Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, at the Opening of the Fifth River Festival Held in Kompong Chhnang Province [Unofficial Translation]


Welcome Delegations from Thailand and Vietnam, and Indonesia

My wife I are happy to take part with all of you in celebrating the Fifth River Festival themed “River Connecting Peace, People, and Tourism.” I wish to extend my warm welcome to national and international guests for their presences, and companies that cooperate with the province of Kompong Chhnang in setting up stands to exhibit products in this event. Let me warmly welcome delegations from the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for their regular participations in the sea and river festivals in Cambodia. More so, I also welcome and thank the delegation from Indonesia, who this time around not only take part in exhibition but also send performing art team for the event, and to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of Indonesia […]

Join Hands to Think, Act and Be Responsible

What makes me even happier is that every time we are celebrating the river or sea festivals in provinces along with river or sea, we have put efforts into development of required infrastructures to host the events. People are benefiting from the festivity celebrations too. Four years ago, we launched this festival in Stoeung Treng, and followed to Kratie, and Kompong Cham.  Last year we celebrated it in Kandal province along the river Bassac. Now, this is the fifth years and it is the first time for us to celebrate such event in a province along Tonle Sap, one of the biggest lakes in the region. We have taken joint responsibility to observe, to think and to put into actions […]

River Festival – a National Movement

Let me reiterate what I set out in Kandal that our wish to celebrate the river festival was to mobilize people’s affection and protection of their natural waterways and resources while benefiting from nature in their daily life such as in agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, transportation, hydropower, ecotourism, and other international cooperation. Our goal is to turn this spirit into a national movement for our people to have affection and take parts in protection of our waterways and resources – rivers and lakes, etc., which are subjected to siltation and loss of aquatic animals from both objective and subjective causes […]

From Deeper, More, and Less to Shallower, Less and More

(Our waterways and natural resources) conditions have had their changes since fifty or a hundred years ago. In the past, we have deeper waterways, more fishes, and less people to feed. As of present, our waterways are getting shallow, aquatic animals are less, and more people to feed. Anarchic fishing activities has created challenges to us all. That is a subjective factor. It is a manmade disaster. We must work together to revitalize our waterways and to mobilize people to love and protect them […]

Cambodia Lacks 400 Megawatts of Electricity

Taking this chance let me remind you about our weather-changing patterns to dryer and hotter by which there are impacts in the whole region. This year in particular, Cambodia is facing serious issue of water lacking and that has brought about insufficient water to run turbine to generate electricity. I am calling on our people both in urban and rural areas to exercise thrift when it comes to using water. Dry season this year in our country could be a prolonged one through to June. As of this moment, according to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, we are facing with shortage of 400 megawatts electricity already […] while waiting for the arrival of power generators from Turkey to provide additional electricity supply, I strongly urge our people to put into use their private power machines to supply electricity for their business and living areas. Our hydropower stations have faced problem of low water level and we cannot run turbine to provide electricity. I am asking our people to have understanding in this time of difficulties as some places may suffer blackouts and others insufficient electricity supply […]

No More Wastes into Rivers and Lakes

We have seen problem of sanitation concerning the rivers of Mekong, Bassac, Tonle Sap, and various other streams or waterways in general as the Stoeung Sangke, Stoeung Pursat, Stoeung Mongkul Borei, and even the small river running between Kompong Cham and along Prey Veng and Kandal. The most probable cause is the fact that our people channel wastes in to them, even at sea […] this has called for our people conscience to love and protect their surrounding nature that are giving them benefits and life. Leaving wastes such as plastic bottles and bags and other foreign materials in waterways and resources would surely bring us disaster. Last year I urged people’s attention about dumping wastes from their sewage system directly into the rivers […] each individual and family must be participative for cleanliness of our rivers, environment, and for our efforts to attract tourists […]

