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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - King urges work for peace

King urges work for peace

His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk's Khmer New Year speech on April 15 urged Cambodian

people and political leaders to make "maximum efforts" in working for peace

and prosperity.

In an audience with Royal family members, government and Parliamentary officials

who went to offer His Majesty New Year wishes in the Royal Palace, King Sihanouk

repeatedly asked them to strengthen unity and solidarity "for the sake of survival

of our nation".

"First of all, Khmers must unite with Khmers, we must rely on our own forces,"

King Sihanouk said in the televisied address.

"By uniting, we must mobilize and use all resources to the maximum to achieve

prosperity for the country, for Cambodia to remain Cambodia permanently," the

King said.

He repeatedly referred to Buddhist teachings of compassion and living kindness as

the "best religion in the world".

Merit and sin always result from one's own acts, King Sihanouk said, adding that

the fall of the Khmer Republic in 1975 and of Demokratic Kampuchea in 1979 showed

the result of the sins committed by Lon Nol and Pol Pot.

Between 1975-79, Pol Pot put Cambodia under an atrocious reign resulting in the death

of more than one million people, some of them King Sihanouk's children and relatives.

He went on to say that before the collapse of the regime, Pol Pot told him to go

to China.

The King recalled Pol Pot as telling him: "I do not lose, I win...We must execute

the yuon race. So let them [Vietnamese troops] come in and we'll chop them into pieces

until the yuon race disappear from Khmer soil."

"At the end, Pol Pot was defeated," the King said.

He said that he had no feelings of revenge toward the Khmer Rouge and still considered

them his children and grandchildren.

"But, merit comes from making merit and so does sin," the King said.

In reference to the border disputes, King Sihanouk said that Cambodia should not

reclaim land already lost to its neighbors Thailand and Vietnam, but must protect

its territorial integrity within the existing frontier. He also thanked international

communities and friendly countries for helping establish peace and helping rebuild

Cambodia.

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