Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Keynote Address at The Inauguration Ceremony of the New Navy Headquarter Building and other Achievements

Phnom Penh, January 18, 2010

Your Venerable Samdech Preah Somethea Tephadei Head of Monks and Monks,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Commander, Lieutenant Commanders, Naval Officers and Sailors of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests, Teachers, Students and all Compatriots,

Today it is my privilege and great pleasure to be here with Samdech Preah Somethea Tephadei, Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Lok Oknha, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Guests as well as the Naval Officers of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) to inaugurate the New Headquarter Building of the Royal Navy and other achievements. This event allows me to meet face to face with the members of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, especially the naval officers and sailors as well as all compatriots to address some basic needs on time. These basic needs always exist. However, given our limited capacity, we need to address them step by step.

Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC), I would like to thank all the donors who have contributed their personal wealth to realize all the achievements we see in this event. I would also like to extend my appreciation to the commander, lieutenant commanders, officers and sailors of the Royal Navy for their tireless effort and collaboration to make these achievements possible.

The new headquarter building and other achievements indeed stem from the Royal Government’s effort and determination and donors’ support by sticking to Culture of Sharing in order to develop a strong Royal Navy and modernize national defense sector. These achievements will be a concrete foundation for naval operations, capacity enhancement and overall development. In this sense, the commander, lieutenant commanders, officers and sailors of the Royal Navy must do your utmost to maintain these achievements to serve their own unit and strengthen national defense. I believe the RCAF, in particular, the Royal Navy, will remain committed to strengthening its institutional capacity and operations in the mission to protect national independence, sovereignty, peace, and development.

According to the report raised by H.E. Admiral Tea Vinh, the Royal Navy was established in 1983 on a very narrow foundation with only single fleet. Later on, with support from friend countries, the Royal Navy has transformed itself into a main component of the RCAF with ability to protect water border and adequate weapons and personnel to protect water – air border and islands of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Along with this, the Royal Navy always keeps its force sharpened by actively participating in regional fleets to prepare itself for global cooperation.

In fact, the continual progress of the Cambodian naval forces stemmed from willingness of the great solidarity of the Cambodian National Solidarity and Salvage Front by standing on the spirit of 7 January 1979, which has deeply rooted in the conscience of every Cambodian soldiers and people in overthrowing and preventing the return of the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime. Through this historical fact, we consider 7 January as the day of beginning all kinds of achievements for the people and Cambodian society including the lives, freedom, tradition, religious belief, democracy and development in all sectors as witnessed today. As a result, during the 30 years after the collapse of the Pol Pot genocidal regime, we have accomplished considerable achievements such as restoration and rebuilding of physical infrastructures, which are the necessary foundation to support the progress and development of the Cambodian socio-economic development. In fact, what we all have seen here today are the most recent achievements that we have made, such as the building of navy headquarter, meeting hall, patrolling navy post for Prek Tatene, offices, warehouses and infrastructures in the headquarter as a whole, which will add to the daily need of the commander, lieutenant commanders, naval officers and sailors of our navy.

Along with that, Cambodia has received a great deal of interest from the progress of the navy such as they have significantly contributed to maintaining security, safety in their own geographical location and other nearby areas, as well as cooperating to crack down various crimes such as deforestation, illegal fishing, and the prevention of cross border crimes. Moreover, our naval forces have always effectively cooperated to assist the people in time of facing disasters such as flood, storms/typhoons, submerge of the boats and ships and the air crash. So far, our naval forces have always overcome to deal with all sorts of obstacles with conscience to love the nation and struggling spirit in order to protect the territorial integrity. These activities have contributed to the building of full peace with great achievements, which are of high interest for the whole nation. In this aspect, it is seen that our naval forces have played a solid and core role in building and developing the country and assisting the people in time of disaster.

These achievements and activities are the tremendous gratitude of our navy in the obligation to protect territorial integrity, to maintain security and peace, to sustain development and enhancement of the honor for our nation of magnificent Angkor. In this regard, the Royal Government has further paid attention to the ex-soldiers by creating the various policies, which are the sustainable social safety net aiming to ensure the living standard of the people and to pave the favorable condition for them to live as a civilian with harmonization with families and communities. Those works include the professional training, solving the living of the demobilized and retired soldiers, disability soldiers, handicapped soldiers and the sacrificed families through allocating the social concession lands, which are to provide the opportunity to armed forces and families to have plots of land for building houses for other businesses and farming, agricultural cultivation to support the families as well as to contribute to increase the national productivity in order to ensure a stable living.

