Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Graduation and Diploma Presenting Ceremony of the Royal University of Law and Economics

[Unofficial Translation]


A University with Famous Reputation

Today, I have a great pleasure to join with all 3,579 graduates of the Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE) to celebrate their graduation and to present them with their diplomas. Since 1996, this is my 17th presence for the graduation and diplomas presenting ceremony for RULE. I could remember that RULE was into operation once again in the 1980s, I had given lectures for short-term and medium-term courses several times. It is true that I do not hold any honorary professor position as I do to the Royal School of Administration, but this university has been a memory of how we went about working on human resource training in management. I gave my lecture on working methodology and management, as well as issues relating to foreign affairs.

I would be happy to offer myself to be a contracted teacher should the university and students wish to have my service. For those who have studied here, you can see that former students are currently working in senior positions such as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister, Secretary of State, etc. in the Royal Government. Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin, Senior Minister Cham Prasidh, etc. had made their studies here. This has left the university with famous reputation. RULE was dead in the time of Pol Pot. It revived gradually after the liberation and offered short-term and medium-term courses that many other senior officials and I had been some of their lecturers.

As is reported by HE Pith Chamnan, I am so proud with the progresses that the University has made. It has not been a normal process. It is a policy for educational development with the participation of the private sector in the construction of more buildings and infrastructure, and, in the case of RULE, allowing it to provide fee-paying opportunity for students.

30 Year Anniversaries of Two Historic Events

This year is already the 30 years anniversary of the four priorities that I have listed out – water, road, electricity, and human resource. It was not by chance or coincidence that we worked on and put out such priorities vision for investments. Since 1987 through to the present, it has been there 30 years now. These priorities vision may continue to be appropriate for another 30 or even 50 years to come, though in this later stage, we have rearranged the angle of human resource to a first order of priority – human resource, water (irrigation), roads, and electricity (energy). What we have been doing has not been because we have come across them and made promises. It was all within a vision and strategic framework of the then Government, and they have continued to the present Royal Government.

It was also not by chance that 30 years ago, the then Government had made numerous efforts towards a new stage of development. This year, it is also the 30th anniversary of the Sihanouk-Hun Sen peace negotiation on 2 December 1987-2017. Some of our graduates here were not even born yet. However, some leaders and professors of RULE could have understood and remembered how that went. We risked our lives to overcome obstacles, including negative reactions coming from inability to understand the needs for political and economic reforms, and other concerned matters.

We may call it fortunate that I overcame those hardships. There were some thoughts among our armed forces in those days that should there be negotiations, there would be elimination of social achievements. People were of the opinion to fight one another. War. There would be war and there would be no talk. However, in my view, I was of the opinion that war would not be able to end war. We have had so many examples now like those military operations in Mindanao of the Philippines, conflicts in Myanmar and in some southern parts of Thailand.

War would not be able to end war. We had chosen to negotiate to end our war and finally, we opted to win-win policy to end war and to reunify our land for the first time in the past hundreds of years. This has brought about a major chance for the Cambodian youth of the later generation, unlike those of the then generation, who lost not only their chances but also even their lives. With regard to this issue, I watched The Philippines President (Rodrigo) Duterte’s interview. It was a good piece. The Cambodian people suffered not only what the Philippines did but rather some 2.7 million tons of bombs. I am thinking of preparing myself to speak clearly, in the forthcoming ASEAN-US summit, to President Donald Trump. I would talk frankly on those issues to the President when he came for the summit in Manila […]

Investigate NGO that Insulted Cambodian Women to Have Sold Daughters

Cambodia is no heel. That they have said various things about Cambodia is their right but for us we have two Cambodias here. One Cambodia is where we are living in everyday. The other one is what foreign media has been portraying. As Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, I find those insults by an NGO unacceptable. They brought it up to CNN and ABC channels a “report” of Cambodian mothers sold their daughters into prostitution. It is a grave insult.

Yesterday, I ordered the Ministry of Interior to investigate this issue and we ought to close down that NGO. If there were demonstration against that report, what could have happened then? I am also to follow to see what reaction and position the political opposition and other NGOs in Cambodia would take. This is no simple matter. They have insulted wives and daughters of Cambodia […] I request to the US embassy to investigate this matter. We find it unacceptable. It is a grave insult. We may have to close down related NGOs […] we could have taken up responsibility to raise those children. We cannot allow them to damage our country’s reputation to raise money abroad.

I have seen reactions in the press and this or that sector on the issue. Today, in my capacity as Prime Minister of the Royal Government, I find this issue unacceptable. I may seek to send words to the US embassy not to create problem here. There have been so many problems in their country already […] we allow no one to use Cambodia as subject matter to raise fund. We will implement strictly law on management of the Non-Governmental Organizations. That was why there was a need for law to public opinion and administration management because we do not want to see demonstration against the US embassy or NGOs.

You may remember that only for a caricature of Mohamed in a magazine, there were fighting and killing. When they have insulted a country like that, what would be the consequences? The NGOs is now under investigation. I had my order on the Ministry of Interior to investigate and close it down […] Cambodia, my country, is maybe poor but you cannot insult my nation. I would send a message to President Donald Trump that that he is unhappy with CNN was not wrong […]

Rejuvenation – Old and Young

I am taking this opportune moment to congratulate our graduates for receiving their diplomas today. I hope they would be able to use whatever they have learnt in the course of their life works. As always, I am urging you to continue to expand your knowledge and capacity, to continue your study to higher education, and more importantly to conduct self-taught education. To strengthen capacity through working and researching without having to go through schools is necessary for every human being, whether they are graduates, with jobs or without jobs. People in leading positions also need to carry on research or they would risk making themselves conservative. Being conservative of people in leading position would create obstruction for junior level development, or for youth.

