National Institute of Education, 16 July 2015
Buddhist World Associated with Human Resource Training
My esteem to Samdech Preah Agga Mahā Sangharājādhipati Tep Vong, Samdech Preah Abhiserey Sokunthea Mahā Sangharājādhipati Bour Kry, and Samdech Preah Maha Sometheadhipati Nun Nget, Samdech head and vice head monks of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Today I am so happy to have the honor of taking the presence once again at the graduation and diploma presentation ceremony for 1,664 Buddhist students and teachers of the Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University. Last time we did it at the Chadomuk hall. This time, because we have more people than the hall could house, we have the celebration here. I am so joyful to have this chance to meet the two Mahā Sangharājādhipati and all Buddhist monks and other graduates.
According to the report by HE Min Khin, Minister of Cult and Religion, indicating the progress made in relation to the Buddhist world, it is important to note its important role in training of human resource. After all, Buddhist monks are also human being. Today’s graduation and diploma presentation ceremony clearly indicates progress in the field of human resource training by the Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University. This point really has my attention and I appreciate efforts involved in integrating the Buddhist teaching in the state (education) system. It is worth reminding that in the past, I had to bear the cost of functioning of the various Buddhist teaching establishments. As I continue to help cover some of the costs of operation, I have been relieved the burden of paying for teachers’ salary. The teaching staffs are now paid by the state. I continue, as I said, to cover some of the necessary costs at primary, mid-level and tertiary level of Buddhist education establishments.
Such establishments are providing Buddhist monks in the Buddhist education institutions at all levels to achieve comparatively similar knowledge, in addition to the Buddhist teaching, as those taught in the non-Buddhist education institutions. It is in this objective that we integrated Buddhist education institutions into the state (education) system, with guaranteed (knowledge) for those who have studied here and who may later decide to leave monkhood for secular world. On the other hands, those who follow education in the secular world do not have chance to study Buddhist teaching. Those of us who study here have that chance.
Buddhism – A Part of Policy for the Aged, Youth and Children
This has allowed those of our people who come to the Buddhist pagoda to get education or to serve Buddhism to get a chance. If you look at it closely you will see that most of those who have come for help in the Buddhist pagoda are children of the poor who could not afford to go for education in a secular system. It is in this concept that I say that Buddhism is a part of our policy on the aged, youth and children. I would say it is a good point that needs to be incorporated into the policy framework of the Ministry of Cult and Religious Affairs. Look, when they are older, people are going to Buddhist pagoda.
As far as I know, for instance at the Buddhist pagoda of Cham Puh Ka Ek of Samdech Am Lim Heng, about a hundred houses were in place for the elderly people. In Cambodia, children take care of their older parents. However, some parents would prefer to stay in pagoda. Some without any children and closed ones and could not live alone also decide to take shelter in pagoda. They get daily meals from alms people offered to the Buddhist monks in the pagoda. This has served as a policy addressing on the aged and elderly to keep them together – old women and men.
Hostel for Students
As of now, Buddhist pagodas in Phnom Penh have become the most peaceful place for students who seek shelter while in pursuit of their education and could not afford to hire a lodgment. Some even stay in (abandoned) stupas in pagoda. We have got to figure out what to do in the time to come. We have made efforts so far to provide hostel for female students as they cannot stay in Buddhist pagoda. Now, we have thousands staying in the pagoda to pursue their studies at tertiary educational level. In the Buddhist pagoda of Botum, we have noted that many of those students have achieved their Ph D and Masters. We may learn that those students from poor families are seeking shelter in Buddhist pagodas are not new topic. It has been an issue for a long time now.
In rural area, a number of children have to stay with Buddhist monks for which they are known to be “the (Buddhist) monk’s students.” They live together and depend on one another. The monks would have difficulties in their way of life should there be no small kids around to help them with. I would say the Buddhist monks are lucky now that one of their students is now the Prime Minister. He knows things hot from cold and would not overlook hardships of the Buddhist monks. It is in this note that you may understand why there have been considerations and commitments on Buddhism.
Buddhism Lasts as Long as People Believe
After the liberation on January 7, 1979, we worked hard on issue of religion. Unfortunately, over two months ago, Samdech Chea Sim passed away. When he was president of the National Front and the National Assembly, he had his attention on issue of Buddhism. With efforts made by leaders of that time, Buddhism grew. Until at some stages there were questions that how long would Buddhism last? Why? It was quite understandable to ask such question since people already had their experience with what Pol Pot had done to all faiths. In those days, there were propagandas that the Heng Samrin’s and Chea Sim’s group used Buddhism only as a farce and they would abolish it again one day.