On behalf of the Royal Government and on my own behalf, I would like to express my deepest gratitude and thank to all commanders and forces as well as the naval commander, lieutenant commanders and naval forces of the RCAF and the disabled fighters, who have sacrificed tremendously with greatest gratitude for the cause of the nation.

Along with what the naval forces have achieved and the efforts made by the Royal Government in preparing the social safety net, the Royal Government has always been adhered to the principles of strengthening peace, stability and public order for a more sustainable society. In this connection, the Royal Government has been implementing the reform programs, which have been considered as a death and life issues for Cambodia as well as having strengthened and built the capacity of the RCAF in order to make sure that their obligation is more effective as professional forces with full ability to participate in various missions. The objective of implementing this reform program is to equip the RCAF with skills and ability to continue active cooperation with the international community in order to prevent and protect every act of local and international terrorism and sabotage, to be committed to implementing necessary measures to increase efficiency in preventing and suppressing all kinds of crimes such as trafficking of drugs, women and children, abduction and kidnapping, armed robberies, sexual harassment and violation and other illegal acts, causing fear and instability to the society. Standing on this foundation, the Royal Government always keeps strict and thorough implementation of all reform programs laid out extensively and intensively including vigorously and accurately documenting the numbers of soldiers, raising capacity and solidarity aiming at strengthening quality to ensure loyalty to nation, respect of the constitution, discipline and moral authority as well as professional ethics in order to fulfill duty of protecting integrity of land, water and air, to ensure national security, to protect independence, sovereignty, to keep public order and to preserve all national achievement under all circumstances.

In overall, the Royal Government is steadfastly committed to providing all kinds of support to develop and modernize Cambodian national defense to be fully competent and accommodated to development and evolution of world and national situation in order to enable our armed forces to carry out role and fulfill duty efficiently and effectively. In this sense, the Royal Government of Cambodia will support and encourage RCAF to make effort to conduct research and training, to promote knowledge of military and other related skilled such as information technology in order to bolster and expand international cooperation in the global and regional framework.

At the same time, the Royal Government takes stance to strengthen and expand cooperation between each military unit and civil institutions with the objective to raise capacity of Cambodian military. Taking this opportunity, I would like to compliment H.E Dr. Bun Rany and Madams of other Royal Government members as well as commander, lieutenant commander of RCAF for frequent visiting and learning real needs our armed force of all kinds of the RCAF, especially visiting military unit who stations at areas and islands that are remote from citizen communities. This courageous care-taking attitude does make significant contribution to dealing with hardship of armed forces, particularly to promote will and spirit of our armed force to fulfill mission to preserve and protect land and water integrity, air border, island-promontory of the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia. In this spirit, on behalf of the Royal Government, I would like to promote and encourage participation of Your Excellencies, Lok Oknha, Ladies and Gentlemen, the kind-hearted, all development partners and national and international organizations to join hand to overcome hardship and shortage faced by our armed forces with the objective to ensure welfare, stamina, clear mind and power in order to effectively ensure peace, safety and development of all areas in Cambodia. Along with this, I would like to request to commander, lieutenant commanders, naval commander and lieutenant commanders, and all naval officers to continue good cooperation with local authorities of all levels, relevant institutions, agencies and people of each localities with objective to strengthen national solidarity, to prevent any attempt to trigger ethnic and religious enmity, to timely prevent any attempt to create extremist idea and force which is capable of causing social chaos and instability.

Once again, I would like to highly value efforts and courageous sacrifice in fulfilling duty, made by commander, lieutenant commanders, naval commander and lieutenant commanders, and all naval officers of the RCAF to protect land and water integrity, air space, to maintain peace, safety and good order for our people and society since the past, and would like to thank Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Contributors for joining hand to support construction of this beautiful building of New Navy Headquarter and other Achievements from beginning to completion.

At the end, along with official inauguration of this New Navy Headquarter and other Achievements, I would like to wish Samdech, Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Lok Oknha, Commander, Vice Commander, Naval Commander and Lieutenant Commanders, and all Naval Officers and Sailors, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Guests, Teachers, Students and Compatriots 4 gems of Buddhist blessings: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.

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