Achievements on Formerly War-Torn Areas
Today I have a great pleasure to put into official use the 124-Kilometers national road 56 linking Serei Saophoan city of Banteay Meanjei province to the city of Samraong of Uddar Meanjei province, with its access road leading to the temple of Banteay Chhmar. I could recall that on 7 June 2012, I came to the commune of Roluos, Svay Chek district, Banteay Meanjei province, to launch the construction of this road. Today we are here in a different district – Thmar Puok, to celebrate this event.
I thank our compatriots for such a warm welcome. Though I came through here and was not able to pass by on the other places, what is more important for us is to be together in this event to put into official use an historic achievement on the land in a formerly war-torn area, where four Cambodian factions fought. As of the present, we worry no more about war to gain and control land among Cambodians. We are now together to keep our territory. Developing it has replaced our conflict and armed clashes.
Win-win Policy Ends Killing among Cambodians
With the implementation of peace policy, win-win policy, we had ended unfavorable condition of killing each other among us Cambodians, left from conflicts of former generations. Succeeding win-win policy has allowed us to build infrastructural connectivity. It was very difficult, if not impossible, to travel between Serei Saophoan city of Banteay Meanjei and Samraong city of Uddar Meanjei. Formerly, people from the two cities would have to travel to one another via the national road 6 in Siem Reap province. With this connectivity, people no longer have to travel back there but straightly from either city. Soon, people will also travel on National Road 58 which is an inner road line running along between Serei Saophoan city and Samraong city too. We will have another road that is going straight from Poi Pet along the border to O Smach on a spread of 174 Kilometers. Having said that Banteay Meanjei is to benefit with Uddar Meanjei, Battambang and Pailin infrastructural connectivity and other infrastructures.
It is within the win-win policy framework implementation that we have been able to transform formerly battlefields into areas of development and markets, perhaps one of the grandiose policies that I set out as Prime Minister and one of the forefront leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party. We have done already the stage of transforming former battlefields into development zones and we are making further efforts to transform border areas between Cambodia and neighboring countries into a borderline of peace, friendship, cooperation and development. Sounds of guns fighting faded out inside the country and with neighboring countries. We resolved differences by peaceful means […]
Counterpart Fund to Access Foreign Loans
As far as roads issue concerned, Senior Minister Sun Chanthol already reported to you thanking former minister Tram Iv Toek of Public Works and Transports for the job he had done. In the recent Cabinet reshuffle, HE Sun Chanthol has had to come from Trade to Public Works and Transports, while HE Tram Iv Toek has had to go to Posts and Telecommunication. It was a normal process (of changes) to maintain sustainable development. Well, no matter who is to take whatever job, we followed the law and structure of the organization and functioning of each institution.
I am grateful to the Republic of Korea as well as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for providing financing a total sum of USD 49 million for the construction of this road, in which USD 12 million comes from ADB, USD 29 million comes from Republic of Korea and USD 7 million is the counterpart fund from the Royal Government. For every project, should there be no counterpart funding, we would not be able to access loan or credit from our development partners. It is in this fact that I always advise the Minister of Economy and Finance as well as relevant institutions to always get counterpart fund ready from 10% to 20%, to 30% for any given project. These counterpart funds are for resolving impacts incurred from administering the projects, such as removing mines or UXOs within the project areas.
Roles of Peace, Those Who Sought for and Keep Peace
… We do not want to see war again. Should we continue to fight, would we have this chance to build the road? A bridge or road built would not stand destructive explosions. With the win-win policy and peace in place, we are able to ascertain development, and our partners – Republic of Korea and ADB, could participate in making this road possible. The national road 68 from Poi Pet to O Smach is being financed by the Republic of China. In all, I would continue to remind you that peace has an irreplaceable value, without which, one could talk nothing about development.
It is important that people will have to look at roles of political parties, who would destroy and who would be able to keep peace. That would be more important. In the Middle East region, why fighting is still going on in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc. Was it because of the political leadership there or foreign interference of some sorts? How many people had died there? Many have fled to Europe, who in the beginning opened their doors for them. Now they closed it. Where would those people go? It is in this lesson that people must see first the role of peace because without it, there would not be democracy. Should war flares, people would go speechless.
Some people talked nicely about democracy, human rights, etc. but they never care to give a thought about right to life, to peace, and to be free from fear of war. You may take the two Koreas – north and south as example. The Koreans in the north test fired missiles and the Koreans in the South got themselves in vigilant position always. Ten of thousands of Cambodians working there also worry. It is even more important to see the role of peace, of those who sought for and kept peace. Without these roles, lethal dangers caused by war would be factual. It is in this statement that the Royal Government takes necessary measures to keep peace. I even said at whatever price to pay, we must keep peace. We will allow no one person or group to destroy peace […]
Four Priorities for Development
The Royal Government must take absolute measures to keep peace. I would say this event gathers some ten thousand people … In older days, when fighting was around, we dare not have a meeting this size. I once came up here with Ke Kim Yan and conducted a meeting in Serei Saophoan and we did it in a theatre hall. In all, new situation has brought us to a new task to keep peace and we must have development that will base on four priorities – water (irrigation), roads, electricity and human resource. We now set human resource as our first priority. As you can see that with coordinated efforts, the Royal Government led by the Cambodian People’s Party inaugurates a road with secondary schools in adjacent. This clearly shows that we are working on two of the four priorities – human resource – primary, junior and senior secondary schools of Thmar Puok, and infrastructure – roads building […]
Connectivity Facilitates Trades
… Well, aside from this road, we also have another national road 58. It is not a road built for border war purpose. Our main objective is to facilitate trade for locals but also connectivity with people of the Kingdom of Thailand. We have fulfilled two tasks at the same time – to establish connectivity inside, and extend connectivity to neighboring countries. We have numerous connections with Thailand along the border in Koh Kong, Pailin, Kamrieng, Phnom Proek, Mealai, Poi Pet, Boeng Trakuon, O Smach, Sra Em, An Seh, etc. They all are for trade flow facilitations. Between Cambodia and Thailand, we have a trade volume of USD 4,300 million, in which USD 500 million is the volume Cambodia exported to Thailand, and over USD 3,000 million is the volume Thailand did.
Architect of Cambodia-Republic of Korea Relations
We must make effort to ascertain more connectivity. Here I mean not only roads connections but also electricity, etc. In this part of the country, we bought electricity from Thailand. We need to work out its connectivity too. Connectivity with neighboring countries here means that we aim to facilitate a peaceful and better living condition of people on both sides … We need more funds to do that. It is worth reminding that we achieved the national road 56 thanks to our cooperation with the Republic of Korea in the reign of HE Lee Myung-bak, the national road 3 of HE Roh Moo-hyun, and the national road 21, I celebrated the launch of construction the other day, of HE Park Geun-hye.
I am the architect of diplomatic relation between Cambodia and the Republic of Korea. I should remember them all. First, I visited South Korea in the reign of President HE Kim Young-sam, when I first conducted the negotiation. Then we worked with President HE Kim Dae-jung, who released Cambodia some credits. Republic of Korea’s assistance has grown stage after stage. I told leaders of other countries that Cambodia now is in its phase of flying up, should there be disruption of energy, speed would fluctuate or the plane would even fall out. Cambodia needs more funds for its infrastructural development, because without it, development would be impossible […]
Campaign to Provide People with Water for Consumption
… In the latest development, Deputy Prime Minister General HE Ke Kim Yan and Lok Chumteav, have led a campaign in Banteay Meanjei to provide people in need of water for consumption. In the Cabinet meeting and soon after that, I instructed the Ministry of Economy and Finance to delegate budget to the National Committee for Disaster Management to help provide water for consumption to people in the province of Banteay Meanjei. We are working now to bring water down from the water reservoir of Komping Puoy in Battambang, in seven stages, according to the report of HE Suon Bovor, Governor of Banteay Meanjei, to get to the river of Mongkul Borei.
