Mother and Child Healthcare
I would like to add a few touches on the recommendation made on mother and child healthcare which is the core issue of our campaign. I would like to take this opportune moment to express my sincere thank for the support provided to me, the Royal Government and my wife in capacity as Honorary President of the Cambodian Women Association though her actions. It is also the world trend that efforts are made relating to issue of mother and child healthcare.
I may say it is the core of our action and its repercussion would be subjective too. When no good health could be guaranteed for mother and child, we could not assure that there would be physically strong adolescents. We would not get healthy adolescence from a mortal birth or birth of a child who would not get a proper care for mother’s post delivery mortem. The baby child would then be an orphan and in need for care.
Let me have your attention on this issue with regard to the displaced situation in the province of Preah Vihear. In the camp specially prepared for the situation by the Bayon Media Company that is administered by my daughter, and in our inquisitiveness, we found that because the camp plan was designed by men, no delivery room has been thought of. Therefore, I would recommend that whoever designs such plan, men or women, delivery facilities must be included.
It is instinctively so if we are committed to guaranteeing safe delivery and reduce delivery and/or post delivery mortem. Let me have your attention on one fact that we have all divinities as female and none of the seven them is male. The Cambodian People’s Party also has its symbol made of a female divinity too. As you may have reminded that I would urge that we orientate our actions for benefit of women and children.
I urge that all necessary measures and actions must be taken to reduce mortality from delivery. I am sure our actions and campaign will be of great benefit for our nation and my wife, who has been invited by the First Lady of the General Secretary of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon, along with the first ladies from Ethiopia and some other countries, to make a speech on the issue. I am sure you understand that it is a great honor for every Cambodian.
I would like to take this opportunity to convey to our compatriots issues in relation to the situation in the last few days. First of all I would like to share my sorrow and condolence with families of the soldiers who died defending our country. I also would like to convey my care and appreciation to soldiers who have been hospitalized for their wounds in various hospitals. I see that it is equally important to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for the Cambodian armed forces for the efforts they have made in firmly defending the Cambodian territory from expansion by foreign robbers.
I also take this solemn occasion to express my sincere appreciation for the local authorities – provincial, district and communal – in their efforts and actions to help our people who have displaced themselves from the armed clashes. Equal thanks also go to the Cambodian Red Cross, the National Committee for Disaster Management, the Ministry of Health and related institutions whose services have been rendered right through to our people in need. I urge that their actions go on.
I would extend national gratefulness to all Buddhist monks, our people, non-governmental organizations and political parties for making clear their supports to the Royal Government and armed forces in our noble acts of defending our territory against expansion from robbers.
During the fight at the border in Preah Vihear, there were less than ten thousand displaced persons. But here at Uddar Meanjei province, the number of displaced people has grown close to thirty thousands. It is a big number. I would call for care and special attention to be administered and given to them. Primarily, I would urge the Ministry of Health, which the Minister HE Mam Bun Heng has taken this matter up personally. The situation has been hard as there have been rains and blackouts in the area for absence of electric current from Thailand (in this area of Uddar Meajei province, electricity has been bought from Thailand).
Despite what happens, I would urge extra care and efforts be made to help relieve their difficulties. In so far as I know there has been no problem in term of food and drinking water, however, more efforts need to be made to provide shelter, clean environment and other health related matters. This has been proven to be extra care given by the Ministry of Health when it has delegated its secretary of state and under-secretary of state to manage and resolve the need out there.
Yesterday, Thai Deputy Prime Minister said he would not believe the news that Hun Sen has fallen ill. However, by saying this out loud, he has taken the news from the Cambodian opposition and that of the Yellow Shirt people in Thailand. On April 16, which fell on the Khmer New Year, in a website of the Cambodian opposition, they posted a flash that Hun Sen has been ill and sent for treatment in Singapore or Beijing. As a matter of fact I was having a bath at the sea (at Sihanoukville) with the Governor Sbaong Sarat.
The Thai yellow short (spokesperson) Panthep Puapongpan, and those who are misguided historically, said that “Hun Sen has fallen very ill. Prior to his death, he had to fight and capture the temple of Ta Moan and Ta Krobei before transferring power to Hun Manet.” He even said that Hun Manet led the fight there while making an accusation that there were also Vietnamese forces too. It is my humble doubt that how come a deputy prime minister (of a country like Thailand) could have believed that. I would respond to him that because he is older than I am, I am sure I would not pass away before him.
Those who have posted this groundless information would have their days shorter than mine too. After posting this ill and groundless information, those involved have warned their bosses for reactions from Hun Sen. That is my reaction to you and I would ask how shameful it is when you made a piece of truth-absence information posting on your site?
