Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, in Solidarity with Christians [Unofficial Translation]

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CNV:

Thanks for Voting the Cambodian People’s Party

First of all, allow me to welcome you all – priests, pastors, leaders and all Christian followers/parishioners for taking their times to attend this event and I wish Christ blesses them all. It is another meeting that we have scheduled to meet annually. In the passing year, we have carried out so many tasks for the construction of our country. I wish to take this chance to deliver my sincere appreciation and thanks to Christian parishioners in the Kingdom of Cambodia for contributions they have made for keeping peace and development. I thank them for voting the Cambodian People’s Party. As I have said on numerous occasions, as long as I am elected as Prime Minister, we will have this meeting on a yearly basis. Last year, you all went to vote and voted for the Cambodian People’s Party. Your actions helped me continue to work as Prime Minister and here we are today, Amen […]

CPP Ensures Respect of Freedom of Religions

One of the main things that the Cambodian People’s Party hold in its hand firmly since the liberation of 7 January 1979 is to ensure harmonization of races and religions. We have done everything to ensure that believers (religious persons) and non-religious persons coexist with one another in peace. In this hall, I meet Christian followers but also persons of other religions every year. We will have such meetings until 2023. Should the Cambodian People’s Party win election in 2023, I would continue to be Prime Minister and we would continue our meeting until 2028. Under the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party, people are free to choose religions they believe in and they also can choose to be non-religious too. We have got here Buddhists, Muslims and Christians. Counting in my friend here Nayan Chanda, an old friend, used to write for the Far Eastern Economic Review, whom I met in Colombo, and (probably) a Hindu followers, we could say there are four religious entities in this hall.

Difference of Religions Is No Obstacle to Peace and Development

We must ensure provision of rights and freedom on religions to every citizen. We have seen clearly that difference of religions (in Cambodia) has not been obstacles to peace keeping and development. As every religions coexist peacefully together, keeping harmonization with one another, nothing is in the way to prevent us from making advancement. We can work together in a room, in a construction site, in the rice field, or a factory despites differences in our faiths. We may have different faiths or religions but we all have the same goals to live in freedom and to have what every human being needs – independence, freedom, food, clothes, education, decent housing, etc. and important of all in Cambodia – peace and development. I am so joyful to have contributed in the past 40 years to make Cambodia moving from the time when no religions allowed to their revivals (and developments) after the liberation of 7 January 1979 […] in Cambodia, one Muslim responded to a question which religion is the oldest that none is older or younger, he said, because they all have been revived on 7 January 1979. That is true. Every religions have their long histories in Cambodia but they died under the regime of Pol Pot and they came back to lives since 1979.

No Peace and Development, Religions Suffers Impacts

We have observed developments in every religions now – Buddhism, Muslims, Christianity, all of which clearly explain close relations between socio-economic development and religious progresses. We must see complementary roles between keeping peace and delivering development and the state’s endeavors for socio-economic development. Should there be no peace and development, let me emphasize this point, religions – Buddhism, Muslim, or Christianity – would be facing with impacts. With poverty, people would not be able to practice religions. They would first think of how to fill their stomachs first. It is so simple to remember that only with endured peace and development that religions can have advantages. We have seen here that everyone is in their best clothes and happy. I am so happy to see that […]

State Progresses, Religion Benefits

I must share with you that the state has received so much from religions. It was one of my political science thesis that I defended successfully in 1991 on role of religions (in national development). We must see here that every religions teach human beings to fulfil good deeds. The issue here is how the state can see the benefits of religious harmonization and complementary roles through which citizens are law abiding and staying away from committing crimes. Good human resource acquires not only knowledge but virtue and morality. Religions educate people to achieve all those.  That is why I am saying there is a complementary role between religion and state. Positive leadership by the state would give benefit of religious progress and the religions would help people to be law abiding […]

Six Recommendations

I think I have some suggestions for us to keep on doing altogether. Firstly, we must join hands to safeguard peace, security, and social order […] without which we cannot ensure religious progresses […] you may look at what happened in Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Mali, etc. […] were there peace? Were there rights and freedom of religions? They may have them in their hearts but their religious shrines were not there. Destroyed (by war and hatred). It is on this note that we must not allow peace held hostage and threatened by bad people. The Royal Government would not let them have chance to achieve that. It is the role of the Royal Government, the authorities at every levels, and each and every citizen in safeguarding peace […] I think Mr. Nayan Chanda has so many questions to ask me but I will leave tomorrow (on state visits to Europe) and he will leave (Cambodia) too […] he surely would come back, I am sure […]

Secondly, fulfil safe village and commune policy. I think priest and pastors, and leaders of Christianity can do their parts in churches instructing followers in Christian events to exercise safe village/commune policy to stay away from theft/robberies, drugs, etc. […] thirdly, Churches and Christian followers join in campaign to eliminate or reduce drug addictions. It is a concerning issue in the world, and in Cambodia, among citizens, especially youth […] fourthly, paying heed to ensuring respect of traffic rules. Traffic accidents took lives more than war in Cambodia […] in average, six or seven people died of traffic accidents a day, and that does not include those who maimed […] everyone should exercise this slogan of today and tomorrow there must be no traffic accident […] fifthly, every religion ensure internal harmonization and with/among others. We all are aware that there are sects in Christianity […] and in Buddhism, we also have Theravada and Mahayana […] where it is required for every sects in each religion to ensure internal harmonization, and thus with/among other religions […] sixthly, training of human resource is important. To achieve goal of ensuring further progress in religions, training of priests, pastors, etc. is a matter of importance […] the same is true in other religions […] not only knowledge about religions per se but other streams as well to make sure they can contribute to social and national development, as well as those for their families […], Amen.

Pride to Take in Forty Years of Racial and Religious Harmonization

Once again, I thank you all for coming to this annual event. Next year we will find a way and time to get together again. I have had to wait until today to get this meeting fulfilled (because of my busy schedules). I will be leaving for state visits to Czech, Hungary and Bulgaria – and they are countries that people largely observe Christianity […] I have no problem going and working with any country in this world because though Buddhism is the state’s religion, we have ensured peaceful coexistence with other religions. It is in this statement that the Cambodian People’s Party can take pride that in the past forty years the country has had no racial and/or religious conflicts […] let us take this moment to pray together for Christ to bless you all and for us to protect the country’s peace and development, Amen./.