Friday, June 4, 2010

Keynote Address at the 65th Anniversary of the Establishment of the National Police

May 16, 2010

Excellency Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of Interior,

Excellencies Deputy Prime Ministers, Senior Ministers, Ministers, and Secretary of States,

Excellencies Ambassadors,

Excellencies Commander in Chief of the Cambodia Royal Armed Force and Chief of the National Police,

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

It is indeed my pleasure and honor to be here in the 65th Anniversary of the Establishment of the National Police being held in year two of the implementation of Political Agenda and the Rectangular Strategy Phase – II of the Royal Government of the 4th legislature of the National Assembly, and as we are striving to weather the storm of global crisis, strengthening sub-national democratic system, and eliminating drug trafficking and human trafficking, illegal gambling, and other law violations. Especially, this anniversary is being held while all the Cambodian people are pleasurably celebrating the birthday of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, the King of Cambodia.

I would like to warmly and momentously congratulate this nationally prideful anniversary which allows us to reflect the heroic and historic activities and mission of the our greatest National Police since the era of French protectorate and to assess their previous year’s achievements for the causes of independence, peace, security, public order and national development.

Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government and myself, I would like to sincerely thank and praise all generations of the National Police force for their greatest sacrifice and hard work to ensure national security, especially this generation that inherits braveness from previous ones and strives to strengthen peace and security, key factor of the success of political agenda and other strategies of the Royal Government. In this auspicious event, I would like to extend my profound thanks to Gen. Hok Lundy, former chief of the National Police for his enormous contribution (1994 – 2008) during his 14 years in the post and his demise last year was a great loss to the nation.

I would like to compliment H.E. Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Gen. Net Savoeun, Chief of the National Police for their leadership that lead—with collaboration from local authority and other law enforcement agencies—to the successful and effective protection of independence, sovereignty, national security and social order. In particular, I would like to convey my appreciation to National Police for their numerous achievements in the previous year, as aforementioned by Gen. Net Savoeun in his report.

According to our archives on history of the National Police, our people established movement to maintain security and order with concrete spirit and scarification very long time ago. Activities and achievements of the national police within the framework of “Cambodia National Police” for half a century and “Police at Cambodia” for 126 years do not only provide valuable lessons and experiences for better effectiveness in maintaining security and order for the present and future, but also understandings some important national events and socio-economic developments since the mid of 19th century.

I would like to recall that the National Police has played the most important role in maintaining public security and social order both during pre and post independence since it helped the Ministry of Interior keep provinces/ municipalities in control when the country was facing intensified pressure of the cold war. Due to this important role and mission, the National Police force was strengthened continuously following the attainment of independence, especially Police Academy was established in 1959 and King Norodom Sihanouk, the then head of state, very focused in this area.

The war, erupted on 18 March 1970, weakened all sectors of the country. In the era of Khmer Republic (1970 – 1975), an important event marking the history of Cambodia National Police was the establishment of “Police of the Republic” which was mandated to enforce any instruction imposed by the judiciary and maintain public security and order.

The collapse of the Khmer Republic on 17 April 1975 allowed Pol Pot seizes the power and creates “Democratic Kampuchea” which totally destroyed “the continuity of the society” and began mass killing, the disastrous tragedy. During the regime former police officers was one of the key target and killed to root for 3 years 8 months and 20 days.

Later on, Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, led by Samdech Moha Ponhea Chakkrei Heng Samrin, mobilized solidarity force from all sources to liberate the country from the Democratic Kampuchea and saved people from massacre on 7 January 1979. A new page of history was turned as the People’s Revolutionary Council was immediately established to fulfill historic roles for protecting, restoring and building the nation. However, this internal war was not over yet. The then government continued to fight with fractions led by Pol Pot’s Democratic Kampuchea until the Cambodia People’s Party initiated a unification scheme which allowed the return of Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk and the rebirth of constitution-based monarchy. Later on, the win-win policy brought full peace to our beloved country and full fledge development began ever since.

