Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Premier hails ‘Liberation Day’

Premier hails ‘Liberation Day’

Premier hails ‘Liberation Day’


{jathumbnail}

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday addressed a crowd of about 10,000 Cambodian People’s Party supporters, including the armed forces of the government, gathered in Kampong Cham province to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of what the government calls “Victory Over Genocide Day”.

On January 7, 1979, the Cambodian People’s Party – then called the National United Front for the Salvation of Kampuchea – ousted the Khmer Rouge regime from Phnom Penh with the backing of the Vietnamese, beginning a decade-long occupation of Cambodia by Vietnamese armed forces.

“The National United Front for the Salvation of Kampuchea and the Vietnamese volunteer army would not have been able to liberate Cambodia from genocide if there was no participation of Cambodian people,” Hun Sen said.

Colloquially, the day is referred to as either “Liberation Day” or “Occupation Day”, de­pending on political standpoints on Vietnam, which some, especially the main opposition Sam Rainsy Party, see as having “invaded Cambodia” on that day.

Previously, Hun Sen has cursed “as animals” those who do not recognise Victory Over Genocide Day as the true liberation day. However, his approach was more tempered yesterday.

“We have no intention to make a law in order to force all people to recognise [Liberation Day] January 7th, because those who do not recognise the day are under pressure from their political ideology,” said Hun Sen, adding the CPP would show “tolerance” to those skeptics.

“Even if those who do not recognise, and are insulting [Liberation Day], I would still thank them, because they participated in dissolving [the Khmer Rouge regime], and today, they are not all dressed clad in black [as the Khmer Rouge once dressed].”

Hun Sen also lashed out at the United Nations Transition Authority in Cambodia, which observed the first democratic elections in Cambodia after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime. UNTAC left Cambodia without full peace or political stability, Hun Sen said, and claimed his “win-win” policy of 1996 was what bought true peace to Cambodia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty