People Believe, There Is Money to Build
Today, I am so happy to join with Buddhist monks, Excellencies, Ladies, and Buddhist parishioners to inaugurate the Buddhist temple in the pagoda of Indramuni or Prey Jrang, Pean Rong commune, Svay Antor district, Prey Veng province. I was here on 22 April 2013 or three years ago to inaugurate one Buddhist temple and today I come again to Prey Jrang to inaugurate another one. HE Chea Somethi, Governor of Prey Veng, already reminded us that I was here on 11 April 2013 also in Pearaing district of Prey Veng. Again we meet today to inaugurate this Buddhist temple by way of Buddhist and secular ways.
I am grateful to venerable head monk of the pagoda and charitable people and parishioners for providing me the chance to cut the cornerstone ribbon to inaugurate it just days before end of the year. In two days more, we will pass into a new year. I am seeking people’s apology for not being able to be present in person at some of the inaugurations at their requests. I am taking this opportune moment to express my sincere appreciation for efforts made by venerable monk, the wise man committee, parishioners in managing and resolving needs for the construction of shelters and prayer hall for the pagoda. I am grateful to Samdech Krola Haom Sar Kheng and Lok Chumteav, together with charitable people, for contributing a sum of 33 million Riel for the construction. Should there be no belief people would not share their resource for it, or if the people’s living condition were bad, they would not share their resource for the construction.
Secular and Buddhist Worlds – Interdependent
Last week I inaugurated a great residential hall built at a cost of about half a million USD. I brought up this issue of interdependence between Buddhism and secular worlds. Should the secular world be in turmoil, Buddhism would also not be stable. Other religions too would face difficulty. Therefore, peace has a great value and beside interaction with secular world, it retains value in relation with other religions too. Look, what did we have and face in the period between 1970 and 1975. War happened then. Some pagodas were destroyed by bombs and artilleries since the Lon Nol’s soldiers took them as their barracks […]
… War ruined them. At a later stage, the regime of Pol Pot finished them all. Most of the pagodas had become torturing and extermination camps. We did not have religions of any sorts at all between 1975 and 1979. We made great efforts to rebuild pagodas and started with only a few monks. The first only monk was Lon Sim, who then took the monkhood and worked as a member of the National United Front for the Salvation of Kampuchea. After the liberation, we started to have more monks. Now we have more than 4000 Buddhist temples and between 500,000 and 600,000 Buddhist monks. Though some pagoda made fast and some made slow progress, they address people’s need to exercise their faiths after the fall of the regime of Pol Pot’s genocide. All religions coexist together in harmony […]
… We may look at some countries where they are still at wars. At this very moment, those countries are in difficulties, especially those in the Middle East – such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya (in northern Africa) … some have even suffered explosion in their shrines, etc. We should have these accounts to make some comparative analysis between peace and war. We must unite to protect peace that we have won with uncountable hardships. With peace in the country, people are able to grasp the chance to develop the country. Nothing would be here without us making our own efforts. Some people would make easy promises about so and so, but it would not be as easy as they said it in reality.
Cambodia Affected by Serious Drought
As of this moment, Cambodia is affected with serious drought. It is not an issue affected Cambodian alone but the case of the whole region. Last month I went for the Mekong-Lancang Meeting, the first of its kind about cooperation between countries residing along two rivers – Mekong and Lancang, which involve Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, all five countries of the Mekong and China of Lancang. China said it had released water twice from the Lancang dam to the Mekong to relieve the need for water in countries of lower basin. In China, it has a dam to control water of Lancang. While thanking China for letting water into the Mekong, I also asked for countries of the upper stream of the Mekong to also let some flowing down stream to Cambodia and Vietnam.
We have made two requests – one for China to release water from Lancang to Mekong and another for countries in the upper stream – Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos, to allow water to pass downstream to Cambodia and Vietnam. It seems that because of the low level of the Mekong, seawater in Vietnam already infiltrate about a hundred kilometers to land. I am so worried, because in that case, the seawater could reach Cambodia’s Neak Loeung should the level of the Mekong drops further. It is a huge disaster relating to climate change and its effects in the world. Unfortunately, rain did not reach the Mekong basin last year. It went to where people did not need water.
We could not put the blame on Laotian construction of Sayaburi and Dan Sahong because they have not built them yet. They have done little job with Sayaburi that is 1200 Kilometers away … to have or not to have water would depend on the sky. It was the Royal Government’s idea to adapt to changes to seek people’s understanding to produce dry season rice only one time this year to keep water for other purposes. In some places, water reservoirs have depleted. I am asking for relevant intervention to pump water from wherever the water is available to fill storing places. Governors of every province will have to take this job seriously. In 1994, I came to the village of Sieng Khieng, Komjay Mia district, HE Nhem Vanda’s home, buffalos then drank from muddy holes. This year it was not yet that bad but we must take all measures possible […]
Buddhist Pagoda – Places for Elderly, Children, Youth
It was from the pagoda that I could depend on for food during my stay to continue my study. I always said that Buddhist pagoda is a place where elderly people, young and adults, would find help. In their final part of life, senior citizens come to pagoda to exercise Buddhist teaching. Young people and adults are also coming to pagoda, if not to seek monkhood, to look for shelters and food. One great thing about Buddhism and other faiths in Cambodia is that they exist in harmony. The Royal Government has benefited from religions in way that they educate people to perform merit and to avoid doing sin. With the Buddhist teaching for people to perform merit and to avoid sin, the secular government benefits from the fact that there would be less people spending time in prison and less people would cause trouble from drunkenness, gambling, quarreling, violence, etc. […]
Five Appeals On Khmer New Year Days
… I said it already last week but I am asking your permission to reiterate it. I would appeal to our people traveling anywhere in the country to respect traffic law and drive safe. Let us not allow our holidays to be sad days.
Secondly, I talked about fire and later at night, there was a report from Stoeung Treng that the market there was on fire. We discussed about it over the night and decided that we are rebuilding it for our people. People asked me on my Facebook account if they will have to buy shops to operate business in the newly rebuilt market. I already replied in Facebook but today I am giving the answer in public. No one will charge any prices for anything. My working group and the provincial team already discussed and the job will be taken care by the military engineering team. I am calling on charitable people if they would like to share the financial need because we are not using national budget for this project […]
Thirdly, I am calling on transport companies to keep their usual prices. Eighteen transport companies did not jack up the price on passengers who travel to and from their villages at the Khmer New Year celebration. Some did not follow. It is a free market economy country. People would have to pay or they would not get to where they need. Some wrote to me that taxi still charges a double price from 20,000 to 50,000 Riel. I am keeping my appeal to owners of every transport means to work their best to charge normal price […]
Fourthly, I am advising our young people not to exercise water splashing and powder patting while celebrating the Khmer New Year, for one, it is not our tradition and for another reason, splashing water into drivers’ eyes would result in accidents.
Fifthly, finally, I am suggesting the armed forces of all level to take their duties to secure people’s safety while they are celebrating the Khmer New Year. I am here in Prey Veng today, and will travel to Siem Reap tomorrow for a meeting with handicaps. I will stay there until 16 April for another speech at the Angkor Sangkranta event./.