Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM calls on West to learn from past and avoid a ‘third mistake’



PM calls on West to learn from past and avoid a ‘third mistake’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Military police pose in front of the Win-Win Monument. TREA MADA

PM calls on West to learn from past and avoid a ‘third mistake’

PRIME Minister Hun Sen used Saturday’s inauguration of the “Win-Win Monument” to blast Western governments he accused of making policy mistakes damaging to Cambodia.

He called on them to “learn from the lessons of the past” and avoid a “third mistake” – the implementation of economic sanctions.

Speaking at the event on the capital’s Chroy Changvar peninsula, Hun Sen appealed to both the “greatest power country” and democratic nations to avoid making such mistakes in the future.

The prime minister did not mention any state by name, referring only to the “greatest power country” and democratic nations that supported Lon Nol’s 1970 coup that removed the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk as Cambodian head of state and installed the US-backed Khmer Republic of 1970 to 1975.

“Please don’t [hurt] our people. Don’t cause war by using so-called democracy and human rights [as a] trick. Even democratic countries made the mistake of supporting the Lon Nol military coup."

“You should learn from the lessons of the past. Some countries should learn from past lessons – don’t make a third mistake,” Hun Sen said.

He said the first mistake made was the backing of the Lon Nol coup, while the second was supporting the Khmer Rouge taking Cambodia’s seat at the UN.

It has been alleged the US supported the ultra-Maoist regime even after its overthrow in 1979.

“The first mistake is, as a democratic country, you supported a military coup. Was this democracy or militarism? The second mistake was to support Pol Pot, who killed [millions of] people with no regard for human rights,” Hun Sen said, without naming the US. “You supported [the Khmer Rouge] keeping [Cambodia’s] seat at the UN for 12 years.”

After the Hanoi-backed People’s Republic of Kampuchea and Vietnamese troops captured Phnom Penh on January 7, 1979, the Khmer Rouge fled west and re-established their forces.

The UN voted in favour of giving the anti-Vietnam Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK), which was dominated by the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia’s seat at its General Assembly.

From 1979 to 1991, it recognised them as the only legitimate representative of Cambodia.

“So I hope that those countries would not make their third mistake of putting sanctions against the ones who are working hard to ensure peace, the happiness [of] the people and development,” Hun Sen said.

Meanwhile, Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan wrote on Telegram on Sunday to outline the mistakes of certain unnamed countries regarding Cambodia.

The first, he said, was supporting the coup that toppled King Sihanouk and then backing the military government of its leader Marshal Lon Nol from 1970 to 1975.

The second was voting for the Khmer Rouge-dominated CGDK to take the Kingdom’s seat at the UN – a move that brought further disaster on the Cambodian people – and imposing sanctions on those who defeated the Pol Pot regime, he said.

Eysan went on to accuse certain members of the international community of supporting the Cambodian political opposition.

“At the moment, some countries refuse to give up this method [of the 1970s and ‘80s], and so they support the opposition in order to destroy peace and democracy in Cambodia."

“They deeply hate Cambodian people because of global ideological competition, and they use democracy and human rights as their shield,” he said.

Eysan again took to Telegram to say that having experienced such bitter history for decades, Cambodian people as a consequence hate war and are determined to avoid the other disasters they have endured.

“Therefore, the CPP’s leaders always seek the ways leading to peace so that Cambodian people can live happily and peacefully with their families."

“Through sacrifice, the CPP has found peace for people. Through such [strategies], as the national unification and ‘Win-Win’ policies, it brought complete peace to Cambodia for the first time in the hundreds of years since the Khmer Empire era,” he said.

“The Cambodian people welcome and would like to celebrate the great successes of the CPP since the beginning. The CPP always thinks about the interests and welfare of the people and solves the problems facing them.

“Cambodian people would like to make a record of the achievements of the CPP in their hearts, and are determined to support and vote for the CPP unswervingly and forever,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and