The police organization was reestablished on 7 January 1979 with its mandate to maintain peace, security and social order and took part in national protection and development as the then Minister of Interior Samdech Akka Thorm Puthisal Chea Sim and other eminent figures led the creation of this force. Faced with unpredictable and complicated internal war, though the National Police was started from scratch, some significant achievements are valueless and show capacitive experiences deserves to be recorded as history of struggle movement for peace, public order and welfare of human society. During the latest stage, for the causes of peace and national order, the National Police has contributed and played key role to prevent non-amity schemes aiming at dividing national solidarity and neighborhood, creating political instability, creating unrest leading to social collapse, preventing terrorism, cracking down cross border crimes and fighting against all sort of crimes. Therefore, lives and wealth of people have been saved, safety of local community has been assured and public order at rural and urban areas has been maintained. Such improvements gained respect and love from our people.

Moreover, the Cambodian National Police show their courage with collaboration from Royal Cambodian Armed Force stationed along the border to protect national integrity and sovereignty against aggressors.

In the current context of global financial crisis, environmental issue, outbreak of disease, terrorism, piracy, nuclear proliferation, border conflict and competition of old and emerged superpower; more or less it will impact on security, socio-economic order and livelihood of Cambodian people.

From last year, the Royal Government of Cambodia has introduced many policies to address the impacts of those crises, particularly economic and financial turbulence, with success. Moreover, many other measures were introduced to address social disturbances and attained positive result as well as gain active support from call classes of people. As far as its concern, the Royal Government remains to consider peace and public order as foundation and a key component to succeed Political Platform and Rectangular Strategy Phase II , as well as national development and poverty reduction. The National Policy forces is a law enforcement institution has a key role and agent for the Ministry of Interior and the Royal Government.

To celebrate 65th Anniversary of establishment of the National Police Force and to keep great tradition of valor for the cause of homeland security, I would like to outline a number of recommendations for the entire national police forces to implement in 2010 as follows:

First. Continue upholding national flag aiming for further promotion of conscience of loving peace, solidarity and firm national unification. It is necessary to maintain peace climate for the whole country in order to open opportunity for accelerating success of development in all areas as well as to constantly improve livelihood of people in conformity to the Rectangular Strategy Phase II of the Royal Government.

To continue playing historic mandate by associating with current context of New Era, the National Police must strengthen capacity to understand and follow up activities and events that are taking place around the world, in the region and in country in order to help government laying out effective measures for political stability, sound internal solidarity, social harmonization, rooting foundation of democracy, state of law, respect of human right and dignity, as well as to absolutely prevent any terrorism activities which cast destruction and retard national economic development process.

Second. To further open for cooperation with relevant ministries/institutions and police agencies all over the world, to beef up capacity to mobilize information as well as measures to prevent and combat all kinds of cross-border crimes especially drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering and arms trafficking etc. Moreover, management of foreigners must be strengthened by actively implementing national tourism policy and must always be prepared not to allow anyone to use Cambodia to hide or conduct any crimes. Immigration issues must be completely addressed without any delay and Labor Law must strictly and clearly enforce to manage foreign workers.

Third. Peace and security are fundamental and integral part of enabling environment for achieving Political platform and strategies of the Royal Government, nevertheless the real situation indicated that all kinds of crimes are remains and stirred up fear and worrisome to some local communities. Those are particularly robbery, murder and gangster fighting. Therefore, a moving forward and progress Cambodian society in both physical and moral happiness is a need and exam for the National Police in fulfill their priority works.

Standing on this foundation, I agree and support proposition of H.E. Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng who set theme “Safe Village-Commune” as a contest movement for the National Police from now up to 66th Anniversary in 2011. Obviously, “Safe Village-Commune” reflects that everything always begins from there. If people at village-commune have happiness, no threat and no disturb, it is already happiness.

