Minister of National Defence Tea Banh said his ministry is in the process of designating historical battlegrounds as national monuments to teach younger generations about Cambodia’s history.
At a meeting called “Military Historical Area Preparation” on Wednesday, the minister said military historical areas are important for territorial integrity and the sites they designate must be of historical importance.
“We are discussing with relevant officials to find the truth – a core point we can call a true historical site. It means a site that can prove and be considered true historical evidence. We have found and established some sites, but we cannot yet find what we want,” he said.
He said when a proper site is found, a working group from the ministry will organise it according to the law to occupy, control, manage and use that area in the future.
A battlefield location can be a military historical site, especially with documents, photos and materials as complimentary historical evidence.
He said working groups have to study many historical events to design sites and look for witnesses to prove histories and information about each site clearly.
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said on Thursday that the plan can be understood as a project to extol the values and glory of the army whose Prime Minister Hun Sen is the general and the top commander.
He said among military historical evidence, the ministry should show evidence of battlefields used to resist foreign encroachment on Cambodian land and how Cambodian borders have expanded and shrunk or stayed the same.
The ministry, he said, should outline the sites on maps and highlight names of fallen heroes who had had victory in the battlefield.