There was then a discussion and we decided on one simple answer altogether. We told our people that Buddhism will last as long as people believe. As long as people continue to believe, Buddhism will last not only 5,000 years as they said. It will last longer. This also applies not only with Buddhism but also Islamism, Christianity, Hinduism, etc. As long as they have followers, they will continue to exist.
Benefits from Buddhism and Other Religions
Some people have commented that we used too much capital on building pagodas and they even made comparison that it would be better used to invest those capitals in building roads, water canals, etc. If you may note now that in many pagodas, the monks’ residential hall are now as big as a villa. People asked why not use the capital for other useful purposes such as hospitals, schools, etc. Please allow me to have your attention that to mobilize fund to build anything other than pagodas and Buddhist achievement would be difficult. For any Buddhist achievements, people easily share their resource.
We have over 4,000 Buddhist pagodas in the whole country. If we determine that each pagoda – its temple, residences, etc. costs about 500,000 USD, the accumulated capital is great. We have some 4,551 pagodas of Buddhist Maha Nikaya (grand vehicle or collection) and 204 pagodas of Buddhist Dhammayutika Nikaya. Some pagodas spent over three to four million USD for the construction. What can we say, that is what people need. Take for instance, now is the time when the Muslim people exercise fasting in the month of Ramadan. I attended twice already – one time it was at the Exhibition Centre of Koh Pich and another at the mosque. Yesterday, Samdech Krala Haom Sar Kheng also went to Jrang Jamreh at Kilometer 6 where there are many mosques.
If we were to look at Buddhism, Islamism and Christianity, followers have pooled resources to rebuild and build achievements to commemorate their faiths in the Kingdom of Cambodia. A lot of money spent and so much of land has been devoted for religions. It is the spiritual need of our people of all faiths. In retrospect, we also benefit from Buddhism and other religions. Let me reiterate what I said about Buddhism – there is no religion in this world that educates followers to commit crimes. Buddhism has been very strict on that matter. They teach and instill in people the concept of karma – every cause has its effect.
It is this point that the state benefits from (the Buddhist and other religious teachings) as people respect dhamma and discipline of whatever religion they may be. People believe in cause and effect of their actions. More and more will do good deed and society will gain its dignity.
Parallel Secular and Buddhist Worlds
Taken into consideration of all matters, there must be a parallel between Buddhist and secular worlds. There should not be any contradiction. Even the Throne Council which is the body to elect HM the King, there are two Buddhist monks– one from Maha Nikaya and another Dhammayutika Nikaya, among the nine council members. It is obliged by the Constitution. The Council already voted twice to elect – once in 1993 Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk (now Preah Borom Ratanak Kaod) to the throne and again in 2004 (HM the King Preah Baromneath Norodom Sihamoni). It was coincidental that among all nine members of the council, Samdech Krom Preah and I were picked by secret votes to be vote counting commission.
There have been mistakes committed by individuals and they are shortcomings that we will work on. Please do not relate individual monk’s action and mistake to other monks in general and one wise man to the rest. There have been reports in newspapers about so and so individual monks are going to Karaoke parlors. Please do not take this as damaging image of Buddhism in general. However, efforts must be made to take care of this issue. There had also some incidents in which Buddhist monks rose into conflict and stabbed to death. It was a clear sign of violence. All these are not Buddhism. We must be clear about individual detrimental actions. The person will have to take full responsibility on one’s own action.
Should Dhamma Stay, Violence Never Happens
Speaking about violence, please allow me to open a bracket here. The other day Samdech Krala Haom Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, issued an order to arrest Sok Bun, at the time where the latter issued an open letter that he would confront with the case in court of law. I call on him to appear very soon. He should not wait till they (the competent authority) bring the cuff for him. As seen on VDO, it was extreme the way he exercised forceful violence on an indefensible lady. I could not imagine how shocking and scared Sasa was, the lady who suffered the violence. What if that incident happened to our closed ones?
I could not imagine that someone holding a title of Oknha (senior title given to those with power, resource and knowledge in his/her work) could have gone into causing such problem. It was unimaginable. Even if Sasa, whose original name is Ek Socheata, does not sue him, the administrative court will have to take action still. Even if there were going to be reconciliation outside court between Sasa and Sok Bun, they must proceed as it is a criminal case. My wife and I are sharing sufferings with Sasa and her family. Again, I urge Sok Bun to step out immediately and present himself to court.
