in that matter…/.