Monday, March 9, 2009

Graduation Ceremony of the Asia Sachak Institute

20 December 07

I am glad that I can take part in this ceremony for the graduation of 1,518 students at all levels of the Institute of Asia Sachak (ASI). I would like to express my joy with all of you in this meaningful ceremony and as you all receive diploma and degrees you have become new human resources for the country. I hope that you will make use of your knowledge for the benefit of your families and society.

It is true that after schooling it is indeed the problem of getting job for you all. This is not a one or two-day solution. I have said many times that peace and political stability is indeed a precondition for national development as well as in providing jobs for the people.

No one country in the world could create jobs for their citizens at the time of war take for instance Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, etc. They not only cannot find jobs for their citizen but have to leave the countries like many Cambodians did in 1970 and 1975. Take neighboring countries into consideration too, because of secessionists, instability prevails, many schools have to be closed. That is why it is important to grasp our chance of peace and political stability which are the preconditions for solution to all problems.

Take for instance we now have hundreds of hotels, and the guest houses, but if we were to have war the tourists would not come and those hotels will have to close them down. This literally means no more jobs.

Looking back into our history we have suffered so much with many times of divisions ... The country was divided and ruled by many Kings at a time. Sometimes we had up to three different parts under three different rulers. We have to accept an historical reality that we were able to achieve a prosperous state under the Sangkum Reastr Niyum (popular socialist community) after the fall of Angkor and the end of colonialism.

Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk - the former King won independence from France as is said many times by HM that the independence is not won by the Geneva Conference but on November 9, 1953 before the conference actually took place. Next year is going to be the 55th anniversary so we have to think what to do to commemorate the event. We may need to have a march of the armed forces with tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, etc. We may also make it a big one as it falls on the year that we will have the general elections too. Between 1954 and 1970 our country still had armed groups in the forest - the Khmer Rouge, Khmer Sar (white) Khmer Khieu (blue) ... who had disturbed the leadership of the then Royal Government under the leadership of Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk. During that time wars raged in neighboring countries - Vietnam and Laos, with some bombardments by foreign forces along or inside areas along the Cambodian border.

In between 1970 and 1975 Cambodia was divided into two parts - one belonged to Lon Nol and the other belonged to the resistance forces. In between 1975 and 1979 Cambodia was under the genocide whereas in between 1979 and 1993, Cambodia was under four different armed groups - Phnom Penh forces, the Khmer Rouge force, the Khmer People Liberation Front and Funcinpec. In 1993 we had two factions left - the Royal Cambodian Government under one Constitution and with HM the King in Phnom Penh and the Khmer Rouge with its name - Democratic Kampuchea. They have currency signed by Khieu Samphan who is now in the custody. He said it is difficult in the custody but when uncountable numbers of Khmer were placed in Tuol Sleng camp for interrogation, I wonder what he'd say.

It has been hard to achieve peace, as we have now united our country peace should not be considered belonged to any particular person but to all. When I became the Prime Minister I ordered for reform of land ownership and I remember having a meeting at Kratie to solve the issue of land and agriculture. One of the district heads was giving a report about three different kinds of solidarity group - solidarity group 1, 2 and 3 (the category 1 was the one that functioned like a cooperative) and he said that he would try to upgrade the second and third categories to move on to the first group. I said doing so would make everyone die of hunger. He was perplexed looking at me. He did not understand the policy of the new Prime Minister. I told them to dissolve the first and second categories solidarity groups which means to distribute land to the peasants.

Kratie has now become a beautiful city. I have intended to organize a cabinet meeting on a bus from Phnom Penh to Koh Kong but it will not be like the cabinet meeting on the bus along the national road one to Neak Loeung at all. This time I wanted the Government members to see the road that is built along the sea corridor from the NR 4 to Koh Kong and two bridges that are almost complete.

Mr Nhem Sachak did not mention in his report but I understand that I need to offer a ton of rice and one million Riel per month to the Institute. I also wish to provide twenty sets of computers and accessories, two Xerox machines and an LCD projector.

Today we have good news from the Republic of Korea. I signed a letter in congratulation for the newly elected Korean President Lee Myung-bak. He has been my economic advisor from 2000 up to now. I may disclose that I have a number of foreign economic advisors who give me ideas on economic issues but also mobilize investment to Cambodia from external sources. He is a really knowledgeable person. He is not like some people who come to Cambodia to advise us on wrong issue. We have developed documents for media and sent to the United Nations. We heard the response that he acted on behalf of the United Nations. We accept it if what you say is right. If you don't say thing correctly, blame me and dishonor my race, I would not hesitate to respond in kind.

When they said Cambodia has no law it means that every institutions here is unlawful - HM the King, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Royal Government, including also those support the report. As a warning to some politicians I have CDs and papers and I would not hesitate to use them when time has come. I would only warn them that I am a man working with archives and in some important matters I keep it to myself. Take for instance the issue of the Olympic stadium. They put all blames on me (issue of land and the vicinity of the stadium) but when I provided proof they were muted. Some politicians now dishonor the Courts for associating with CPP therefore lacking independence. But I have proofs of this person writing to me seeking my intervention to have so and so placed in the court system. I always write to the Council of Magistracy. When they no longer have the role and function to intervene, they say the court is not independent or subordinate to CPP.

Well that is about all I wanted to say for today but I wish to urge you all to maintain the forest as forest will provide us wood for cooking. Losing the forest we no longer have wood for cooking too

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