Fourth. With respect to the above theme, because of the greatest history of Cambodian National Police and its tradition are for the people and the fact that all-time safety of people demands police; therefore virtue, morality and views of police in timely and honestly serving and protecting are essential exams that all police agencies need to pay attention to, and for every police officer, achieve and should be put as a criteria for the next year contest.

Fifth. I would like to appeal commanders to review the enforcement of traffic code and to call for all relevant ministries/institutions particularly every police officer to continue strictly implementing traffic code by tightening all measures without tolerance and with high professional responsibility aiming at decreasing traffic accidents and enforcing traffic order that is suitable to national development.

In parallel, Police must also pay attention on preventing and fighting against fire. The Ministry of Interior, all levels of local authorities and General Commission of National Police must constantly alert people, prepare public for firefighting, install enough and modernized firefighting equipment and facility, especially fire extinguisher and rescue facility for building with over 10 stories high.

Sixth. I noted and highly appreciated the Ministry of Interior and General Commission of National Police for drafting Law on Police and preparing 5-year Strategic Plan (2008-2013) for National Police with clear annual action plan for executing. I consider this new turning of the Cambodian National Police, following its greatest tradition of 126 years and now have been on the way to ownership and scientifically-based towards international standard, I would like each leader of all levels to continue this working style by evolving into an effective current that improve operation of maintaining security and order.

Seventh. In addition to ensuring security and public order internally, on the behalf of the government, I could not forget courage of all police officers who are stationed along borders, especially at Cambodia-Thai border who until now has been demonstrating their concrete commitment, high responsibility and scarification to protect national integrity and sovereignty along with the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

In order to continue marvelous tradition, the Ministry of Interior and General Commission of National Police must strictly follow my recommendation on 6th February 2010 during the Inauguration Division 3 Military Headquarter to take good care and well support this force by building checkpoint and blockhouse, office, shelters and commanding office in order for them to properly fulfill their duties.

Eighth. to further promote police reform to improve reputation of this institution in Cambodian society. All units must show its capacity with competency and professionalism; hence Royal Police Academy must enhance their program through assessment and review quality of trainees, analyzing actual context and need in new circumstances of security battlefield in order to improve training and provide timely training according to the great demanding of National Police’s tasks.

Ninth. Finally in addition to the above eight recommendations, all levels of the National Police must pay attention to disasters which naturally occur and affect people. So, it must be always ready to conduct emergency rescue without delay, if natural disaster occur accidentally in their region or to be deployed in all possible reach. It must not be careless or allow any person fall as victim without intervention.

For 126 years (1884-2010) except nearly 4 years of the Democratic Kampuchea, the National Police of our country has made enormous prideful activities and achievements for protecting independence, peace, security, public order and social safety.

On behalf of the government, I would like to express profound gratitude to Samdech Preah Vireak Ksat Norodm Sihanouk and Samdech Preah Reach Akka Mohesei for exerting physical and intellectual energy to help the Cambodian National Police during independence period and to wish your majesty healthy and long lives. May I wish your majesty Preah Karuna Preahbath Samdech Baromneath Norodom Sihanouk, the king of the kingdom of Cambodia, healthy for the reign and the warmest umbrella for Cambodian people.

In this auspicious occasion, I would like to convey my due respect and gratitude to all leadership in all eras for supporting building force and capacity of Cambodian National Police to become bigger both quantitatively and quantitatively and to thank Cambodian people for joining mission of National Police in Cambodia since 1884 with conscience of loving nation and a heroic model for our police officer. Especially, I would like sincerely thank Samdech Akka Moha Thama Pothisal Chea Sim, Head of Senate and Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakkrei Heng Samrin, Head of National Assembly, for supporting Cambodian National Police from 1979 to the present.

I would like to take this opportunity to deeply thank the government and police agencies of friend countries and national and international organization for financial and moral supports for development and reform of Cambodian national police and to appeal for continuation of technical assistance to strengthen its capacity.

Finally, I would like to wish excellencies, ladies and gentlemen and entire national police force 4 gems of Buddhist blessings; longevity, nobility, happiness and strength.

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