A groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new “Win-Win” monument in Pailin province, built to commemorate Cambodian politicians who sacrificed their lives in wartime.

The new monument will become a Peace Cultural Centre for education, exhibitions and historical documents on the win-win policy, as well as the stories of those who had sacrificed their lives for peace, said Minister of National Defence Tea Banh at the ceremony on May 8. The stories will be handed down from generation to generation for study and research, and to maintain peace, he said.

Tea Banh acknowledged that Cambodia had encountered the “flames of war”, which had caused “indescribable pain” to the Cambodian people as a whole and left indelible scars.

The achievements of the win-win policy led by Prime Minister Hun Sen had brought comprehensive peace, he noted, hailing it as the main factor that led to the country’s development in all sectors, as well as its successful integration into regional and international affairs. It had moved the country from poverty into middle income, he said.

“For many generations, we had never achieved total peace like we have today. Cambodia was at times divided into two or three factions, who had led the country to constant conflict in the past,” he said, with the most recent being the genocidal regime of Pol Pot that had devastated Cambodia.

He noted that the policy had been essential to putting an end to civil war in Cambodia.

Tea Banh said the team in charge of building the monument has to “take care” to build it carefully, and to technical specifics, in order to ensure it will be strong and durable for centuries.

Pailin governor Ban Sreymom said that with the building of the monument, civil servants, the armed forces and people across the province can be proud that the province will accomplish another historic achievement that bestows honour and builds a new image for the province.

The monument is situated in Tuek Thla village, 5km away from the provincial town. Sitting on a 26,000sqm plot of land, it will stand 50.9m high when complete.

A report by the monument’s commission said that the area will become a historical site, and be a testament to the legacy of the Hun Sen era.