Along with the prepared texts, Samdech Techo Hun Sen made the following comments at the Ramadan Iftar Dinner Celebration:
In Absence of Religious and Racial Conflicts, Win-Win Policy Easily Implemented
The regime of Pol Pot had ravaged religions to the roots – not only Islam but all religious faiths. After the liberation on 7 January 1979, all religions (in Cambodia) revived along with the Cambodian nation. It is noted that there have been efforts made by various religions – Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. Non-religious persons are making efforts as well. What is important and proud for us is that Cambodia does not have religious conflicts. HE Ambassador from Kuwait mentioned this in his speech and I am very grateful and feeling encouraged by it.
I am so proud. Prior to setting out the win-win policy and leading its implementation, I conducted a thorough study. This month alone, I have chance to give lecture twice about the win-win policy. One of my points about favorable conditions to implement the policy was the fact that Cambodia does not have racial and religious conflicts. I have made it one of my conclusions that provide easiness in achieving it. It is not certain though that the Cambodian experience can replicate to other places.
We have seen now that parts of the world, Yemen and Middle East, are still in turmoil regarding racial and religious conflicts. Some foreigners asked me how did I end the war in Cambodia and avoid religious conflicts. I told them that one major principle is the policy to be carried out by leader must provide different religions equal rights and power. It is true that in the Kingdom of Cambodia Buddhism is state religion but Buddhism does not violate other religions, Islamism included. That is why I was so proud. Today, I also meet some of the Muslim youths who also took parts in my lecture on the win-win policy.
I have made it clear several occasions that Muslim female students in Cambodia are allowed to wear their own dresses while going to study in either state or private universities, while in some countries this is still a difficult issue. Cambodia provides the chance for Muslim to respect Islamism and also for our female Muslim students to go high in their education pursuance. We are in one boat together. If the boat sinks, either Khmer or Muslim will die. It is our obligation – ethnic majority and minority to share responsibility in safeguarding peace and stability.
Win-win Policy Leads to Culture of Dialogue
Peace is the most important factor. We must guarantee its lasting existence. Everyone needs to take part in safeguarding our country’s peace and political stability. Our country is no longer in the peace-searching phase as before. We are in the phase of strengthening peace building. In the period of conflict between 1970 and 1975, 1975 and 1979, and especially from 1979 through to 1993, Cambodia was in its phases of peace searching. After the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) left, Cambodia went into its win-win policy implementation.
Things that the Paris Peace Agreement wished to achieve and UNTAC failed to make it happen and left Cambodia in a state of one country with two different rules and government have finally be completed by our win-win policy. It ended the state of division and reassured national unity. Cambodia is now in its phase of strengthening peace. And peace is achieved not by confrontation but only by dialogue (and resolving the difference) by peaceful means. Hence, the culture of dialogue established by parties with seats in the National Assembly is a fundamental part in strengthening peace for our country.
Culture of dialogue must exist not only within every political party, from one to another, but also in every religion, from one to another, within and among sects. There is no real victory that comes out of confrontation./.