Let me also make clear here that (Hun) Manet has been involved in all battles. There is no denial for that. However, Manet has not yet been elevated to commanding post in the battle. We have a group of commanders to do that while Manet, as a soldier with specific duty, has been doing his part.
As far as the battle in the area of Ta Moan temple is concerned, the fighting erupted at the place where our people and army had a New Year dance and traditional game on April 17. Our people and armed forces enjoyed the festivities there till late in the evening. The Thai soldiers have requested coming to join the festivities too but our commanders sought their understandings so as to put their requests at some other time. Why has it become a battlefield?
The aggression army launched their offensive attacks on Cambodia since day one. We have exercised maximum patience that we have responded within self-defense right without resorting to immediate response of heavy weapons at all. We have evaluated that no heavy weapons would be used to return favor to Thai heavy artillery at their disposal because we would not like to be tricked to engage in a large-scale war. They have gone on increasing their shelling on us.
On the first day of the fight, which was April 22, there were four attempts by Thai infantry forces and I would elaborate on that a little bit so that those in Bangkok could have a glimpse on their soldiers. Retreating from their first assault, some dead soldiers had been left in the battle at the area near Ta Krobei temple. They assaulted for second time to collect the corpses but they fail to do so but leave more there. This has gone on till at one point they communicated with our field commanders to allow them to come to rescue the wounded that they left in the battle. Since they have been wounded at seven o’clock in the morning and left till around 2pm, it was our conclusion that chance of their survival is gone.
Our commanders tried to have a confirmation from them about the number of ‘wounded’ they believed there were so that we would work out with them how to come get them from the battle. They said there were two at the Ta Moan temple area and another two at the Ta Krobei area. Out of humanism, our commanders suggested they move their troops back and two unarmed soldiers could come in for every wounded one. They then said they would ask for approval from their senior commanders. There were no response from their commanders and shelling and firing upon us has gone on leaving us no time to even take a short sleep. In the course of four-day fighting, Cambodia has not responded with heavy weapons.
As of yesterday, Cambodia acknowledges that it has returned the Thai heavy artillery that fired on us in all sizes and distances but not in a proportionate scale to their attack on us yet. As our soldiers started the retaliatory shelling, I told to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense to wait for a call for negotiation from the Thai side on his phone. This has been what we learnt from the Thais in the fight at Preah Vihear. As soon as we made retaliatory shelling, the Thais would immediately call for a negotiation. According to his watch, HE Prak Sokhon (Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State of the Council of Minister) said it was exactly ten minutes (after the retaliatory response) there was a call for negotiation.
It was just a coordination that would bring about a meeting between the two Defense Ministers. As far as the issue is concerned, the Minister of National Defense of Thailand called at 3:50 pm and there was a consent that a truce would there to be at 4pm. However, it was truly difficult on the Thai side to seal the deal. Some of their troops did stop but some also went on. Then there was another suggestion to bring in the truce again by 7pm because it was impossible to get soldiers under command. The fight went on and on till early morning of the next day.
As you are now informed of the truth that on their side when the bosses agree to a truce with us, those under their command do not seem to give respect to it. Our people may not be well thought through to the fact that why such a meeting between the two ministers of defense is possible here on a bilateral basis. Let’s distinguish this issue of area near and around Preah Vihear which has been brought to the attention of the United Nations Security Council and ASEAN from the one here.
Having said so I would like to make it clear here that negotiation in relation to or about the temple of Preah Vihear, we must respect the role of the ASEAN chair or it must be coordinated by the current chair of ASEAN. As for other areas, meeting for coordination, for a truce and better atmosphere, like in the area of Ta Moan temple and Ta Krobei temple would not require involvements of ASEAN and/or the UN Security Council. I wish that all circles understand this matter clearly.
Negotiation on the war of aggression by Thailand on us in the area of Preah Vihear temple has to be conducted with the presence of the third party, which working out for the presence of the Indonesian observers has been underway. It has been requested in this case by the Thai Defense Minister to come for talk and we also expressed our welcoming position. However, because of his prior engagement for a visit to China, the visit has been rescheduled. It should be noted that at least there has been a discussion on the phone.
In this instance, I also wish to correct what has been posted on the DAP website that this call for a meeting is a sign of Thai being defeated. I would say that this has been overstated and I would seek the press not to make comments and leave all the works to be done by the Ministry of National Defense. The text however has been taken out of the website soon after my remarks.
So far we have been exercising our rights for self-defense only. Let me respond to those civilian and military leaders in Bangkok that Cambodia acts in self defense of its country within the Cambodian territory and never have we infiltrated the Thai territory as they have claimed that we are have been the one to initiate the fight. This has always been the case every time there a fight. Have anyone doubted as to how strong Cambodia could be to make an aggression on Thailand.
