In addition to the prepared text, to celebrate the 67th International Children’s Day, Samdech Techo Hun Sen made the following selected impromptu comments:
… Looking from where I am, because you are very small children sitting in chairs, I seemed to see only chairs. You may all stand up. Since today we celebrate the children’s day, let us repeat together what I am going to say. Firstly, “please do not hurt me” (biz); “Say no to drug” (biz) and “I will make myself a good man.” In fact, today we are celebrating two events together – the 67th International Children’s Day and 15th World Day against Child’s Labor. In fact, these events will celebrate tomorrow on 1 June but my wife and I will leave for Malaysia for the World Economic Forum on ASEAN and an official visit to Malaysia, we are celebrating them today instead.
It is amazing that thousands of children sitting here making no sound listening to speeches by Minister of Social Affairs and Youth Rehabilitation, Vorng Soth, representative of UNICEF and children’s representative. About 50 years ago, I myself used to repeat what elder people said: “please do not bury my dead body next to tombs of younger ones.” It was because they do not like to be among noisily playing children. We said that forgetting that we were also once children. As of now, I have 17 grandchildren and another one will come in another four or five months. Only five of them came to see me, they made us busy handling them already. It is amazing indeed to see that you small children could gather and sit together quietly and pleasantly like this […]
… We must see that should there be no care for children, after the liberation in 1979, especially in 1980s, would there be a population growth from around five to 15 million. We also have so many university graduates locally and abroad. It should prove our care and efforts on this matter […]
… I agree entirely with Ms Natascha Paddison, representative of UNICEF to Cambodia on this point about violence on children in every place, and in the world over. However, frequent it may be, it is not visible as normally it happens in community, home, behind someone’s back with damaging effect on children’s wellbeing. They should not necessarily be happening like that. Violence on children is a matter that we can prevent and when everyone says that enough is enough together. We should make effort to make invisible things visible. This is the truth. It exists in every society, the Cambodian society included.
In a Cambodian folklore “A Dead Mother Child,” a stepmother treated the daughter of a deceased mother well before her husband. When the father was not there, the stepmother would do it completely different. I do not think that does not exist in the current society. Let us all bring what is behind the back to light to guarantee that our children suffer no more torture of any sort […]
The sentence we shouted together “please do not hurt me” bears a wide ranging of meaning. It does not mean only when someone hurting you physically, but also mentally, for instance in child’s labor too. I agreed with proposals made to the Royal Government by a number of children’s campaigns. I am also seeking your individual participation because it is not only the job for the Royal Government. As you are the generations to take over, I am inviting all of you, everywhere to join in this work. For instance, issue of drug, there would be no one to use it anymore when our children and youth say no to it and refrain from being a market of it.
I also agreed with the representative of UNICEF on the concept of raising children on the orphanages and families. Raising children in family is the best method. In the past, economic condition in families forced some families to send children to orphanages. It is now high time for every sector to synchronize actions so that every family improves their living condition and need not to send anyone of their children to orphanages anymore […]
… On another matter, please allow me to take this occasion to remind the Ministry of Social and Veteran Affairs, as well as Phnom Penh authority, to make an inspection on this Prey Speu Centre in Phnom Penh. Why in so many years, the centre continues to have bad reputation? The Phnom Penh mayor must make sure it improves. Many people talked about bad things going on there. Please check it out. If a closure is what it needs, you may do it. We cannot keep it going and causing so many uneasy circumstances. If it is necessary to keep going, you must make sure it is going in a positive manner. I do not anticipate problem from the centre anymore. We are doing so many things to improve human rights but the centre had brought criticism of the Royal Government. I expect the Ministry of Social and Veteran Affairs, and the Municipality of Phnom Penh to inspect the case and reach a solution – to close or to keep it going. The centre has brought about troubles in four or five years already./.