This is a warning to everyone (who may have abused others) that law will not tolerate all sort of violence, whether on female or male victims. It is a call for justice, legal value, virtue and money, no matter how much one has, cannot mend such action. Why should he wait to be arrested since I heard the arrest warrant has been issued already? Samdech Krala Haom Sar Kheng already issued the order. He must be responsible for what he had done and he should not let money take responsibility on his behalf.
If this person has been educated properly and abide by the teaching of Buddha, he would not have done this. That is why everyone should not undervalue those who are brought up by Buddhist pagodas as everyone of them has to say sermon twice each day – one at early daybreak and another at night. As I could recall, it was very often than not that the Buddhist monks in some pagodas did not wake up to chant the Buddhist sermon. It is the boys who live on alms left from the Buddhist monks who had to chant in exchange for food. They chanted loudly or they would be scolded or suffer caning. After chanting, the pagoda boys have had to make fire and cook rice for the monks. Then it was time to also read books.
In older days, about 80 to 90 percent of (Cambodian) intellectuals lived in pagoda. Samdech Chea Sim and Samdech Heng Samrim were ordained (in his early manhood) while I was a Buddhist monk for a short while when my grandmother died. I did not imagine my grandmother had advised that I was the one who should shave and be a monk at the time of her cremation. Samdech Chea Sim spent longer time in monkhood and so did Samdech Heng Samrin. I am conveying my sincere appreciation and efforts made by the Buddhist University, of which Samdech Preah Maha Sometheadhipati serves as rector together with helps from other deputy head monks and vice rectors. I also convey my appreciation to all professors who share their knowledge and graduates themselves. I just wish to advise that effort to study must continue. It is also important to assure that the Buddhist efforts in relation to human resource training must also go on.
Request Map from France to Verify Current Map
Maybe all of the Buddhist monks and wise men here have seen already that I have sent letters, which were prepared since July 6 in Japan but was not sent for lack of stamp, during the visit to Kitakyushu, to two powerful countries. I signed it there. We had to bring it back to Phnom Penh to stamp, send out and inform the public. Yesterday, we sent three more letters – one to the President of the Republic of France, one to the President of the United States and another to Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. All three letters bear different contents but have only one objective. We sent letter to the President of the Republic of France because Cambodia and Vietnam are using maps that are produced by France. We are asking France to provide us copies along with French specialists to help verify (that) the map (is the same as the one Cambodia and Vietnam use in delineating the border).
There have been some people who accused the Royal Government to have used a falsified map. I will hold it tight right there. I will not let it go. However, HE Sam Rainsy said the other day that he never accuses the Royal Government of using falsified map. The person who made the accusation is one of his party members. As France is the country that produced the map, we need to have a copy of the map for verification in the delineation with Vietnam. When the time has come, we will verify the Bonne 1/100,000 scale map with Laos. It (their accusation) has been so unjust for me and the Royal Government. We must work till we achieve the result as we cannot leave it as a pretext for them to make false accusation, despites efforts we made to tell them the truth.
We beg for assistance from France who produced the map and when we will be getting it, we will invite all political parties and countries interested to join us either in the Peace Palace or any other place where the map is kept for verification for the purpose of achieving an agreement (on the map used). On the Bonne 1/100,000 scale map, one ballpoint size deviation of the scale would result in a deviation between 100 to 200 meters. That is why they cannot use that kind of map for military purpose. The map used by Chief of Staff like Gen. Pol Saroeun is 1/50,000 and for military region, they use 1/25,000. I sincerely hope that President Francoise Hollande of the Republic of France will spare us his understanding and provide documents kept by France to Cambodia for Cambodia to work along with French specialists and those who would like to see the verification.
Letter of Different Content to the UK
I have followed the reports and comments on the letters. I would suggest that the letter will be read and recorded by the National Television and share it out to other TVs. Some TVs have made wrong comments as they do not know the purpose of our letter to France. They say because of so and so that French help is needed. The main idea here is that France was the one who produced it. As for the letter to the United Kingdom, it is different to the ones we wrote to France and the US. I will talk about the one we wrote to the US last. Studying documents compiled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Sangkum Reastr Niyum time, they were in foreign languages.
