Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Samrin marks day of liberation front’s birth

Samrin marks day of liberation front’s birth

Heng Samrin speaks yesterday at the National Institute of Education.
Heng Samrin speaks yesterday at the National Institute of Education. Heng Chivoan

Samrin marks day of liberation front’s birth

Thirty-seven years since he helped found the movement that would topple the Khmer Rouge and provide the nucleus of the present-day Cambodian government, National Assembly President Heng Samrin yesterday appealed for unity and public service from those in power.

Celebrating the anniversary of the Kampuchea United Front for National Salvation in Phnom Penh, Samrin urged the Cambodian People’s Party to stay united and stamp out illegal activities. Among these, he listed illegal logging, land clearing, destruction of infrastructure, social disorder and anything that caused damage to Cambodia’s national income.

“You must put all your efforts into serving the country based on the political policy of the CPP and the government’s political plan; you have to keep in mind that this is the ultimate goal and wisdom of the united front and CPP,” Samrin, an honorary CPP president, said.

Officially constituted on December 2, 1978, in Kratie province, the Kampuchea United Front for National Salvation, also known as the Salvation Front, began as a group of Cambodians, largely ex-Khmer Rouge cadre, who fled across the Vietnam border amid purges within Pol Pot’s ultra Maoist regime.

Led by Samrin and backed by the Vietnamese military, the front captured Phnom Penh on January 7, 1979, toppling the Khmer Rouge and setting up the People’s Republic of Kampuchea government, the forerunner of today’s CPP.

Since then, the CPP has used its involvement in the regime change to build support and burnish its political image. But to many Cambodians, there is still contention as to whether January 7, 1979, marked the victory of a CPP-led “liberation” or a Vietnam-backed “invasion”.

Chea Vannath, independent analyst, said if the CPP wanted to maintain its popularity after so many years in power, it needed to tackle corruption and social injustice and ensure members were promoted on merit, rather than harping on its decades-old efforts to topple the Khmer Rouge.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Kingdom's trade deal with EU questioned before poll

    A European Union (EU) mission met with senior government officials at the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday as the 28-member bloc monitors an agreement under which Cambodian goods reach the crucial European market tariff-free. Some 10 commissioners are in the Kingdom as part of a seven-day

  • A new carrier takes off in capital

    Cambodia Airways, the latest passenger airline to enter the Kingdom, launched its first domestic flight on Tuesday. Flight KR801, carrying 145 passengers, left the Phnom Penh International Airport at 9:50am and landed in Siem Reap at 10:35am in an Airbus A319. Cambodia Airways marketing and branding