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
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
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
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