At the time when Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk wished to convene a quadruple party conference of Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States, there were also correspondences between Cambodia and UK. It was planned to have a declaration with the map attached. We do not have the proof that the UK has got a copy of the map though. It is different from the case of France that they must have copies as they were the one who produced them. That is the point where the letters to France and to the UK are different. With the UK, there has only correspondences between Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk with Foreign Secretary of the UK, base upon which the Royal Government at the time might have sent the map of the Kingdom of Cambodia with neighboring countries, especially the one between Cambodia and Vietnam, to the UK.
The letter also said should the UK Royal Government possess any maps that the Royal Government of Cambodia sent in the 1960s, I beg Your Excellency allow Cambodia to borrow all relevant maps and provide map specialists to assist in the verification of the Bonne 1/100,000 scale map produced by the Indochina Geographical Service (Service Geographique de l’Indochine) that Cambodia has been using in delineating its border with Vietnam. We used different language in the letter to the UK. It was possible that the then Royal Government (of Cambodia) might have sent copies of map there. Should they have them, we just seek to borrow them. I would urge press people and TVs to be clear on this point and refrain from making uninformative comments.
The US Surely Keeps Cambodian Map
As for the United States of America, it is obvious that the letter has addressed the point right through. We are sure that they have maps because (a) there was a confidential message from Phnom Penh to the State Department, with copies for information to embassies in Bangkok and Saigon. The letter is translated into Khmer. I will read it in Khmer as I am not good at English and not everyone here have a better working knowledge of English anyway.
Points that capture our attention are that (1) the Cambodia-Thailand Border Commission delineated the border between Indochina and Siam in 1907 and 1908 using the 1/200,000 scale map Dangrek and Khone … In short, it is the 1/200,000 scale map of Cambodia and Thailand that was produced by the agreement on delineation between Indochina and Siam in 1907 and 1908; (2) relating to the Vietnam-Cambodia border, the Service Geographique de l’Indochine scale map of 1/100,000 in use before the Paris Accord of 1954, which has led us to the knowledge of the (US) State Department’s possession of the 1/100,000 scale map and another one on water territory boundary.
The point that has our attention here is that in the letter by the US embassy (to the State Department), the Secretary of State of Cambodia’s Foreign Affairs Huot Sambat affirmed when he provided draft documents of Cambodia for consideration proposed by the four powers that the Cambodian border as shown in these maps was Cambodia’s minimum demand and indicated utmost sacrifice of the Royal Government of Cambodia and Cambodia could not go any further. If they sacrificed it since 1964, how come younger generation, I was 12 at the time, is to be responsible?
In another development, Samdech Pen Nuth also used the same language to Samdech Preah Beida (Samdech Preah Norodm Sihanouk). What could we do? In his last paragraph on counter project, Samdech Pen Nuth in his words wrote they did not acknowledge that if we were to accept the current borderline with South Vietnam we already made a huge sacrifice. He also said that the sacrifice was for the interest of peace. I wish that you all read the documents and stay out of darkness. Please do not extort political gain from border issue.
What was written by Samdech Pen Nuth was on 6 March 1964 and the confidential note of the US embassy was on 10 March 1964. Writing on the map the US had received was on 4 March 1964 and may have more confidential matters. Who would have claimed him/herself to love Cambodia more than Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk? If his officials commented like this, it clearly indicates that Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk accepted that much and maintained that much. I did not do anything wrong from his action. I spoke for five hours in the National Assembly and they finally cooked up this issue of falsified map. If it were so, there is an obvious need to search for a true one for verification.
(b) Confidential correspondence deposited in the CIA library of the United States of America. It was written that its validation would remove in 12 years. I told HE Var Kim Hong that there must be no more confidential matter or if anyone were to know about it would in fact cause us trouble. We have done everything we could to protect the reputation of former generation persons. However, when we protect the former generation’s reputation we became victims. There is no reason whatsoever to keep it confidential. I wish to send messages to those working with us in neighboring countries that Cambodia shall never abandon its right and responsibility to demand the remaining points, though it may have internal disagreement. We are working to get to agreement on the map.
The Constitution stipulates use of the Bonne 1/100,000 scale map produced by the Service Geographique l’Indochine. I am using it. I do nothing wrong. Should I use the US UTM map, I would be wrong. But it is Bonne 1/100,000 scale map that I am using and it is in line with the Constitution. How could they blame me over a map they bought in the market? As for the second evidence of 2003 and 2004, HE Var Kimhong and his assistants requested permission and took photo of the maps kept in the US library. It is because we have the two evidences that Cambodia sent a letter to President Barack Obama to borrow the maps and we are sure the US has it. We also ask (the US) to also provide their experts to help verify.
