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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen: "Live and die with the people"

Hun Sen: "Live and die with the people"

Key extracts from speech of Samdech Hun Sen, at a medical training school, Phnom

Penh, April 27, 1996:

Power is based on reality - what you dare to say, you must dare to do. You must dare

to accept wrong when it is wrong and right when it is right. When they listen to

what you say, this is power and when no-one listens to you, this is no power.

If [they] demand the dissolution of the National Assembly or the Royal Government

or to affect the Constitution, Hun Sen would like to declare to use armed forces

to suppress [them].... I don't stage any coup but I do this against a coup to destroy

the Constitution. I have the strength to do... I have the power to order troops,

armed forces and that power entitles me to protect the Constitution. While you have

the right to demonstrate, don't forget others enjoy the same right and among them

is Hun Sen... I've prepared everything. I'm telling you for your own sake. Now is

the fifth time I'm declaring [I will] use force in case of a coup to dissolve the


I'd like to inform that the election must be held as planned, not before nor afterward.

This is the official position of myself and of the CPP. What you have to prepare

for [is] you must abandon [foreign] citizenship. If not, you will have no right to

raise your candidancy... Don't worry that Hun Sen doesn't want to hold the 1998 elections,

but on the contrary I'm concerned that you refuse to abandon your citizenship. Because

you have to make the choice whether to go back to America, Australia or another foreign

country... I say that if we wnat to take responsibility for the nation's fate, we

must be responsibile before the people. One passport, one choice... I'm saying this

not to single out any political party because the CPP also has politicians with foreign

citizenship. I will talk to them. If they don't relinquish [other passports], the

CPP will not allow them to raise their candidancy and hold any important post...

We must dare to take responsibility, to live and die with the people. Don't say you

are Khmer when it is easy and American when it is difficult. This is not just. In

a position as a Khmer minister or parliamentarian, holding an American passport to

enter America is down-grading for the nation. I'd like to take this time to speak,

no matter how strong the reaction will be...there has been too many reactions this

month but it will be alright if there is a little more reaction. The soup is already

done and I'm just adding MSG to make it more tasty.

Unofficial translation from the Khmer.



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