Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at the ritual ceremony to inaugurate Lotus-like Stupa in Wat Mony Ratanaream, Pursat Province [Unofficial and translation]



(1) Inauguration of the first Buddhist achievement since the establishment of the new Royal Government

[…] This is the first inauguration of a Buddhist achievement since the establishment of the Royal Government (of the seventh legislature) […] I thank the people of Pursat for their trust and confidence in supporting the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party […] through the general election in July 2023 […] in return for this trust, the Royal Government is committed to serve the people everywhere, the people of Pursat included, so as to promote the nation, the people as a token of thankfulness […] and the Buddhist achievements here have clearly shown the strength of solidarity and participation […] which provide important elements of in Buddhist development for our nation […]


(2) Four factors cause Buddhist development in particular, religion as a whole

The achievements that we strive to build for the people of Pursat are beneficial not only for the people of Pursat themselves, but also for the whole people of Cambodia […] these achievements that we have scored are based on four major factors. The first factor is peace […] whose real value cannot be ignored […] as we know it that war turned Buddhist pagodas into battlegrounds […] and when there is peace, former battlegrounds can become suitable locations for building Buddhist pagodas […]; the second factor is freedom of religion […] we have observed that and returned this right of all religions, not just Buddhism, back after (the liberation of the country from the Pol Pot’s genocidal regime in) 1979 […], thirdly, the possibility that arises from the betterment of people’s living condition […] that they can share of their wealth (for the Buddhist cause) […] and, fourthly, it is the culture of sharing factor […] if there were no culture and motivation to share, we cannot have done all this […]

(3) Religious education teaches people to help, respect, love, and understand each other

Religious education enables people to help one another, to respect one another, to love one another, and to understand one another. Doing good deeds, and being aware between sinful and good deeds make people share alms […] even though I did not go for Buddhist teachings at the pagoda, I did learn about religious theories from a young age, because my grandmother, who strictly followed Buddhism, always disciplined me not to lie, to hurt, or to refrain from taking life. This is where religion takes root in the home, in culture, among children […] and it is a source of values for society, and connects human activities to the culture, traditions, customs, conscience, mindset, and behavior of people in society. The relationship between religion and culture has long been interwoven. Building achievements as a heritage or cultural property has had influence from religion […]

(4) The protection of cultural property is a major priority of the Royal Government of Cambodia

Recently, there have been concerns expressed by many of our people shared on Facebook the issue of Sangkanta (or the passing of the current year into a new year). Some people say that we can no longer celebrate Sankranta in Cambodia because the neighboring countries have taken the word as their property […] please do not worry. The protection of cultural property has been a big priority for the Royal Government of Cambodia for many terms. Sankranta is a Sanskrit word from which Cambodians, Thais, Laotians, etc. have adopted. This does not mean that by registering Thai Sangkranta (as the world heritage), countries like Cambodia or Laos have to stop using the word Sangkanta. We have the same rights […] as for this year, I think we will make Sangkranta even better and more fun than the previous years […] let us have more of the folk games, not only in Pursat city, but also in the districts to the grassroots so that people will not have the difficulty of traveling to (the provincial city) […]

(5) Cambodian Sangkranta shall be one of the World Heritages by 2026

I have asked the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to prepare necessary documents for the registration of Sangkanta in Cambodia next year so that we can expect its registration in 2026 so as to do away once and for all any doubts or misinterpretations […] Cambodia has not neglected to let any country take the national culture without our effort to protect it/them […] and for this new year, let us use this term Sankranta Pursat, Sankranta Krakor, Sankranta Kandeang, Sankranta Bakan, and what not […] there is nothing wrong about it and no one takes it anywhere […] if this year’s Sankranta does record any traffic accidents […] and/or if there is no traffic accident in any province and (it has to be) recorded properly […] there shall be a reward from the Prime Minister. What that reward would be, I would not tell, and leave you all wondering […]

(6) After Sankranta, Cambodians/Laotians/Burmese return to Thailand with re-entry fee free

Let me inform the Cambodian workers who work abroad or travel in and out of Thailand […] that while in the past, every time they reenter Thailand, people have to pay 1,000 baht per person for entry and exit, I have discussed with the Thai Prime Minister not to charge Cambodian workers (who would return to Thailand after coming home for the Sankranta or) during the Khmer New Year. He agrees in principle. Now he is giving it not only to the Cambodians, but also to both the people of Laos and Myanmar […] and the competent border authorities along the border with the three countries (Thailand, Laos and Vietnam) should cooperate with the Immigration Department, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labor to facilitate the crossing of the border without congestion […] let us ensure that there is no service charge for people who cross the borders to and from these three countries […]

(7) Compilation and publication of Khmer proverbs, conservation of traditional costumes

For more than 30 years, both tangible and intangible cultural heritages have been registered, and among them there is this World Memory List, which contains the archives of the Tuol Sleng Genocide […] I signed recently the funding of a research team whose work is to compile the Khmer advices and original Khmer proverbs to be published and kept in the library and/or to be distributed to the younger generation […] so that they will not be lost from one generation to another […] since, due to the war in our country, many documents were unaccounted for. We now are re-compiling them for the generations to come […] while we are setting up a mechanism to compile our ancient and traditional clothes/costumes to promote and reproduce […]

(8) Land/forest – state property for 17 million people

Samdech Techo once issued an order regarding some areas in Pursat province, where there was encroachment on forest which is the common property […] an asset for 17 million people and ours for the future. In order to manage and maintain the state land […] we need to do two things to achieve sustainability and reduce the recurrence of the situation […] firstly, we have to strictly enforce the law against violators […] and (secondly,) we have to strengthen the basic mechanisms […] as in order to succeed, we must rely on the direct operators is the district/municipality for the following reasons. Firstly, the lowest-level specialized offices are at the districts, or all the major relevant professional offices exist in the district, […] and secondly, it is the rights. We have delegated numerous rights – almost in all sectors, from provinces to districts/cities already […] and thirdly, the province or district is a professional bridge between provinces and localities […]

(That being said,) in hot/tempered districts/cities, there demands a strong commander who can lead the attack or control the situation as it would come to two scenarios. Scenario 1 – the frontline commanders and/or frontline units are less active, and Scenario 2 – the frontline units and/or frontline commanders are active but are not weighty enough to deal with the situation […] if the frontline operators see that it is beyond their power to deal with the situation, they shall ask for provincial intervention. If the province cannot deal with it still, then they have to ask help from the national level, and the Prime Minister is the highest power they can expect […]

(9) Keep the area on both sides of the zigzag road in Pursat province as a natural conservation area

About the zigzag (grilled eel) road […] measuring straight only 4 km, and 10 km measuring the road itself […] I am calling for a review, an adjustment of the development, and find a way to maintain the area on both sides of the 4 km segment as the natural conservation area for the people, domestic and foreign tourists to visit […] (I am) assigning HE Keo Rattanak (Minister of Energy and Mines) and the Chairman of the Royal Government Working Group to assist Pursat province, to lead the inter-ministerial working group with the provincial authorities to oversee this work […]; and relating to small-scale nature-linked tourism investment projects with the size of less than 10 hectares, I do not object to the concept […] but there has to have inspection. Firstly, I have ordered the Ministry of Environment to suspend the issuance of new licenses […], and secondly, those with existing licenses may continue their investments […] whereas the Ministry organized a working group in cooperation with local authorities to inspect the process […] making sure they are in accordance with the given principles, standard, and based on the contract signed with the Ministry […] as for those who have licenses but have not yet taken actions, we offer them another six months long to get themselves ready […]./.