Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Meeting with Workers and Employees at the Vaddhanak Industrial Park I

[Unofficial Translation]


To Guarantee Development, We Must Have Peace and Political Stability

[…] We have works to do to advance our economy further. That we need higher income and larger export, we must attract more investments. However, before talking about works to do, we have to make sure that we guarantee peace and development – two inseparable elements. You may observe that countries with development are those with peace and political stability. They are not ones in wars. No one would move his/her factories to and/or tour places of fighting. You can look at Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other countries in Africa, and even some countries in our region. They are still at war. In those areas, there are no factories, enterprises, schools, and even they would be under bombardments.

Therefore, to guarantee for development, we must guarantee peace and political stability. Only the Cambodian People’s Party has the ability to carry this task through. In some countries, we see that turmoil is growing. Even Myanmar, a friend in the framework of ASEAN, we see that they have difficult time in controlling some areas. Fighting re-erupted between the government troops and tribal forces. The Bengali or Rohingya people have now become a standing issue among countries.

IPAA, which will meet in the Philippines tomorrow, already has that issue in its agenda. The National Assembly has sought ideas from the Royal Government concerning the issue of Rohingya or Bengali in Myanmar. So the two buzz terms that we cannot separate them is peace and development. I may reaffirm that without peace there would be no development. In absence of development and poverty continues to grow, one cannot keep peace […]

That has called for task 1 to keep peace, ensure political stability, and guarantee security and social order. We need to safeguard peace, political stability, and social order for safe and stable jobs. Every factory and enterprise must join hands in safeguarding political stability, security, and social order. There should not be room for any movement to take place in your factories and/or your work areas. In 2013 and 2014, the Veng Sreng road area was a hot spot of protest. Who started it? Someone who at the time came and gave breads to protestors had crossed the border to Thailand at 520 and boarded a plane from Bangkok to South Korea then to the US. He also attempted to cross into Canada … He is holding two passports – one diplomatic one and one normal one […]

Who would go and protest at 2am to demand better work condition? When violence erupted, they claimed missing so and so. That was why I said in order to account for those missing we had to summon the protest leaders for interrogation […] at that time, some workers who did not join them for the protest, they broke loose the gate. They did that in Phnom Penh. They did that in Svay Rieng. We shall never let such things to happen that leads to loss of jobs. We also must keep our factories free from drugs and gangsters. Workers must stand together, in close cooperation with factories owners, and vice versa, to guarantee political stability, security, social order, which will in return guarantee safe and stable jobs for you […]

Question 1 to US Ambassador – Whether What Kem Sokha Said Was True or Not?

I have a few points concerning political issues both domestic and foreign. It will be my direct response to the US. May I request the attention of HE the Ambassador. Your Excellency declared that it was an accusation on the US, baseless accusation. May I ask for Your Excellency’s clarification if “what Kem Sokha had said was true or false?” … HE Kem Sokha did accuse the US about instructing methods to overthrow (legitimate government in Cambodia) by way of what they did in Yugoslavia and Serbia. He clarified about (countries) sending professors to help organize and see it through. Was it true or false? Who accused whom between the two – Kem Sokha and the US […] they were true words that came out of Kem Sokha’s mouth […]

Maybe the Ambassador is not capable of interpreting this matter but it is important to make a statement of what Kem Sokha had said. For Cambodia and according to Cambodian laws that was treason. Before taking position, we all have to take oaths before the throne, HM the King, and Preah Moha Sangharajas that we shall not allow foreign influence in Cambodian affairs – domestic and foreign. Has Kem Sokha received such order or influence from the US? or Kem Sokha just told a lie? Started from this fact that Kem Sokha was arrested. You may want to take up responsibility and offer your interpretation on the issue. Kem Sokha openly recognized it and no one forced him to do so.

They (US) used to instruct Lon Nol on a coup in 1970 to bring down Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk and Cambodia had become a target of 2.7 million tons of bombardments. I am calling our people to stand up and exercise national policy to defend national sovereignty against foreign interference […] it seems the same problem has come back […] Kem Sokha admitted that the US did it and he did it at the instruction of professors from the US and Canada. I have instructed the national police, immigration, and foreign affairs to find out any US citizens suspicious of aiding and abetting (event) in 2013, and earlier. We had known about two spies who gave instructions to what happened in the Veng Sreng road. Cambodia has no intention whatsoever to bring such matter to the US but they should not look at us with their unfriendly eyes.

Question 2 to US Ambassador – US Citizens Cautious for Security Reason

Your Excellency issued a statement for the US citizens to be cautious of security. Let me ask whether you have proof or information that Cambodia is going to be under a terrorist attack. If there is such information, why Your Excellency did not share it with Cambodia, since we are partners in cooperation against terrorism? Is it that you are prepared to attack Cambodia? I am waiting for your response. Are you intimidating the people of Cambodia at the time that they are enjoying Pjum Ben festivities? […]

Cambodians must trust themselves. We may have everything we need to prevent terrorist acts but we wanted a clarification from the US Ambassador for us. Why did you tell the US citizens (in Cambodia) to watch out? Have you had information that ISIS or Al-Qaeda is going to fight Cambodia? If that was the reason, as partners, why did you not share it with us? […] this is my question to one of the two US Ambassadors who arrogantly violated Cambodian sovereignty […] we have our sovereignty and security to protect and as a leader of a country I would not stand such insult on me personally and on my Cambodian nation […] You may want to take back your Peace Corps. A newspaper operated and evaded tax closed their publications and they accused us of closing it down. They taught us to abide by the law but they acted on country as if we have no law. When we exercise our legal measures, they accused us of suppressing right of expression. Only when those newspapers scold us that they would say it is a free press.

Question 3 to US Ambassador – Pressuring Cambodia on Repatriation Program

… Many Cambodians are listening to my speeches. I may share with you widely here. Cambodians living in the US, when they are found guilty to go to jail in the US, they would not let them live there anymore. There is an agreement on that and they have pressurized us to carry it through since the beginning. If we do not sign the agreement, they would tighten their visas. We signed the agreement and implemented it. There have been 566 or more returnees to Cambodia. Among them, four committed suicide. I wish you and the people of Cambodia listen to this. It is a tragedy. They committed wrongdoing, they go to jail is one thing. When they had to be in Cambodia and their families are in the US, can anyone fathom it?

Taking issue of humanity into consideration, Samdech Krola Haom Sar Kheng and I had our discussion and came to a decision that we should seek to propose some amendments to the agreement. We did not seize it unilaterally. We propose to amend it […] we have made it clear that we propose a discussion on amendment of the agreement. We could not imagine that the US lacked kindness and humanitarianism while they speak out about human rights all the time.

We have prepared officials to interview 26 new returnees, but the US administration told us that they issue no visas for our foreign affairs officials. Automatically, the US has terminated the agreement unilaterally. In response, Cambodia tells the US that cooperation in searching for remains of MIA in Cambodia, which so far we have discovered more than 40 already and working to look for more than 40 more, will be on hold temporarily […] I must clarify that we are not removing the agreement. We are putting it on hold temporarily. As long as the US withholds, we also will not cooperate on this matter […]

This is what it takes to be an independent and sovereign country. I am seeking the US embassy not to patronize Cambodia […] I do not wish to see anti US demonstrations as in 1965-1966 again. However, Cambodians are high in their patriotism. They take no insult from anyone. We are an independent country, liberal and sovereign. We could not allow act of destruction through organization of treacherous persons inside the country … We must uphold the law […]./.