Your Venerable Buddhist Patriarchs;
Samdech, Your Royal Highnesses and Princesses;
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;
Dear Our Compatriots,
Today, I have a great pleasure to join you all, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests, as well as the Military Officers and Soldiers of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, in this 10thAnniversary of the establishment of Brigade 70! Indeed, we celebrate this event in the environment of full peace and political stability, while especially we are all exerting our best efforts in building up the rule of laws, democracy, and respect for human rights and sustainable development for the poverty reduction among our people.
In this joyful gathering, I have the honor to recall the noble achievements of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk in creating the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) during his wise tenures and leadership that had claimed independence from the French protectorate on 9 November 1953. Thus, since then the RCAF was established by transforming itself from the then Courageous Cambodian Women Militia Group.
We all would like to take this opportunity to extend our utmost gratitude to His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, the former King of Cambodia, and Her Majesty Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, for their invaluable contributions to the cause of national reconciliation.
His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk and the Queen have played an important role in Cambodian history since the time of demanding independence from France and building up a new Cambodian modern state, during 1950-60s, — the first reign of the Kingdom of Cambodia. In the second reign of the Kingdom of Cambodia, since he was reinstated on 24 September 1993, His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk and Her Majesty the Queen Monineath Sihanouk have reigned the country full of harmony and peace for their people, the “children and grand children”.
People across the Kingdom of Cambodia will remember and deeply appreciate his great role and contribution for the country. At the same time, I am grateful and proud to extend our warmest welcome to His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech PreahNorodom Sihamony, the new elected King of Cambodia. I wish him strength and brightness as well as good health, in order to reign the country providing peaceful shelter and shadow for the whole Khmer nation and our Cambodian motherland.
I have listened with great care to the report of General Mao Sophann, Deputy Chief Commander of the Brigade 70, on the courageous history of the brigade in its pursuits for the cause of independence, national integrity and territorial sovereignty, peace and development, and especially its contributions to implementing the Royal Government’s political platform, as well as implementing the regulations and plans of the RCAF and participation in local development with people at all level.
In this occasion, on behalf of the RGC and my own self may I extend my deep gratitude and appreciation to you all, the officers and soldiers of the Brigade 70 as well as those of the RCAF, for your sacrifices and efforts to overcome all the challenges and difficulties for the cause of national reconciliation and peace for our motherland of Cambodia. At the same time, may I also extend our gratitude to all our countrymen who had sacrificed their beloved children, husbands and relatives to serve RCAF to protect our nation in all the generations, and my warmest greeting to all the families of disable and invalid soldiers, and those demobilized and hospitalized. I wish them all good health and quick recovery from all diseases!
Actually, the 1993 general elections did not bring full peace to our nation and Cambodian people. Only in the early 1999 that Cambodian people had enjoyed full national reconciliation, peace, political stability and security in every corner of the country for the first time in decades, due to the “win-win” policy and the strong political commitment of the RGC and Cambodian people without any external interference. We are mostly proud of the complete closure of the dark historical page of wars and internal conflicts, which is the only aspiration of all Cambodian people to live in peace, progress and happiness.
Now, Cambodia is in full peace! However, the RCAF including the Military Police and all the technical units remain playing an important role in strengthening peace and political stability, and in implementing the 73 points of the RGC’s political platform and the Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency in Cambodia. With all these bold achievements, in their pursuits of maintaining peace and social orders, including crackdown on terrorism and armed robberies, RCAF has actively participated in helping other ministries/institutions of the RGC in many areas, such as crackdown on crimes including illegal drug businesses, anarchy and crimes in forestry, smuggling, and in the construction of roads, bridges, canals, ponds, wells, schools, hospitals, pagodas and development centers, in mine clearance to free lands for our people and saving victims of calamities. Moreover, RCAF has also participated in enforcing the control over the use of and seizing arms and explosives, thus whether putting them under its control or destroyed. This indeed promotes the “Culture of Peace, No Violence and Crime”.
In order to enhance the prestige and continue to maintain good culture of RCAF, on the today occasion of creating the brigade 70, I would like to appeal to all the commanders, officers and all the solders of RCAF to further strengthen the momentum that we have been achieved, focusing on our mandates which include the following:
- Continue to properly follow the stated duties and responsibilities that have been identified in the law of RCAF, expressing your loyalty and sacrifices for the causes of the nation, religion and the king.
- Continue to successfully implement political platform and plans of the Royal Government with regard to the RCAF reforms based on the country’s defend policy as stated in the “White Book” or Country Defend Guideline.
- Continue to improve the RCAF’s military quality policy through psychological education, respect of county laws, disciplines, regulations, military orders, implementation of democracy, respect of human rights and good behavior which deserves respect from people.
- Enhance trainings as planned and identified to conduct both inside and outside the country, in order to strengthen and develop the capacity in technical specialization. Promote the development of the human resource in the armed forces with progressive development and strength to assure that the obligations of national and motherland defense are met.
- Improve the living standard of soldiers by focusing on building of barracks, heath care and additional cultivation in order to help solve problems faced by the limited national budget with the sense of high responsibility and creativity.
- Implement strictly the military policies on demobilized and retired militants, deserted and disable militants and the families of defunct and disable soldiers.
- Continued cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, Commission-General of the National Police, Commanding Headquarters of Provincial Units and local authorities at al levels to strengthen the suppression on crimes and violations such as: armed robberies, assassination, kidnapping and the suppression and elimination of drug and human trafficking network, which are the sources of threat to the national security. This is to maintain and strengthen security and public orders and social stability to be further improved. Moreover, RCAF must firmly back up and help authorities to prevent and crackdown illegal logging, fishing and smuggling.
- Continue contributing to the rehabilitation and reparation of road infrastructure and irrigation systems in close cooperation with concerned institutions.
- Must definitely protect the independence, integrity, territorial sovereignty and neutrality of the Kingdom of Cambodia, to be forever lasting by respecting the basis of the national constitution, United Nation Charters and the international laws. Moreover, RCAF must strengthen and enhance solidarity, good cooperation with the armed forces of the neighboring countries in order to transform the border areas to be the areas of stability, peace, friendship, cooperation and development.
In closing, I wish take this opportunity again to deeply thank the governments and armies of our friendly countries, as well as all the national and international organizations for spiritual and material support so far provided to the development and reform of RCAF. I would like to appeal to all the development partners of Cambodia to continue their assistance for strengthening the capacity of RCAF.
Finally, on behalf of RGC and my own self I wish to congratulate once again the 10th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Brigade 70 of the RCAF. I wish you all the five gems of Buddhist blessing.