Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen​ at the Closing of the Second National Games [Unofficial Translation]

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CNV: 04/06/2018

My warm welcome to Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies, Gentlemen, compatriots, those who have come here and those who have watched this event live inside and outside the country, including those Cambodian armed forces currently present in Lebanon, South Sudan, Mali, and Central African Republic.

Second National Games – Sports for Peace and Development

After the opening ceremony on 25 May 2018, today we are gathering here again to close the second National Games in an atmosphere of joy under peace in the whole country. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and the National Olympic Committee have chosen wisely chosen “Sports for Peace and Development” as topic for this event. Let me take this opportune moment to express my sincere appreciation for Minister Hang Chuon Naron, Minister Thaong Khon, as well as the committee and concerned sections for putting together this sports event successfully in context of peace.

Eating a Fruit, Thinking of Grower

Taking this opportune moment, I wish to express my sincere gratitude for HM the King’s offer to light the National Games’ torch to launch the opening of the second National Games. We will put it out in the coming closing session. We will organize National Games in 2020 and again in 2022 in our efforts to get ourselves ready for hosting SEA Games in 2023. As we are now celebrating this important national event, we do not forget efforts of Samdech Preah Borom Ratanak Kaod Preah Norodom Sihanouk’s leadership in building this national Olympic stadium in which we are celebrating such meaningful event today. We are adhering to a theory “of while eating a fruit, we are thinking of the one who grows it; and to think of its source, when one drinks water.” We always think of Samdech Preah Borom Ratanak Kaod’s achievements in national leadership, especially infrastructure for sports that we are using at present along with more under construction in the whole country.

Thanks Everyone Involved

Allow me to convey my sincere appreciation for sportsmen/women for participating in this event. I thank the artists and performers for their marvelous participations, and authorities, especially the Phnom Penh Municipality and the armed forces for doing everything they could for successful happening of this event. I thank the referees, trainers, and every sports specialists involved for their efforts to ensure smooth contests and respect of competition rules and norms. I also thank companies and generous people for their supports and contributions to the event.

2020 – More National Institutions to Take Parts

It is my sincere appreciation that the provincial/municipal authorities have sent sportsmen/women to this year event. Minister Hang Chuon Naron just reported about which ministries, provinces, and institutions have won how many and what sort of medals. We have come to a knowledge that Pailin has not got any medal at all. We hope that in and 2020, Pailin will stand out to get some medals. This year, we have sportsmen/women coming from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, in addition to traditional participations from provincial/Phnom Penh municipal authorities, and the ministries of Interior and National Defense […] I hope that in 2020, more national institutions will take parts. I am so happy to see progress in national sports. This year, we have observed that the second National Games is bigger than the first one in size and in meaning because we were bestowed with torch lighting by HM the King […]

Tough Training Leads to Victory in Competition

I hope that the third National Games in 2020 will be bigger and more national institutions will make efforts to take parts to make sports a national movement. I am calling on all level provincial/municipal authorities and institutions to strengthen and expand sports activities in every educational foundations from primary to secondary, and to tertiary level so that our youth and children will have better chance to develop themselves physically […] I hope too that communes and villages will see and organize sports activities beside those structured ones in schools. Take for instance, the Ministry of Economy and Finance has not got a training facilities of its own but because of their steadfast efforts they have made scores of victories.

In a military theory, they say “to sweat on training field will save blood in battlefield.” In sports, “to make efforts on training ground will ensure victories in competition.” It is true that it requires steadfast training […] I hope that the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports, and the National Olympic Committee will make a choice on which sports that we have the potential to score achievements and to ensure that we will win more medals in 2023 […]

People’s Physical Exercises Important

It is my wish that besides structure sports activities, importantly, people are making their physical exercises. I am calling on authorities – provincial and municipal, again and again, to organize areas where people can go out and exercise. Their strong physical fitness would reduce issues of sickness. I wish to see that sports is not an event for a more structured efforts but stemming from physical exercise, people will be able to strengthen their physical development and prevent certain sickness, especially those relating to cardiovascular ones and strokes […]

Only Peace Provides Chance We Aspire

… We all must not forget that should there be no peace there would not be progress in sports […] Let us look back to our pasts when war broke out. The national Olympic stadium built under the guidance and leadership of Samdech Preah Borom Ratanak Kaod, in the war time, was not a place for sports but for military use, for instance landing military helicopters in combat. Under Pol Pot it was not a properly used sports facilities […] we have restored it gradually from war ashes and devastation to peace in the whole country. Though security measures have been taken seriously, we can say that chance of terrorist disturbances for our country is small. Let us look at Afghanistan, where a new attack just happened, they would not be able to organize sports in their country. They hosted a game but had to organize it in another country. This has clearly told us that only peace can provide what our people aspire for.

We Continue a Journey of Peace and Development Together

I am calling on our people to join me in a journey to defend peace and guarantee development for Cambodia’s progress. I am really grateful and praise every efforts put into organizing this sports event. That we have trainers, teachers, sportsmen/women from provinces, please allow me to convey my best wishes to your families and people in their every home provinces throughout the country […] Finally, to close this second National Games for 2018, I wish you all – Samdech, Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, national sports delegations, and sportsmen/women spirits of friendship, solidarity, physical strength, successes and prosperities./.