Action 1 – Protect Peace and Keep River Safe

I am going suggest some actions to redress matters that we are facing with regard to our waterways and resources. Firstly, to protect peace and to keep our rivers safe. We are sitting here together now because our country is in peace – one thing that we have hard won it […]

After 30 years, when I came to this area to observe warring situation like in 1986/7, we have transformed areas of Tonle Sap lake where there were war actions to become areas of peace and development (together with the rest of the country). I am calling our people to look into the value and benefit that we have enjoyed over twenty years now from the hard-won peace […]

Action 2 – Protect Rivers from Erosion, Siltation, and Directing Water Current …

Secondly, we must seek capital resources to take actions in protecting rivers from erosion, siltation, and redirecting water current. It includes also prevention of anarchic sand suction pump, illegal fishing, and deforesting of inundated forest […] these are causes to losing not only aquatic animals and resources but also potential in tourism […]

Action 3 – Tourism Development in Cities along Rivers/Lakes

Thirdly, make further efforts to achieve tourism development in cities alongside the rivers and with big lakes […] we must think and make use of every potential we may have to attract tourists […] in this case, some have said that we have less tourists in the province of Preah Sihanouk. They have looked at a tree instead of a whole forest […] we may have less arrival of tourists to Preah Sihanouk but in every 25 municipals and provinces, we have registered growing number of tourists […] let me have your attention here that we should not be shortsighted because improper understanding would lead to wrong thinking and giving wrong signal.

Kompong Chhnang Works Harder to Attract Tourists

We must see that there is a competition not only between and among countries. The 25 municipals and provinces must do their bests too. Kompong Chhnang locates on the national road 5 that people travel through to Pursat, Battambang and further. Travelers may pass without stopping in Kompong Chhnang […] I urge the provincial councilors and governor to figure out how to attract tourists who travel along passing Kompong Chhnang to other destinations to have interests in stopping by the province. It is also one way of benefiting from tourism too […] there is a well-known noodle shop in Kompong Chhnang […] why not make it a popular breakfast spot on the way for passing travelers? […]

Action 4 – Travel Safety for Tourists

I also urge efforts to pay attention to safety for tourists traveling by water to islands and along rivers and lakes. There must be lifejackets […] and prior to departure, involved agents and actors must carefully carry out safety inspection and refrain from overloading […]

Action 5 – A Tonle Sap Environmentally Friendly Corridor for Poverty Alleviation

Fifthly, to lay out a corridor through Tonle Sap to guarantee poverty alleviation and friendly to environment. We are indeed in need of a connectivity system […] while addressing the requirement we do not forget to be cautious about making such achievement environmentally friendly too. It was in this consideration of environment that I once called off a project to build a road and bridges connecting Kompong Chhnang across Tonle Sap and two other rivers to Kompong Thom. Today, after a thorough study by the Ministry of Transports and Public Works, I must inform people in Kompong Chhnang and Kompong Thom, and in the whole country, I have decided to allow construction of the more than 57 Kilometers road and three bridges – one of which is more than 3,900 meters, the longest in the country. The main bridge will cross three rivers – Phsa Kraom, Jroy Bous, and Kompong Hao […]

Mekong-Korea Mechanism Ups to Heads of Governments Level

We are putting our interests in cooperation with countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region for which Cambodia will host the meeting of the six countries with Lancang and Asian Development Bank next year. We also are looking at the contributions from the Lancang-Mekong, Japan-Mekong and US-Mekong mechanisms […] I had a fruitful negotiation with the President of South Korea and we have decided to work to raise the RoK-Mekong mechanism from Foreign Ministers level to heads of governments level. We will convene a meeting in the Republic of Korea on 27 November 2019, after the ASEAN-RoK summit on 25 and 26 November.

This is indeed a result of cooperation among partner countries with the Mekong and that should be helpful to its development. We can work out this sort of Mekong-tourist visas as we have worked with Thailand to provide tourists with ACMACS visa. We can do the same with countries interested. Tourist can have a visa in one country and travel to a set of countries […] ./.