Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, at the Sixth River Festival Themed – “River of Peace and Prosperity” [Unofficial Translation]


In addition to the prepared text, addressing the sixth river festival in the province of Battambang, Samdech Techo Hun Sen made the following impromptu comments:

To Build a Road between Battambang and Siem Reap Provinces

[…] this morning, I had a cordial meeting with roughly 2,000 (provincial) officials and I have pinned our focus on two major topics. Firstly, we are making efforts to build a road between Battambang and Siem Reap provinces, while currently travelers have to go up to Banteay Meanjei in order to get to Siem Reap from Battambang, that will shorten traveling distance by 69 Km. It will be a new connectivity project of our road lines in the country. It should be one of our 2021 potential projects. Once we have completed the feasibility study, we will start looking for funding source. The road will be an important link for Battambang, and/or Siem Reap, in addition to Battambang’s connectivity by roads to Banteay Meanjei, Pailin, Pursat and even to Koh Kong provinces […]

To Rebuild the Battambang Airport for Future Development Requirements

Secondly, we must carry out a feasibility study to maintain the airport of Battambang. We may not need it at this moment but for the time to come, we will have demand for air traffics/transports. I am asking governor of the Battambang province, and Samdech Krola Haom Sar Kheng, to take care issues of land management. High building must not allow in the airport area because they would cause problems to landing/taking off paths. Though it may not be becoming an international airport, with growing development, we would certainly have demand for means of air transports. We must have local flights. We must pursue this vision to have the airport of Battambang redeveloped to respond to future demand for development. The airport should be able to cater for planes and helicopters […]

Battambang’s Potentials in Agriculture and Industry

As said by Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and Governor Nguon Ratanak, three sectors (of economic activities) – agriculture, industry and services contribute to national production […] before coming here, I visited the cement factory (which has the ability to) produce up to two million tons of cement. I also have seen other factories’ productions through the exhibitions that I saw just now. I think that besides impact on service sector, mainly tourism, Battambang’s agriculture and industry would suffer little or nothing from Covid-19 and/or EBA, as we would not sell cement to Europe, anyway […] I am calling on local authorities to work closely with those from national levels to act on infrastructural development – roads and airports. Local government also have to provide national competent authorities on these efforts as well. Local government must ensure management of land in and around the airport and work on resolving impact from road project between Battambang and Siem Reap provinces […]

China – No Long Covid-19 Epicenter

As of 5pm today, 146 countries and territories in the world […] have suffered Covid-19 infection. It is not China anymore but countries in Europe that becomes the epicenter of Covid-19 as declared by the World Health Organization. On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I am extending from here my heartfelt congratulation to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for the efforts and progresses they have made to overcome disasters to achieve yesterday a zero death rate yesterday, while many died in Italy. PRC has liberated itself from the epidemic and is preparing itself to help others, like Italy. President Xi Jinping also sounding China’s intention to provide help to South Korea in combating this virus […]

Nothing to Hide about Covid-19

As of this moment, only one Cambodia in Siem Reap infected with this disease. Unfortunately, we have five foreign nationals – three from UK, one from Canada, (and one from Belgium) infected. We may also include (the first case of) a Chinese whom we provided with treatment and returned to his country. In all we have infection cases on seven persons. Some reactionary groups spread news that Cambodia has been hiding facts about the infection. I do not want to argue with anyone but I needed to clarify it to our people. Cambodia has been working closely with related partners the World Health Organization included and there’s no need to hide anything about the disease. Even if the government wanted to hide, how could it? since it would be the person infected who would know if s/he had the disease. The Royal Government in this case calls on the people who have suspicion of infection contact and check with health authorities on their health. Our country is poor but our heart is not […]

Foreign Embassies Should Comprehend

Taking this moment, I am calling for foreign embassies to comprehend (about how we deal with their citizens on the cruise) ship coming from Vietnam and went up to Kompong Cham, on which we found three persons infected with Covid-19. They demanded that we transfer their citizens to hotels in Phnom Penh. They drew a comparison that we allowed passengers from Westerdam to stay in hotel before and why we allow no passengers on that Covid-19 infected ship to do the same […] on Westerdam, despites a hiccup case concerning the 83 years-old American women, which 72 hours later reconfirmed Covid-19 negative by Kuala Lumpur, there were no Covid-19 infection. […]

