Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Historical Site in Vietnam as Part of the Whole Trail to Overthrow the Pol Pot’s Regime of Genocide (3)

[Unofficial Translation]


Secretary of Communist Party of Vietnam to the Province of Binh Phuoc,
HE Nguyen Van Tram, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Binh Phuoc Province, HE Commander of
the Military Zone 7, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

I have come to this place (a village in Binh Phuoc province) in Vietnam today as part of our attempt to follow the trail of 40 years ago that was relating to lives of millions of people. I have mentioned to you on various stops already from the starting point in the Cambodian territory and on to crossing the border, the place where we left our weapons, and cooked our food. We had our proper meal for the first time when we arrived in this village. We were invited to come to this place by a worker of a rubber plantation to meet a military officer. I am so sorry that I could not remember his name. I heard that he already passed away … On that day I had a fever and a Vietnamese militia chief had been the one to take care of me at Lang Chin (village 9) …

Meeting First Vietnamese Officials

… It was already late. They invited me to go into one other room. A military officer was the one who asked me questions. It is our first time to have met a Vietnamese official. Back in the village in the rubber plantation, we only met with militia … He asked me of the purpose of our wandering into Vietnam. I have not revealed my identity yet. Vietnamese people, militia, and military officers were not doing us any harm or to infringe upon my human rights, despite the fact that we crossed into their country illegally, without proper papers and we were soldiers too. It was indeed difficult to distinguish between those who were soldiers of Pol Pot who attacked Vietnam, those who left Cambodia in search of better life, and those who sought for assistance from the government and party of Vietnam to save the people of Cambodia […]

… It was at this place that that military officer that I do not remember his name questioned our true aims. I had to show him on maps where the Khmer Rouge army were especially those of the regions 21 and 20 … my battalions are secondary to regiment and divisions of the then eastern region. An old woman, formerly worked as rubber worker in Mohmot, helped translate. The military officers kept saying in Vietnamese, which I learnt later, that “it was a lie.” He said I lied about my rank because from what I explained to him, I was not one … the fact that I was a bit brilliant to him was because I had my training as maps reader and I was skillful about it […]

Heading to Loc Ninh

… A GMC and a jeep were there to wait for us. People in Lang Chin surrounded to see us. I saw people staring at us through their windows. We were taking the GMC. Today, I have asked to be on that GMC again on our way to Loc Ninh. I also asked to have Vietnamese soldiers sitting along with us […] I thank those rubber workers and their units for all they did to help us […] my worry about stepping on mines or having a fight, or being shot dead, was over. However, the question of whether or not Vietnam arrest and send us back to Cambodia still haunted me … I asked my colleagues to keep looking at kilometer markers because I was worried they would take us back […]

… Also in my mind, this worry about whether Vietnam understand and consider information that I offered them or not. Worse still, this memory of my wife in five-month pregnancy back in the country lived in me […] It was a separation that we never knew for sure how we were going to meet again. However, it created some kind of anticipation with encouragement to make further effort to save the country and people […]

I thank the Ministry of National Defense of the Kingdom of Cambodia led by Deputy Prime Minister Tia Banh and other leaders for recognizing this part of our history. I thank the government, party, and army of Vietnam for recognizing an historical truth concerning our efforts to save our nation, and helping to organize this trail-tracking visit. I thank the Metfone Company for its financial assistance to build this building and I declare it a building of culture for the people here. I wish to name the tree that I planted a moment ago as the tree of Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship […]

For Cambodia’s Survival, Peace, Stability and Cooperation

… I have fulfilled tasks for the people of Cambodia for their survival and that has a very good thing for the Cambodia-Vietnam relation, and after some 38 years, we have transformed this area of armed conflicts into one of peace, stability, and cooperation … War in Cambodia was not a separate happening only for Cambodia. The war in Indochina was not only for the three countries. As of present, when our countries have peace, we are together in ASEAN. Cambodia is a member of ASEAN now and is taking part in building peace in the region. Even though we still have wars in the Philippines’ Mindanao, in Myanmar, and hostility in the southern part of Thailand, the three countries torn by wars – Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, are now at peace and are contributing to regional peace and security […]

… Our children and younger generations will not face hardships because of political mistake … I became one of the youngest Prime Ministers in the world and one of the long-served Prime Ministers too. That has served the survival and revival of the people of Cambodia. First, my colleagues and I survived. We were able to work on building up an armed force. Surely, we are hungry now … For our younger generation, I wish to remind them not to make war, respect human lives, and pay attention on improving socio-economic life. Let me no dedicate this cultural building for memory of a history of national salvation, and friendship between Cambodia and Vietnam […]/.