The Thai army commander, Prayuth Chan-Ocha, has ‘reaffirmed the (Thai) army is ready to engage in battle with Cambodia if the government orders so.’ Is not it a shame for them? Has there been any practice in the world, that a smaller nation is waging war with a bigger one out of its wish? There has been an exception when Israel, because it is a war of life and death, had unleashed wars on many in the Arab world. I think that the Wall Street Journal’s opinion (Thailand Going Rogue, Page 11, April 26, 2011) has been one of the most objective analyses on that.
In another instance perhaps Thais should perhaps answer if they did or did not make an aggression on Laos’ Xayaburi which has yet to be resolved. They claim never to have a conflict with neighboring countries, but have they missed what happened with Laos and Myanmar? They have brought conflict to every neighbor but they never acknowledge to have started the problem. If they do not, who could have done so?
Lately they have used some photos of our soldiers’ families to visit their spouses at the front to claim that Cambodia has used women and children as human shields. I wish to make it clear to Thai civilian or military leaders that Cambodia deserves much better than that and we could not imagine they could have resorted to this trick. Not only that we have not done that but also dug more trenches for our people in the rear too.
It should be noted that Thai Ministers of National Defense and Foreign Affairs, relatively speaking the whole of Cabinet, claimed that they have not yet lost any territory. It should be asked if they have not had any territorial loss, why they have fought Cambodia. Where have they fought now? They fight on whose territory then? And if so, why do they claim us to be the one that launches aggression on their territory? When you claim that you have control over all of your territory, don’t you mean that Cambodia does not invade you and it is you in fact who invade Cambodia?
They may have to keep track of they have said. Or else, did they mention about Cambodian aggression just to suit the yellow shirts’ ambition of seeing simmering tension and increasing trust in the army. They have in fact made a subtraction to nil by saying that Cambodia has invaded them on one instance but claimed no territory loss on the other. As early as five o ‘clock in the morning, they fought to retrieve the dead but at the same time their spokesperson said they have complete control of the situation at Ta Krobei. If it so why did they have to fight at the Ta Krobei area?
What they have done on us so far has been the most heinous act that Thai Governments never committed. I have worked with numerous Thai Governments before and there was no one that resorted to use of force in settling problems as that of Abhisit. I wish to make a statement that not all Thais are that heinous as the Government of the Democratic Party of Abhisit. They have had internal problems endlessly and sought to divert people’s attention to border problem with Cambodia.
Yesterday there was a Thai cabinet meeting in which Foreign Minister Kasit Phiromya initiated this idea of reviewing relations with Cambodia, and that would include also the border closure. In 2009, I said it then, after Thai withdrew its diplomat from Cambodia, that if Thais were to close their borders with Cambodia, I would make it our decision for not purchasing Thai goods. I said that Cambodia would see it unnecessary to purchase Thai goods if you already close the border. They may have to make it a second thought as to who would lose the most. Cambodia would substitute those goods by the ones from China or Vietnam and elsewhere.
We have intercepted such a document (on closing its border with Cambodia) by the Foreign Minister (of Thailand) that we then rejected their offer of 1.4 billion Baht for a road construction. It should be noted and asked to Thais that, as they shell on our roads and civilian targets, do they consider them to be their enemies? I must inform the Cambodians that if Thai closes its border with us, let’s stop buying Thai products/goods. We have no more options left. Head of Thai business association has expressed his disagreement to the said policy too.
I would warn Thailand to take care of its internal issues, take for instance issue of the southern part of Thailand. They should not be worried about possible Cambodian provocation on Thailand. There has been concern that the current border clash would halt Thai parliament dissolution, and thereafter, elections. Let me assure you can do whatever you need to do – dissolve parliament and organize elections – as Cambodia would not try and benefit from this situation at all. Even more so, the Government in stand-by could also command the army.
I would urge the Thai leaders, civilian and military, not to use this as a pretext to delay the parliament dissolution and in whatever they do they should not blame for Cambodia their failures. I would not like to see all the above delay with a blame placed on fighting along the Thai-Cambodian border. I would not doubt it at all that if Abhisit postpones the date for the dissolution of the parliament, he would place the blame on us. I therefore have the need to say it out loud now that if he fails to do so, he should not involve Cambodia in the failure.
He may postpone the parliament dissolution and leave the elections schedule indefinitely open but he should not from only one fact say that all is going to be done because of fighting with Cambodia. I have never met in my leadership any one leader with so many tricks as this Thai leader and I need to reaffirm that by saying so I do not count all Thai leaders to have similar attitude of Abhisit’s, especially within the timeframe after he took power.