There was a diplomatic staff, I do not reveal his/her identity, warned the governor of Kompong Cham that passengers of the infected ship would protest with placards and post on Facebook. I commanded let them do whatever they wanted to […] we allowed them to get off the boat in order to disinfect it. If they wanted to stay in or to return to the boat, it would be up to them. However, the boat would stay in one place until the quarantine period as required by the WHO protocol is up. I have the need to take care of not only foreign nationals but also my own 16 million citizens […] let us fight together with this pandemic. It is true that hotel facilities in Kompong Cham is not up to their standards but it is better than keeping your citizens on the boat […]

Travel Bans Issued for Five Countries

The Ministry of Health issued a ban on travelers from five countries – France, Spain, Germany, Italy, and the US. I also saw words of insult about why we do not apply same measures for those coming from China. Have they seen what happened in the US, where they placed their country in state of emergency? […] Spain, Italy, Germany, France […] where even a gathering of a thousand people prohibited? Those spreading insults are extremely ill willed and are not fit to be Cambodians […] we have set the effective date to 17 March for travelers to cancel their flights […]. Some countries have taken stricter and extra precautionary measures. Singapore declared travelers into Singapore from those countries, including Singaporeans, are to be in quarantine for fourteen days. Vietnam requires those coming from Europe to stay in isolation for 14 days too […]

Why have those people been so ill willed against China? They keep attacking China. Those of you who have been spreading such insults against China are not fit to be Cambodians. They have talked about this or that nations but never care about their country’s economy. Cambodia will exercise comprehensive measures and we are responsible for our people […] while I said the other day about possible cancellations of UN meetings, in New York and in Geneva, the UN Secretary General appeared to ask the UN staffs to work from home. Football matches held without spectators […] for Cambodia, there nothing about racism or discrimination but just to act according to situation. We are looking at possible bans for travelers from other countries that have not been including in the Ministry of Heath’s list – for instance Iran. We are prohibiting travelers from Iran for 30 days […]

Phnom Penh and Siem Reap Observe Short School-Holiday Early

As for internal measures to guarantee safety (and prevent infection) for Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Minister of Education, Academician HE Hang Chuon Naron, instructed schools in Phnom Penh and in Siem Reap to observe short school holiday earlier than scheduled. Normally, for the observation of the Khmer New Year in April, we are having a short school break (for two weeks). We will see. Wherever there are suspicions, we will take similar measure. We are taking response measure according to the eventual development […]

Sompeah for Greeting; Kroma in Place of Masks

On this occasion, I am calling on our compatriots to work together to fight against this Covid-19 pandemic. The Cambodian way […] raising hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest (Sompeah in Khmer or “namaste” in India) has now become a way of greeting. Even the European have practiced it now instead of shaking hands […]

Secondly, I am happy to see that our officials have put on scarf (Kroma) around their necks. Kroma is handy. It is the Cambodian tradition to have a Kroma with them. Let us say now “Kroma protects our health,” now. Well, in times of need, wearing masks is necessary. However, in general, having a Kroma with you going around would be handy […] people should wear masks only between three to four hours. Kroma should help our people from paying much on masks […]

By the way, I am calling our people – as an individual, family, village, community and nation as a whole to exercise sanitation and hygiene practices to prevent this pandemic of Covid-19. We have no need to hide anything about the disease. If they continue to have doubt that the Hun Sen administration hid the truth about it, I have no way to convince them but ask them to take an oath to be hit by lightning if anyone speaks untrue. I think they dare not. There are sacred objects and power here (in Battambang).If they dare, they can take the oath with their lives on Facebook […]

I am telling them thinking about own health and where they are would be more demand of time than spending time spreading fake news to cause fears. I am of the opinion that actions taken by individual, family, village, community, and nation, would eventually neutralize fake news […]./.


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