Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Banh marks anniversary of PM’s ‘struggle’

Banh marks anniversary of PM’s ‘struggle’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of National Defence Tea Banh. Hong Menea

Banh marks anniversary of PM’s ‘struggle’

Minister of National Defence Tea Banh will commemorate the 42nd anniversary of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s struggle to reach Vietnam and return with troops to topple the genocidal Khmer Rouge.

Banh, who is also deputy prime minister, will hold the remembrance ceremony on Thursday on behalf of the prime minister in Koh Thmar in Tbong Khmum province, from where Hun Sen began his journey in 1977.

Historian Diep Sophal, an assistant at the Institute of Military History who organised the ceremony, said Banh is to inaugurate a 9.9km-long road named “Hun Sen’s Historical Road”, hold a local spirit-thanking ceremony and plant a type of banyan tree as a symbol remembering Hun Sen’s departure to Vietnam.

He said Banh would travel from Bun Rany Hun Sen Primary School to the Cambodia-Vietnam border to a place where an ebony tree grows – the location where Hun Sen and his comrades crossed over the border into Vietnam.

He is also to place a memorial stone there and present gifts to locals, Sophal said.

“The location known as Koh Thmar, in Memot district’s Tonloung commune, was the former headquarters of Hun Sen, who was then the commander of Zone 21 at the border region. He left Cambodia with his four closest and most trusted comrades,” Sophal said.

The four comrades were Nuch Thorn, Nhek Huon, San Sanh and Va Por Ean, he said.

“Hun Sen decided to devote his life to the struggle and crossed into Vietnam while [the Khmer Rouge’s] Democratic Kampuchea and Vietnam were in conflict."

“He had to overcome many dangers, including bumping into the Khmer Rouge, being attacked by Vietnamese troops, stepping on landmines or falling into traps with sharpened bamboo."

“Hun Sen did not wait to be killed by the Khmer Rouge, and with very little hope, he had to struggle to Vietnam, even with the possibility of his arrest there,” Sophal said.

Sophal said the journey undertaken on June 20, 1977, was the beginning for the emergent Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, which was formed on December 2, 1978.

This led to the overthrow of Khmer Rouge on January 7, 1979, he said.

“The Paris Peace Agreements on October 23, 1991, did not actually end the civil war in Cambodia – war [with the Khmer Rouge] only ended on December 29, 1998 thanks to the Win-Win strategy of Hun Sen,” Sophal stressed.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said the commemoration was “a gesture to emphasise and glorify the heroism of the prime minister”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Gov’t slams UN rapporteurs over Sokha trial statement

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN Office in Geneva deplored the statement of three UN special rapporteurs who claimed that Kem Sokha’s trial was “tainted” due to irregularities. The reaction

  • No power shortages next dry season, says energy minister

    Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem has assured the public that Cambodia will not suffer power shortages during the next dry season. Speaking on local TV on Tuesday, Sem projected a rise in power demand during 2020’s dry season – which starts in November and

  • Gov’t takes steps to lower logistics, transport costs

    With the threat of losing trade privileges in the EU drawing closer, the government is taking measures to reduce logistics and transportation costs to safeguard the Kingdom’s competitiveness. The EU is due to decide whether or not to withdraw the Kingdom’s trade privileges