Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana said the design phase of the organisation’s Peace Museum of Mine Action in Siem Reap was now complete, with construction pending approval from the top level.
Ratana told The Post on February 21 that CMAC’s technical team and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Advisory Board had worked closely on the plans for the museum, to be built on 12ha.
“We have agreed with the JICA team on the blueprints for the building. The project is progressing smoothly,” he said.
He added that the facility would be a special place that would collect, compile and record documentation of the war in Cambodia. It would be an important asset for the younger generations, who could use it to study, research and evaluate the history of the war. They would also learn the reality of the destruction that took place – which would give them a better understanding of the meaning of peace.
The museum and other mine-related activities would also be of economic benefit because some tourists may be interested in visiting and learning about the crisis in Cambodia and about how peace was achieved.
“On February 18, following an assessment of the needs of CMAC, the chairman of the JICA advisory board and I signed a memorandum of understanding which laid out plans for the museum and defined the duties and responsibilities of both sides,” he said.
The signing took place at CMAC headquarters in Phnom Penh.
Ratana added that in just a short period of time, the team had reached its goals successfully. He admired the dedicated spirits of the JICA board, which was evidenced by their hard work and cooperation, even under trying circumstances. The JICA team chairman had gotten infected with Covid-19 and had returned to Japan following his recovery, he added.
“We hope the buildings of the Technical Institute of Mine Action campus in Kampong Chhnang and the Peace Museum of Mine Action in Siem Reap province will serve the needs of the mine action sector in Cambodia from 2025 onwards.
“Our goal is to further develop the capacity of CMAC as it continues on its mission of resolving the long-standing crisis of explosive remnants of war. This includes cluster munitions, air-dropped bombs and other unexploded ordnance,” he said.