26 March 08
Here followed is the selected comment on various topics made by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen during the official ceremony to launch the construction of the national road 57 from Battambang provicnce to Pailin city.
From NR 10 to NR 57
It is indeed a great pleasure that I have come today to meet you all at the official opening of the construction of the national road 57, formerly national 10. It is indeed my dream that we have realized today in transforming the battlefield into development zone. I am so glad that that people from all walks of life as well as friends grant their supports to the win-win policy, which put an end to armed conflict and a divided Cambodia. The NR 57 stretches a length of 103 kilometers from Battambang to the border with Thailand. It has indeed been a wish by people in Battambang as well as those in Pailin, and I myself included, because I anticipate how it can change in actuality from battlefield to market and development zone.
Aside for the Chinese assistance, we also have the assistance from the Republic of Korea who also provides us help in the restoration of the NR 3 from Kompot to Trapang Ropeo and the part of the same road between Kompot and Chaom Chao. The Kingdom of Thailand already contributed to the NR 48 which links the NR 4 and the provincial town of Koh Kong, the NR 67 from Chuam Sragnam to Anlong Veng and from Anlong Veng to Siemreap. In his recent visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Prime Minister of Thailand, HE Samak Sundaravej, announced the provision of Thai concessional loan of 1,400 million Baht for the construction of the NR from O Samach to Kralanh distruct.
Thanks and Congratulates China
I wish to take this opportune moment to express my sincere thanks to the Government of the People's Republic of China for its provision of supports and assistances to the Kingdom of Cambodia. HE Jang Kim Feng, the Ambassador of the the PRC to Cambodia said just now that it is the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Sino-Cambodian diplomatic relations and this should well be a promotion of the relations between the two countries.
In two different phases, Cambodia has been granted the amount of 300 million US dollars loan from the PRC for its projects to build the NR 8, the bridges of Prek Tamak and Prek Kadam, and two important roads - the NR 57 and the NR 62 which links between the province of Siemreap and the temple of Preah Vihear via the provincial town of Preah Vihear province. For your information the Government built so far the total length of 1,714 kilometers, 8,333 meters of concrete bridges … Within the said 1,714 kilometers road, 880 kilometers of road and bridges over the river at Se Kong in Stoeng Treng province, the bridge of Prek Tamak and the bridge of Prek Kadam are built with the assistance from PRC. China has the longest road built with its assistance in Cambodia.
On this auspicious occasion I would like to express my sincere thanks to the leaders of the PRC, who through its people's congress, in its recent session, HE Hu Jintao and HE Wen Jiabao have been re-elected the PRC's President and Premier for the new term of office. I am sure that is another progress of the PRC and will provide a great opportunity for other developing countries as well. I have already sent letters of congratulations to the two leaders.
The PRC's assistance to developing countries which also include Cambodia not only speeds up the socio-economic development aimed at reducing poverty of the countries but also strengthens each country's independence, sovereignty and political mastership through the respects for their independence, sovereignty and political alternatives. I am grateful to China for such a contribution.
This area used to be battle where the Government and the Khmer Rouge forces fought and occupation and abandonment took turn between them. When we applied the win-win policy, Keo Pong one of the Khmer Rouge's General defected in the area of Oral, Pailin and Mealay are the following. Y Tchean, Ieng Vuth and Long Narin came to see me in Takhmao. I told Tchean that I would have him as the Governor of Pailin and he has become one since then. Sounds of gun fire have now been replaced with development efforts. Foreign countries have now come to offer help because Khmer has now become a united country whereas before they had to choose side for the sake of providing assistance. The greatest achievement of all is perhaps peace, national reconciliation, unity on the basis of national independence and sovereignty. We can see with our eyes now that fighting places have now become agricultural farms.
On Rice Exports
In one of the news reports I have read, the World Food Program makes an appeal for more fund for food purchase whereas in Cambodia the price of rice has been low which allows for Thailand and Vietnam's rice traders increase their imports of rice from Cambodia. Cambodia has now decided to put a stop on rice export for two months as its provisional measure and I am sure that will not bring conflict with the WTO and rice traders in Thailand and other neighboring countries.
All measures so far taken and will be taken are for the sake of the country's food security. As of March 27 hereon the authorities with competence to control the border exits will have to take drastic measures to stop all exports of rice to neighboring countries for a two month period. I also allow the rice sale as an intervention to bring down the price through the provision of supplies. I would urge the WTO to restrain their comments as this is the country's food security and not in anyway to be applied as a measure for protectionism at all./.