… I would take this moment to put out a national campaign to provide our people with water for consumption. Though I do not seek approval of the National Assembly and HM the King to place the country in emergency, I still consider this situation a disaster of the year. Cambodia is not suffering this ill fate alone. It is a common fate for all. We were lucky that we made a decision for people not to cultivate dry season rice and conserve water. I thank relevant institutions and authorities for taking concrete actions on this matter. The level of water in the river Mekong is too low. We could not even celebrate the water festival’s boat race.
China released water from its Lancang dam three times already into the Mekong to lift up the level of water in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. In Vietnam, they said that it is unprecedented in a period of 100 years that seawater surged through the Mekong up to 100 Kilometers. Should the water level of river Mekong continue to drop, seawater could travel all the way upwards. As water in the river dropped low, the water table eroded causing some ball holes to dry out too […]
… I issued an order to the whole country to mobilize efforts to resolve need of water for consumption for the people. I have made clear that people must be safe in this water shortage episode. The National Committee for Disaster Management alone would not be able to take up the task. We need to mobilize total forces, measures and means to help resolve this natural misfortune … HE Ke Kim Yan and Lok Chumteav have kindly arranged for me to symbolically hand out water ration to our people … the campaign led by HE Ke Kim Yan and Lok Chumteav could be a model experiment in mobilizing helps to get water to people […]
Calling Off Meetings in Phnom Penh, Drilling More Wells
… I suggest that ministries call off their meetings that would require the attention of governors. I already discussed this issue with Samdech Sar Kheng … We call off meetings in Phnom Penh to resolve our people’s demand for water first. What I wish to know more and in a timely manner at this is about how do you do with water delivery to those who need it. Governors may need to inform me about rain, where and how much … In small scale disaster, the Ministry of Economy and Finance would delegate fund to the National Committee for Disaster Management to work it out with provincial governors, who are representing national committee at provincial level. As for this new scale of disaster, it is time that we need to mobilize armed forces to help people find water […]
… I am suggesting that wherever drilling ball holes would bring up water, we do. No matter on whose land they may be. At this incidental stage, everyone must have access to the well, which at a later stage will belong to owners of the land themselves. We must call for machines to drill ball holes. HE Ke Kim Yan may lead the meeting to figure out where and how many wells the working team should drill. You may find financial source to cover the cost that the Royal Government will repay later […]
… I am calling on drinking water companies to provide our people with their products at this time. We have Vital, Oral water companies and I would urge them to do so themselves. They could bring their water to people in villages and communes. They do not have to go through authorities. It is time we must help each other. People who do not have drinking water may share their resources in cash or transport means to pay for and deliver water to those who need the most. I am also calling on Cambodian Red Cross to change its directive to respond to the need. We are stranding a forceful action by state, private and Cambodian Red Cross as first rain may come in June […]
…I am appealing to the working teams of the Cambodian People’s Party to shelf other tasks for a while and concentrate on going to local level actions to help people deal with lack of water. The Cambodian People’s Party – with its mechanism at villages, communes and districts – should make use of their human and financial resources. I also had a brief exchange with Samdech Say Chhum, President of the Senate and Vice President of the Cambodian People’s Party to issue urgent instruction as I am launching this campaign here. With those of the state, Cambodian Red Cross, and private sector, the Party’s mechanism should carry out this work so that our people will have access to water for consumption – drinking and bathing … I also urge other political parties – new and old, to take up actions. We will see which party join in this campaign to help people. We will wait and see whether they would help people in this time of need or just sit and wait for people’s votes in 2017, 2018 […]
Along the National Road 58 and 56, there are some reservoirs from old time. I urge the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology to study them. We need to figure out which reservoirs to restore for conserving water … (Responding to requests of the district governor) I instruct the Techo Engineering Team led by Gen Kheng Samet to dig them six reservoirs and make sure water will go in when rain comes …/.