Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Inauguration of Jei Mongkul Pagoda [Unofficial Translation]


Religions Destroyed between 1970-1975 and 1975-1979

[…] history of this pagoda is no different to history of others in the whole country. Not only Buddhism, Muslim, and Christian religions were also harmed and destroyed in the war between 1970 and 1975, especially in the period between 1975 and 1979. That was a tragedy that as a country we went through together […] relation between Buddhism and secular world stood out clearly. I wish every religion to grow in general but they have to understand that every religion will progress only in peace. They would not be able to grow in turmoil and war. The two could not be separated. Bullets would not distinguish between Buddha or Buddhist monks. Look, under Pol Pot, many Buddhist monks were killed. When a state policy or a secular world policy is not correct, leadership will bring about disaster to every religions, Buddhism too […]

Under the popular socialist regime led by Preah Karuna Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, the Cambodian people were free to exercise their religious obligations and faiths. Before the coup on 3 March 1970, Cambodia noted a time of growing number of Buddhist pagodas and sacred places of other religions too. After the coup, some Buddhist pagodas had become targets of attack by air bombardments, and even chemical bombs. Some had been transformed into military barracks and hideouts serving the purpose of killing each other. Under Pol Pot, they suffered no better fates. Luckily, our struggle movement liberated the country on 7 January 1979, when we all restarted our lives […]

Racial and Religious Harmonization

… We should not neglect relation between Buddhism and other religions with the secular world. They are bonding together strongly. Any leadership that restricts people’s activities for religions and/or faiths, turmoil will be imminent. Well, you may notice that whenever people go hungry, Buddhist monks are short of food too. They cannot build religious buildings […] when our people are rich and have better living standard, food for the monk is also of high quality too. You acquire ability to build necessary religious shrines. The same is true for Muslim and Christian religion […] we are happy to see what we have achieved here today. In the Cambodian context, this has clearly illustrated harmonization of races and religions already.

Today we Buddhist celebrate the inauguration of a Buddhist temple but you also have here the presence of our Cambodian Muslims. I also think that we have some who follow Christianity here. This has clearly indicated that under the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party, Cambodian has ascertained harmonization of racial and religious issues, without discrimination. I am so happy when I noticed this development in every religious rites that I participated […] we must adhere to this development and allow our country to fall to no religious conflict. Different religions should not be hindrances to national development […] this clearly envisages correct policy of the Cambodian People’s Party in the context of racial and religious harmonization, without discrimination […]

People’s Requirements Grow

There has been a proposal on behalf of the people of Srey Santhor district of Kompong Cham province. People from here frequently visited and commented in my Facebook account asking for consideration to build them a road. They also sent in their messages on this topic to my account when I visited the province of Kompong Cham […] the road has been built about eight kilometers now […] all this delay is because there had been promises from external sources to implement the project. In the end, they did not have secure enough financial support for the project. People were not aware of the problem and kept sending me messages. I took a measure some years back and there are some more to do. People’s requirements grow. Even eating has to change. Formerly, we would eat just anything to fill our stomach and never thought about amount of calories intake. We then have this problem of overweight. Me too. We have to find ways to get back down. I think we should use this method among our military commander. They have big bellies. They must carry sacks of certain weight and walk up a slope between 12 and 15 degrees […]

In 1979, we would eat just anything edible we might find. My wife frequently said at our dining table that under Pol Pot, should we have these dishes, it would have been a marvelous treat. I said to her, should we be treated like that, no one would have revolted […] and because they did not that people revolted and brought him down […] I came across that section of our people sitting there and I asked some of them how old they are? Many said they are in their 70s. This means that in 1979, they were in their early 30s […] however, let us not think about what age are we in, but to go forward altogether till death do we part. Life is surely not eternal […]

General Elections Comes on 29 July 2018

… I never had ambition to become anyone but a simple teacher. I also do not know how come fate has brought me here and for the last thirty three years. I have already declared a further ten years for this tenure. I am a sort of man who would not leave if they wish me to, but would do it if they do not. How could they shout at me to leave my tenure (while) I am the one who won the elections? […] We will organize elections as defined by law on 29 July 2018. In a few months, the general elections will come. The Cambodian People’s Party will continue its role in leading the country. I have confidence on that. Some has pursued a policy of “where there is one, there will not be the other,” while we exercise a policy of reconciliation. It is true that as a country it is important to have a reconciliation. Patience has its limit. One cannot just pretend nothing has happened when someone tries to do him/her a way […] there has been many times that I was cruel to myself because I forgave others. I would not do that anymore. Some dare not protest while inside the country. S/he does it from outside.

To Honor ASEAN-Australian Summit

I will go to Australia. The government of Australia must take responsibility. My car will carry national flag as a Prime Minister of a sovereign country and a member of ASEAN. If there were only nine countries, it would not be ASEAN. If Cambodia disagrees, there will not be an ASEAN statement. The government of Australia invited me and lobbied me to support the anniversary Australia-ASEAN summit in Australia. Some people said why would they need to invite Hun Sen? Those people should understand that if Hun Sen did not attend, the meeting would not be ASEAN whole. Australia should thank Hun Sen for supporting such event in Australia. What if I say I could not make it to the meeting because there would be elections in the country? As a country, there could be something more urgent too.

However, we will honor Australia this time since we had had two ASEAN summits in India, one summit with Korea, and those summits of ASEAN-Japan, ASEAN-China […]  we must honor the ASEAN-Australian summit. Some in Australia – holding a Cambodian and an Australian nationality did not know this and/or understand about ASEAN. They wish the Government of Australia did not invite Hun Sen […] ASEAN works on unanimous decision.  There need to be whole ten ASEAN to issue a statement. They burn effigy of me to make me angry and back away from the visit. That will not happen […] my soul lies in every dragon carved in the Buddhist temples. If you wish to take my soul, you would have to break down every dragon in there […] I already said it once the other day that it would not be wise to bite back at a dog that bit your leg […] since it was in their natures, they had to flee and vanish. I was not the one to cause all this.

Let’s Enjoy Forthcoming Angkor Sangkranta

In the past, people would not want to work as a teacher because the meagre salary. At present, to choose only three thousand teachers, we have 20,000 applicants. The teacher job has grown interest. In January, we have increased basic salary. In April, we will increase pay according to functions for civil servants and military. They will also have to be paid prior to arrival of the Khmer New Year in addition with the 50,000 Riel bonus. Let us enjoy the Khmer New Year […] we will enjoy the coming Angkor Sangkranta and in Srey Santhor district, you may want to organize a Sangkranta too […]./.