Prime Minister Shares an Old Photo on Peace-seeking Process for Cambodia

Phnom Penh, May 21, 2019 –Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen shared on his Facebook page this morning an old photo recalling his peace-seeking process for Cambodia in the late 1980s.

“If we review this photo, it seemed to be a dangerous adventure, but for me and my colleagues, it was a pride that we used our lives to exchange for peace for the Cambodian people,” he underlined. “Not many people knew, even me, I’ve just found this photo handed over to me this Sunday by a former Belgian journalist.”

This photo was taken on Sept. 19, 1989 when Samdech Techo Hun Sen traveled secretly to Thailand by crossing a rail bridge in Poipet. “On the two sides of the road, both in Cambodia and Thailand, there were full of mine fields. Moreover, along this way, about one kilometre long, there was soldiers of the trilateral group based there waiting to attack the State of Cambodia’s forces stationed along the National Road No. 5,” he said.

In Poipet at that time, continued the Premier, there was only a broken house at the edge of the bridge on Cambodia’s side, the rest was forests. We crossed the border at around 2:00 pm without having lunch yet.

According to Samdech Techo Hun Sen, the senior officials who accompanied him at that time included Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh (current Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence), H.E. Cham Prasidh (current Senior Minister and Minister of Industry and Handicraft), and other senior officials as well as a senior Thai army officer to facilitate their border crossing and communication with the Thai side.

Samdech Techo Prime Minister said he had set forth a policy to prevent and reduce Thailand’s assistance to the Khmer Rouge and the trilateral group. “This resulted in my secret meeting with (the then) H.E. Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, a powerful Thai army chief, on Oct. 27, 1988 and my open visit to Bangkok in January 1989,” he added.

“I travelled secretly to Bangkok on Sept. 19, 1989 on war and peace in Cambodia, which can be considered as part of peace-seeking process for Cambodia. I and other delegates crossed to Aranyaprathet with a deputy commander-in-chief of Thai army and continued to Bangkok by helicopter to hold secret talks with the then Thai Prime Minister H.E. Chatichai Choonhavan and H.E. Chavalit Yongchaiyudh. The relations between me and Thai leaders was becoming better leading to the success of my Win-Win policy later,” he stressed.

By Khan Sophirom