The Area of 50 Square Kilometers
I have asked people for understanding once in the National Assembly. The points that we should not bring up are Dak Dam and Dak Hum, which have yet to be resolved. The map believed to have sent to and kept by the US State Department drawing along the line 1914 was the one that Cambodia, not the French, did it. So, when the French provides documents and the maps from the US come in, the 50 square Kilometers issue will appear. I am so sorry that I do not have the ability to protect it because of categorical opposition, which has prompted me to speak out.
Talking about map, it was my intention always when I became foreign minister. Entered Phnom Penh, it was my first thing to do. We discovered and obtained the map in 26 pieces. I then rested in care of HE Long Visalo, who was then my secretary and chief of office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The maps must have been protected since the times of Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, Lon Nol and with probably less care under Pol Pot. The map were left in room with no air-condition and were very fragile. There was also signature of Nin Karet on it.
As foreign minister, and even before the liberation of Phnom Penh, (I have in mind that) if the time to delineate the border between Cambodia and Vietnam, the French map must be used and not the one by the US as at the time they occupied South Vietnam. They might have drawn map for the purpose of bombarding Vietcong in our territory. It was very fortunate that after we entered Phnom Penh in 1979, in 1980 we obtained the map in 26 pieces, which they have not discovered them yet at the United Nations. Is it a mistake of the Phnom Penh administration or the UN? If the US has got it, the UN must too. Map in Phnom Penh was amended with statement that it was done according to the 1914 decision of the General Governor of Indochina.
Don’t Extort Gain through Social Media
I am seeking understanding of our people and Buddhist monks on this undisclosed matter. However, I will not abandon my efforts. The Cambodian Constitution seems to have tied up Cambodia’s hands. It allows use of maps that were printed in between 1933 and 1953 only. If we were to take the 1914 decision of the French General Governor to discuss it with Vietnam, I am asking for understanding from the Vietnamese side not to bring up this issue. However, in the treaty we signed together to use the Bonne 1/100,000 scale map printed by the Service Geographique de l’Indochine before 1954 or any dates closer to 1954. We are now using the treaty to defend the Constitution.
It is a difficult issue. If I do not explain, they scold me for selling land. I am sure the Dak Dam and Dak Hum issue will not be easy. Vietnam also knows that. The map with us here has some seven points that we have yet to seek agreement on. I told HE Sam Rainsy when we were in Kuala Lumpur together that sometimes a nation has got its secret and all parties involved need to sit down and talk. There is no point in making a gain on Facebook. HE Tioulong Somura had it correctly. She said there is no point in making oneself a hero on that matter. We had dinner together – my family and theirs. There is nothing wrong about having dinner together.
When the two top leaders who used to see each other as enemy have come and had dinner together, people under their leaderships should recollect what is the point in keeping the conflict? Has this not allowed everyone to live peacefully together? Land will have higher price because of peace and culture of dialogue. I told HE Sam Rainsy that there are times when we need to talk in undisclosed environment. With transparency all the times, now things have come this way. Among all pieces, there are pieces that do not fit together. We put them together and send a copy to the US. We keep a copy in Phnom Penh. We will have to negotiate with Vietnam to achieve appropriate solution. Now that everyone has presented themselves patriots, finally they have brought loss for the nation.
More Than Half of My Life Spent Conducting Political Dialogues
They even wish to sue Samdech Heng Samrin. I hope HE Sam Rainsy check on his people. Samdech Heng Samrin does not sign a letter that they proposed to be sent to Prime Minister because the Royal Government already has a border committee. They declare that they will sue Samdech Heng Samrin to the Constitutional Council. When their leader talked about culture of dialogue, why his people do it otherwise? It is a question. It requires trust from top down. There is sign of suspicion, if I may send a message to HE Sam Rainsy. Is it a trick that while Sam Rainsy is gentle with Hun Sen, other people act differently? If they were to pursue this, I would dance with the flow. Let us dialogue that way and not fight. It is outdated to talk about fighting.
Let us end this mentality of “fish eating ants when it is flooding and ants eating fish when flood recedes.” I have had enough of that. I have spent over half of my life using political dialogue. You may know of the dialogues in Fere-en-Tardenois between Sihanouk and Hun Sen, the JIM I and the JIM II until the Paris Peace Agreement was reached. The win-win policy is also an indication of dialogue. I put out only one policy that eliminated the political and military organization of the Khmer Rouge – DIFID or Divide, Isolate, Finish, Integrate and Development. The five letters were my strategy to eliminate the political and military organization of the Khmer Rouge. Why there was a need to do that? If the Khmer Rouge were to join our nation, there was no need in doing that. But, besides killing our people in the past, the Khmer Rouge abandoned the Paris Peace Agreement and led a war against the legal Royal Government.
