Message from Serge Mostura, France’s Ambassador to Cambodia
Celebrating France’s National day in Cambodia has a special flavour as it brings, with every month of July, a unique occasion to experience first-hand the liveliness of the relationship between the two countries and their people.
With about 5,000 nationals, the French community is both large and dynamic, expanding by 10 per cent every year, thanks in particular to our young French compatriots of Cambodian descent who come back here, year after year, many of them in order to start their own business. French people can be found in every city and in every walk of life in Cambodia: local entrepreneurs, expats from major companies, volunteers working for NGOs, scholars at universities, scientists working at research centres like the Pasteur Institute or the Ecole Française d’Extrême Orient, and also engineers, lawyers, doctors, journalists, artists and even professional soccer players.
The many Cambodians who have settled in France will experience as well the celebration of the French National Day on the 14th of July and with them the hundreds of university students or doctors training in French universities or benefiting from French scholarship programs. Members of the Royal gendarmerie, as they are in France taking part in a training session with their French counterparts at this period of the year, will also share that special moment. I hope that all of them will enjoy the “Fraternité” – a feeling of brotherhood – that traditionally prevails on Bastille Day and is one of the fundamental values expressed in France’s national motto alongside with “Liberté” and “Egalité”.
As a symbol of those strong ties, which will also most certainly contribute to foster the relations between the two countries and the two people, it may be worth mentioning that Radio France International, which has been present in Cambodia since 1993, has started last June to broadcast a full-fledged program in Khmer language (14 hours every day) and should soon, thanks to the Royal Government, benefit from an additional frequency in order to broadcast simultaneously programs 24 hours of programs in French.
I wish you all, Readers of The Phnom Penh Post, French, Cambodian and others as well, all the best for this 14th of July 2013 !