Rejuvenation is not only things to do for children and youth but also for elderly people. Take for instance even in their 70s or 80s, people should at least learn how to make use of technologies and apps in smartphones to have ability needed to work with other people. Anyone does not use those apps and technologies should not receive appointment […] this year happens to be the fortieth birthday of my son too. We also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the day when, forty years ago, I left the country in search for national liberation from the genocide – 20 June 1977/2017. When I left the country to pursue this cause, my wife was in her more than five months pregnancy […]

Flood Warning

As for other matters, flood has risen in the northern part of our country almost to a warning level. In Stoeng Treng, the Mekong has risen closer to the warning level. The Mekong has risen rather high and flowed to fill up lakes and reservoirs along the way of Kratie and Kompong Cham provinces. In Phnom Penh, we still have rather low level of water. We want more water in Phnom Penh, at least 9.30 meters or a little above that. We just have as of today 8.82 meters. We may see some more rising in two days after the flood reached Kompong Cham […] Last year I traveled to Mondulkiri and headed to Ratanakiri with a hope to see rising flood in Stoeng Treng. While I was in Ratanakiri, the meteorology already predicted fall of flood in Stoeng Treng already. We anticipated the second wave of flooding, but it did not come. That had brought about a boat race during the water festival in a low water level. The year before last, we did not organize the ceremony for level of water was too low.

I am offering my appreciation and thanks to authorities of all levels, especially in upper provinces, especially those along the river of Sen – Preah Vihear through to Kompong Thom, though the impacts from flooding has not been severe yet. We also have fresh flooding from rain in Kompot and Koh Kong, and especially the national road 4. In our country, sometimes we are unhappy to have no water, but sometimes we have too much. A short dry season has started after many heavy downpours due to a few typhoons originated in the Pacific. Some of them are still at sea.

On 6 August, I would be heading to Japan for an official visit. I also did not have a break last Sunday for a six hours talk to over two thousands officials. In the course of this visit to Japan, we may discuss about the fiftieth anniversary of the exchange of top-level delegations between our two countries. In 1957, there was a former Prime Minister of Japan to visit Cambodia. As I will be visiting Japan, the Prime Minister of Japan will also be visiting Cambodia […]

Asking Facebook Users to Cause No Disasters

I am taking this opportune moment to appeal to our youth, especially those who use Facebook, to create or cause no disaster for our country through poisoning (media) environment. Days ago, there had been many issues. We may ask what they would reap from doing such things. They fabricated fake news about children being kidnapped and opened for internal organs. I also asked people to think about it and make sure you do not share this kind of fake news. They make fake news about a plane crash in Siem Reap. Now that they had done all this, what have they received from them? I would urge political parties, even though not a ruling ones, to educate their youths and followers not to commit such offence. They even fooled the public that the Prime Minister was sent to France for health emergency […]

They may be reminded that their posting could cause themselves danger. According to the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, should the position of Prime Minister be vacant permanently, a new Cabinet is to organize. What does it mean? It means that if the Prime Minister dies, the government would go without Deputy Prime Minister or Ministers. The whole country would go without its head. What could have happened then? The armed forces would come into play and may take actions against anyone they deem necessary […]

I am appealing to members of the opposition party and to their leaders to keep their members in check because if Hun Sen were to die, you would be the first ones in danger. You do not have the ability to keep situation under control. What you would benefit from Hun Sen’s death would be smaller than you keep Hun Sen alive. As of this moment, Hun Sen has control over the armed forces […] they may need to see this as a dangerous point […]

US-Russia Relations Hard to Comprehend

What has happened in relations in the world these days? It has been in more turmoil than in the time of cold war. In addition to this issue of North Korea nuclear development, we also have difficulty in understanding the US-Russia relations. While President Trump wishes to improve relations with Russia, some groups who do not support him created law of punishing Russia to prevent better relations between the two […] In retaliation, Russia has had to chase out American diplomats from Russia. ISIS would have a good laugh at that. Would this have any influences on situation in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and or Yemen? It may not appear in battlefield but ISIS would reap from this conflict. The world economic crisis requires the two superpowers to work on cooperation. That has not happened and the US was the one to cause this.

As for the North Korea nuclear issue, it requires cooperation in the framework of the six parties talk – the US, Russia, China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea. What can we expect when they six could not sit together? As far as climate issue is concerned, it requires cooperation among big countries. It seems that we are living now in a world that is about to have a nuclear war. We will continue to study the issue. The US seems to have believed in their embargo policy. I just warn them that while shutting a door for someone not to come in, you may not be able to go out too […] we neither side with nor reprimand anyone. We are calling on everyone to have cooperation, to resolve problems rather than resorting to confrontation […]

I am getting back again to this NGO who insulted Cambodian women’s dignity in order to raise fund. We are making it clear here that their action is unforgiveable […] we must take actions according to law. I would ask the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to be clear on this matter. This insult is unforgiveable and at whatever price that NGO must leave Cambodia. We will not allow it to stay on […]./.