Obviously, there was a need to eliminate the Khmer Rouge’s political and military organization or peace would not prevail because the machine to make war was there. However, in the course of conducting political and military organization, no one was killed. Some are standing trial today. Others are working as usual. Anyway, I am declaring to people of every political tendencies who wish to know about the border problem to request for permission to Deputy Prime Minister HE Sok An and Senior Minister Var Kimhong to make verification whatsoever in the room. This land does not belong to me alone. It belongs to everyone.
Why Mounting Border Posts Not Done Yet in 30 Years
I may ask you a question, the fact that the treaty was signed since before 1985, why has planting border posts not yet been done? I wonder if you know how to answer this question. You requested Samdech Heng Samrin to send a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen to prolong border posts planting until after 2018. Why can you not understand? Is it not obvious why, after thirty years, border posts planting has not been done since 1982 … through to 2015? In short, if it is not correct, we do not accept it. I hope our people and Buddhist monks who are owners of this land could understand that.
I have set a condition for our negotiators (1) to base always on the Bonne 1/100,000 scale map printed by the Indochina Geographic Service before or any dates closer to 1954 and not any other maps. Though we may allow use of UTM map along with the Bonne 1/100,000 scale map, should any discrepancy occurs, we will refer to the Bonne 1/100,000 scale map. If copy in Cambodia cannot ensure accuracy of the map, let us do it in Finland. Most of the 26 pieces of map were from 1951 and 1952 and there are signatures of the two sides. They are not maps one purchases from just any shop. They are kept not at the Border Committee’s place but in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
I make a point that since everyone knows about the map, they may want to copy. Whatever they do they have to ensure it is no different from the original copy. HE Sam Rainsy also said that any copying could be allowed as long as they copy it from the original one. So we are on similar term here. We agree on the same scale map to be used and HE Sam Rainsy just declared that he had not accused the Royal Government of using falsified map. One of the members of the National Assembly from his party declared the Royal Government does. What shall we do now? Please respect dignity of other leaders and I am still in office.
The other condition is that should negotiation fails to reach any agreement, let prolong the time of negotiation, which is better than losing land. That is why it has come to more than 30 years and the border posts planting has not yet completed. We have now reached 83% of the work to be done and are still open for auditing in case there arise any discrepancies. It is true that we have the help of computer. However to bring it out onto the real location on land is not as easy as it seems. The answer to the question why in more than 30 years the border posts planting has not completed is because Cambodia disagrees. How could they blame me, despite all efforts I have made, for allowing Vietnam to move borderline inside Cambodia? Their accusation was there since 1979 but the borderline is still there.
Cambodia Has a Border to Share
The US has had to provide us (the map). If they do not do so Cambodia would make an accusation that they are biased. The US already allowed us to copy but we need the original ones now. We borrow them. The French also has to have because they were the ones who produced them. We are not sure if the United Kingdom has them. The then South Vietnam and North Vietnam also each received a map from Cambodia. We do not request such a map from Vietnam. We also ask from the UN. We will see white from black then. What concerns me is that this has not allowed our people to benefit from peace and interest from our efforts to resolve the border issue with neighboring countries. They are so concerned about losing land but dare not erect the fence.
I understand and appreciate concerns expressed by politicians and our people. I thank them a lot. However, we should also understand that we are not working on the borderline alone. We are working with our neighbors and they also are human beings and sovereign states. We cannot just point our fingers here and there. Thailand has got a big population and Abhisit Vejjajiva (then Thai Prime Minister) threatened us with a war. They did fight us. We responded. Now Prime Minsiter Prayuth Chan Ocha does not pursue that policy. He even asks us to open the O Nieng pass at the border while borderline delineation would be follow. I really thank politicians from all political tendencies who love our territory for their participations in ensuring that we will conduct proper border posts planting. We share border with other countries and cannot afford to just point finger at whichever direction.
We arrested and imprisoned (Thai activists) Virak Sumkvamkid and Ratri because they intruded the Cambodian land. Abhisit requested for release and I did not. Please understand that I have the necessity to bring this issue up. Even the Buddhist live on this land too, right. I hope that HE Sam Rainsy will conduct internal discussion as it is unacceptable to have this scene of leader going one way and his men are attacking. This will lead to distrust./.