I am confident that if the new Government to be elected will not be one under this man, they will see changes of Thai foreign policy with other countries, especially the neighbors. I do not mean to interfere into Thai internal affairs and it is up to the Thai people too to choose whoever they support in the forthcoming elections. Lately, once again they have accused that Thaksin is in Cambodia and he is behind the ongoing fight. We do not know where he is and we believe he is not a traitor and loses all his dignity as a Thai I do believe he has a great number of support.
In order to discredit Cambodia they even claimed to have confiscated weapons from Cambodian soldiers and showed it to the public. Let me assure you that Cambodia does not have such weapons and maybe they are from their warehouses. The 60 mm that they have shown it to be confiscated from Cambodia is not the one that Cambodian is actually using. Worse still, they even used snipers to shoot three of our soldiers – one dead and two in critical injuries. This has prompted us to retaliate in kind. I must say that waging war of this sort is no more than an act of robbering.
Cambodia is calling for a ceasefire and each side will have to stay where they are. Demarcation could therefore be carried out. I hope that the new Government, to be elected in the general elections, would be able to readjust its foreign policy towards neighboring countries as well as in the regional context. As of recently, Prime Minister Abhisit expressed his will of negotiating with Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia. Let me respond that I welcome the negotiation between the two Prime Ministers. However, the negotiation should be conducted in the ASEAN Summit.
I do not reject the idea of going for a negotiation but I will discuss this issue in the ASEAN Summit in case that the Indonesian observers have not yet arrived. I would not rest on this even if I have to list it in the ASEAN Summit agenda. In fact we have a TOR that has been agreed upon by both sides. The visit of the Indonesian Foreign Minister on 24 April, which had been postponed in the last minutes, was in fact for seeking the signature by the Cambodian and Thai foreign ministers. The scheduled visit was cancelled for what the press has put it as (Thai) demand for Cambodia to first withdraw its troops from the temple of Preah Vihear and the Keo Sekkha Kirisavarak Buddhist pagoda.
How could Cambodia withdraw from its territory? Yesterday a clash at Preah Vihear almost took place because of an aircraft which made a sound like a bombardment and our troops also fired from below. Has the world now abided by any rule? Friends have called for our patience, but when we are being fired upon, what shall we do? I may seek advice from all powerful nations with space capability, the US, China, India and Russia, to use their satellites to pinpoint actions along the Thai-Cambodian border to find out the fact.
I have been Prime Minister of Cambodia over 26 years now, even over 32 years since when I was Cambodian Foreign Minister, I have no reason to make war with anyone. If I were new to the post, then they may say that I was a warmonger. As Abhisit is new to the post and he has waged war with us Cambodia, it should be him who needs to be condemned.
From February 22 through to the time when fighting erupted at Ta Moan and Ta Krobei, it is exactly two months or 60 days. I would continue with my appeal as current chair of ASEAN does, if Thailand continues to have difficulty (in making such a decision) in relation to the Constitution, to send their observers to Cambodia. Previously, Thailand also had asked for Indonesia to send in their observers first to Thailand too.
I would urge President of the Republic of Indonesia who will chair the ASEAN Summit in the near future to make decision as speedy as possible to implement the declaration of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers from February 22 on sending observers to Thailand and Cambodia. The best way to record who might open fire on whom is to have a third party in place, where Cambodia reaffirms its readiness to welcome observers to Cambodia.
I am asking ASEAN to play the role that has been recommended by the United Nations Security Council so that ASEAN actions on this matter could be expedited. Again in this atmosphere I would like to reassert my commitment for a negotiation with Abhisit before ASEAN members as a whole so that we coud seek their opinions on the matter. I am sure the ASEAN meeting in Jakarta would be plagued with Cambodian-Thai conflict, which came out of the Thai aggression on Cambodia.
In fact I would not like to create difficulties for ASEAN or the ASEAN meeting would be obstructed by the Thai-Cambodian conflict but there is no other way out for the issue we do not make it so. This matter should be brought to the attention of the top level leaders of ASEAN member countries.
Let me send a message to them that Cambodia would like to resolve all problems by peaceful means and negotiation. Cambodia would not use force to resolve them instead. However, Thailand has been doing it otherwise and threatened to use force against Cambodia, as is said by their army commander. Cambodia wishes to live in peace with its neighbors and solve all problems by peaceful means and refrain from use of force and threat of force in this endeavor.
Cambodia does not wish to engage in any fight but we have been forced to fight to defend ourselves. It has been a failure perhaps for their PV 54 operation, and NC 46 is being incorporated at Ta Moan and Ta Krobei. They may have another operation planned and I just wait and see how far they are going. This is what is called their military plan which was adopted on April 4. Having said so I do not wish to see they start arresting people in their country. I am so sorry that I have been forced to use strong terms but I think it is still minor compared to those used by the yellow shirts as well as the Thai Government to defame me./.