Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Inauguration of Indoor Stadium and Groundbreaking Ceremony to Build the Main Stadium Section of Morodok Techo Stadium

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[Unofficial Translation]

CNV: 05/04/2017

Two Events in One Ceremony

Today, with HE Xiong Bo, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of Cambodia, I have a great pleasure to welcome foreign and national guests, athletes, and sportsmen, to celebrate two events in one ceremony. Firstly, we inaugurate achievements constructed since 12 May 2013, and secondly, we launch the groundbreaking ceremony to build the main stadium sections with grant provided by China.

Why Cambodia Will Host SEA Games in 2030

Today our sports have scored various new achievements for the sake of its development. Please allow me to beg for your understanding once again as to why we have to prolong hosting of SEA Games to 2023. As is said by HE Thong Khon, President of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, countries in the region are taking turn to host the games every two years in alphabetical order. Cambodia failed to do so in 1960s, through to 1990s and in 2000s. As we all know, the country has the need to put together our devastated infrastructure and human resources. We also have the need to for the country’s overall reconstruction and development.

We need to mobilize our financial resources for the construction of roads, bridges, water canals, hospitals, and schools for our people. It is in this reason that in 2011, we have decided to postpone our hosting turn. Until 2011, in Indonesia, I made it known to heads of states and governments of the ASEAN nations and asked for their understanding that Cambodia would not be able to hold its turn of hosting the games in such a short time and asked for it to hold the event in 2023.

I am taking this opportune moment to express my sincere thanks to heads of states and/or governments of the ASEAN nations for their understandings of Cambodia’s demand for its internal national construction and socio-economic development. We all know that to host such an event, a nation would need to spend as much as what it needs to build three or four bridges across the Mekong. That was why in those days, we did not dare ask our Chinese friend for financial help for the construction of the stadium. We instead asked its help to build bridges and roads.

I am sure our people, especially our sportsmen and athletes would not see failing to host SEA Games event as incapability of the Royal Government or the Cambodian People’s Party. The decision was all because of our people’s true need for infrastructure and socio-economic development, betterment of family’s livelihoods after the country rose from war and genocide.

4-April Birth Date

Today is April 4, and people sent me birthday wishes. Let me clarify this a bit. In fact, it is not my true birth date. However, it is the day that I commenced my life transformation from a civilian to a member of the national liberation movement, after the coup on 18-March 1970 that brought down then head of state Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk. War broke out and the country suffered foreign invasions. I recalled that on 4 April that year, there were 300 other young men reporting to the marquis. When they asked for my birth date, I just told them that very date, which is the date that I reported to the marquis – 4 April 1970. I pretended 4 April 1952 as my birth date.

My true birth date is 5 August 1952, or Tuesday, full moon day of Srap, dragon year. There is this problem than why it is 1951 and not 1952? On 8 January 1979, the People’s Revolutionary Council of Kampuchea made me its foreign minister, using my new birth date 4 April 1952. However, in a CV sent out, there was a typical error that my birth date had become in 1951 instead of 1952. It has gone on until today. However, I am grateful to everyone who makes me a birthday wish […]

I have always used my birthday as my day of action to put into official use or to launch a construction. This afternoon, we will have a gathering and solidarity dinner with sportsmen and athletes with some 3,000 participants. I hope we will have some good songs and music to dance […]

Indoor Stadium Facilities Welcome

I take this moment to express my sincere appreciation for HE Thong Khon as well as the working groups for their efforts to make these achievements possible, whereas here we have swimming pools with ability to host dancing-in-water sports or synchronized swimming. Aside from what we have in the provincial city of Kompong Cham, here we have international standard swimming pools […] the indoor stadium facilities can commence related training and competitions now. The stadium of Morodok Techo will stretch over an area of 85 hectares. We have now completed the first phase of construction. People may come from near and far places to visit the stadium […]

China’s Biggest Non-Interest Aid Ever to Foreign Country

As for the second phase of the project, we will launch the construction of the main stadium with the grant aid from the People’s Republic of China. President Xi Jinping told me in one of our meeting that China offered its non-interest assistance for the construction of the Cambodia’s national sports complex, which is relating mainly to football field section, with architecture and organization that HE Ambassador just said, is the People’s Republic of China’s biggest ever non-interest aid to foreign country. I depend on HE Ambassador to relay my sincere appreciation and thanks to HE President Xi Jinping, HE Premier Li Keqiang, and other leaders of the Communist Party of China, the Government and people of China for their generous support for sports of Cambodia. This is a part of cultural and sports relations between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the People’s Republic of China in our comprehensive strategic partnership framework […]

Morodok Techo Sports Complex Hosts Local, Internationally Friendly Games

It has been a thorough effort put into the construction either architectures or constructors. We have figured out different options and possibilities to resolve needs of security. We have to figure out how to evacuate 60,000 people in seven minutes should there be any incident while watching competitions. It will become a sports complex where we will host local training and competition, but also internationally friendly and regional hosting games.

It would be difficult if we were to depend solely on own financial ability. The third phase mentioned by HE Thong Khon to complete the construction of the Morodok Techo Sports Complex, we would need international standard tennis courts, hockey halls, shooting hall, hostels for 400 sportsmen and 300 trainers. We have not had the source of funding yet and I hope that China will fill in any shortcoming we may face. I will not raise this matter in my forthcoming visit in May because China just offered us a big help and we have not even finished with the construction yet. We may prolong the time but will surely think that China could be helpful.

The Country’s Peace and Stability Allows Sports Practice

We have now buildings and facilities needed for competition, either here and in some other places. We must strengthen our sport capacity. This evening, I will have an off-the-cuff speech in a dinner that we throw for our sportsmen. That we have good sports facilities is not sufficient. We have noticed that our sports field has progressed from one stage to another. I am so satisfied with what HE Xiong Bo has just said about that fact that Cambodia is currently benefiting from a great achievement, the prime reason of which is the environment of peace and stability.

Sport is a good activity that proceeds well in environment of peace. Some country and regions, where war is real, sport is a valuable goods of one’s dream. They cannot achieve it. When we are practicing sports with pleasure, please do not forget about peace and be grateful to it. It is an undeniable truth that Cambodia itself had come across and some other countries too. Countries in war would not be able to yield their imaginations to realize sports dream. In 1960s, under the leadership of Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, Cambodia’s sports made big progress. However, they fell when the country had war.

We have made gradual recovery and because of the fact that war has ended and there are no more divisions of the country, one country one Constitution, one King, one Royal Government and armed forces, we are able to make all these happen. It is in this understanding that we all must hold tightly to peace that we have achieved with lots of difficulties and loss of lives […]

Sports Federations to Strengthen Capacity

I thank every sports federations for their efforts in various stages and hope that they will continue to strengthen capacity of their related sports activities. I am calling our people to also participate and support sports. I have appealed to our people on the opening of the first national sports day for our people to practice at least one sports.

I have also see sports for disabilities here and I have accepted to be the Paralympic committee for Cambodia. We maybe are disable people but we are strong in our mind and heart. I am calling on people with disabilities to continue practicing sports and I have seen that sometimes people with disabilities are doing even better in sports than people with normal physical condition […]

Morodok Techo Sports Complex – A Heritage for Generations

I have no more to say as I have spoken a lot yesterday, today, this evening. I hope that our people will be happy to receive the national achievement that will last for generations on this 85 hectares land. I am sure our people are thankful to the government and people of China for its provision of non-interest assistance to build such a huge sports complex for international standard competition not only for our generation but for the younger generations to come./.