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

  • ‘Support of CNRP return online will lead to arrest’

    Anyone posting messages supporting the return of Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), on social media will be arrested, the Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday. Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told The Post on Monday that authorities

  • CNRP activists arrested for ‘plotting insecurity’

    Three activists for the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have been sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court after they were arrested for their alleged involvement in an overseas-organised plot to mobilise demonstrations and cause insecurity. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said the

  • Rainsy charged with ‘insulting the King’

    Ministries and state institutions have condemned Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), for allegedly insulting His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni. The condemnation came in the wake of Rainsy’s claim on Thursday during an interview with Radio

  • Police conduct raid on Orchid massage parlour

    Thirty-seven people, including three minors, were detained after Phnom Penh Municipal Police and the Department of Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection raided the Orchid massage parlour in Sen Sok district’s Phnom Penh Thmey commune on Monday. The 27-room massage parlour is believed to have