Inaugurating the Prey Rumduol Buddhist Temple in the district of Svayteap, Svay Rieng Province, Samdech Hun Sen made an ad-lib address a number of topics that are being selected and translated as follow:
… I have a great pleasure today that I am honored to participate in the inauguration of the beautiful temple in front of us. I wish to express my gratitude to all the venerable monks, the Buddhist parishioners of the Prey Rumduol pagoda for allowing me to cut the ribbon to inaugurate this temple. I am glad to see that another achievement is born in the Buddhist world and it is also a progress of the secular world. Take for instance, the beautiful temple of the Prey Rumduol pagoda is born out of the efforts and contribution of our charitable persons who have originated from this area. Svay Rieng is a part of our territory that used to provide their children to the building-up of the army of the National Untied Front for the Salvation of Kampuchea in the efforts to overthrow the Pol Pot’s genocide regime. That is one of the reasons why we have many military and police officials, parliamentarians whose birthplace is from this part of the country.
… Prey Rumduol is in fact a very old-age Buddhist temple. It is over one hundred years already. HE Governor of Svay Rieng Hun Neng has just mentioned that in his report to me. The temple has gone through various destructive stages. Under the Khmer Rouge period it was used as a prison and an artillery base to fight against the National United Front for the Salvation of Kampuchea. Svay Rieng was liberated on January 4, 1979, and as for Svayteap district, which is close to the border with Vietnam, could have been liberated one or two days earlier. To mention this, on the one hand we are pleased to have the new achievement, and on the other we are disappointed to witness the ruined temple of the Prey Rumduol pagoda as well as of other Buddhist temples throughout the country.
… I wish to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the brilliant leadership of the venerable head monk and his colleagues for the efforts they made together with our parishioners in reinstating a new temple in place of the old one. I am grateful to all contributions made through the venerable head monk for the sake of rebuilding the new temple and I wish that everyone will benefit from their contribution accordingly. Some people here have not got resources to contribute, still their faith in Buddhism would result them in those benefits as well. This point is very important as it has interactions between the Buddhist and the secular world. Some people argued that it is because the Cambodians believe in karma that they are poor. Then let’s analyze about Pol Pot. He destroyed religion, and in the end we all see what karma has he got? Could we not argue against this that it is because all the religions were destroyed, and the Cambodians were left without Buddhism, that was why we had lost about three million lives. Pol Pot also died a terrified death. So we all have to believe in doing good to have good karma.
… We have now come to the present. It was for these achievements that, 24 years ago, we trade our lives for the liberation and the restoration of our nation. Our pace of development has been compared to the pace of the toad -leap. This is known in Khmer saying to be “drop by drop the bucket is filled.” So I think that at least Samdech Heng Samrin, Samdech Chea Sim and I, as well as other leaders who had started in the most difficult situation from January 7, 1979, have made some contribution for the development throughout the country, and particularly in this place. There is one point I wish to mention. There were then over one ten thousand of soldiers of the Front under my command. Some of them died and over one hundred were buried in Vietnam. Most of them were originated from Svay Rieng. So I would like to instruct HE Governor, HE Hok Lundy, HE Moeung Samphan and those of you who have known about this help search for their graves and unearth them so that their remains could be returned to their families. They died but the cause of their death has not been useless. They died for the sake of leaving us and our people to survive, to live today. We not only survive our lives but also we have all we need. SO we have to give our respect to their lives and souls.
… HE Governor mentioned about flooding in Svay Rieng which is very rare. We have noticed climate’s abrupt changes in the past months. Weeks ago, a few countries in Europe were flooded and some of the cities in those countries were never flooded in hundreds of years. Days ago in Bangladesh and India, some people died of cold weather. In Cambodia, rain did not come during the rainy season, but comes in the cold season. HE Governor said this year our people in Svay Rieng harvest their rice under water. I wish to react right away that we harvest rice with water in the field is still better than when we have no rice to harvest. I used to say like this in Putsar commune of Takeo province in 1994.
… Taking this opportunity I wish to express my sincere thanks to the provincial and local authorities as well as the local assistance team headed by HE Hok Lundy, Mme Men Sam An and others to help relieve our people from difficulties in the last three years with consecutive floodings. The 2002-flood had been the most serious one which affected the whole country, Svay Rieng is also included. As for the rain this year, we are quite lucky as we started to have more rains after the Prochum Ben (Buddhist Donating Day) until we still have our field left with water up to now. At the first estimation we thought our rice cultivation in the whole country would be half damaged, but we are lucky as our guess was wrong. I am also glad that our people in Svay Rieng also have a good cultivation in the end. All we need to do is to continue our pace of development as HE Governor said that the provincial authority seeks to build a big dike in protection of further and unpredicted flooding around the provincial town.
… Taking this opportunity I would like to express my sincere gratitude to monks, national compatriots for placing confidence in me and voted for me in 1998. The elected parliamentarians had then selected me as Prime Minister for the term between 1998 and 2003. Though I have not been able to address all the needs of our people, I am still the most faithful servant to our people and nation. If we are to speak for the latest period, I have become the most faithful servant, whom you all could rely upon. I could be on call day or night, rain or shine. What I could not do is to fetch you the moon. In fact Prime Minister is the most powerful men but what is most important is how the power is being used. Take for instance when Pol Pot was the Prime Minister he had killed millions of people in just three years, eight months and twenty days or in all 1355 days. That is why I am grateful to your trust in me and in reciprocation to this confidence, I have returned to all of you total peace in the country in replacement of killings. Cambodia possessed a bitter history. It possessed four different armed groups before 1970 – the Government army, the armed forces of the Red Khmer, Blue Khmer and White Khmer. In between 1970 and 1975, two armed forces were in conflict with the help from foreign countries. Between 1975 and 1979, we had the genocide of Pol Pot. Many armed forces were set up and fought against the Khmer Rouge. Between 1979 and 1993, there were in all four groups of armed forces who separately controlled the country. Between 1993 and 1998, there were in facts two armed groups – the Royal Government and the Khmer Rouge in the border areas. But from late 1998 up to the present, the whole country is under the leadership of the Royal Government of Cambodia without any separated zones and I have contributed to the process… Please do not think of me as a man of power but a faithful servant. If you think that I am faithful and useable, you may to vote for me again in July 2003…