Authorities inaugurated a statue of a white dove statue alongside the road to Phnom Voar in Kep province on January 6. The statue symbolised the value of the peace that has provided opportunities for national development. Phnom Voar was one of the last strongholds of the Khmer Rouge.

Suong Heng, secretary of state of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Kep provincial governor Som Piseth and his wife Sar Malida were the ones who initiated the idea of building the statue. Construction began last April and was completed in December, at a cast of $14,300, said Damnak Chang'aeu district governor Chhang Chhay.

“We built the white dove to symbolise the peace that has given us the opportunity to develop our community, as well as the nation,” said governor Piseth.

He added that Phnom Voar had been a battlefield and hideout for the Khmer Rouge, but under Prime Minister Hun Sen’s win-win policy, the Khmer Rouge forces were integrated into the government in 1994, extinguishing the flames of war. Now that the people are able to live in peace, the area has been earmarked as a potential area for agricultural development.

He believed that the statue would attract the attention of travellers along National Road 33 to Phnom Voar, an area ripe for eco and agro-tourism. Its beautiful views, lush mountains and fresh air made it a perfect place for people to enjoy nature.

He said he intended to develop Phnom Voar’s infrastructure so it could fulfill its potential and become one of Kep’s most popular tourist destinations. They could watch the ocean views, eat delicious seafood and enjoy a unique eco-tourist experience.