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Tea Banh breaks ground on stupa for Cambodia’s early liberators

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Defence minister Tea Banh at the August 20 groundbreaking ceremony to construct a new stupa which will contain the remains of 49 members of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation. TEA BANH VIA FACEBOOK

Tea Banh breaks ground on stupa for Cambodia’s early liberators

The Ministry of National Defence has begun construction of a new stupa which will contain the remains of 49 members of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation – known by its French acronym FUNSK and established to liberate the country from the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime – at the military historical site of Techo Koh Thmor X-16 in Tbong Khmum province’s Memot district.

Minister Tea Banh said at the August 20 groundbreaking ceremony that the stupa would be erected in the spirit of remembrance and gratitude for the warriors who bravely sacrificed their lives for the cause of their beloved motherland.

He said construction of the stupa, including the repatriations of the remains of Cambodian soldiers from Vietnam, will be completed by May 12 next year.

May 12, 2023 will mark the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the then-Cambodian National Salvation Force (Unit 125), created in 1978 prior to the establishment of the FUNSK on December 2 that year.

“This construction – and the repatriation of the remains of our heroic patriots – must be completed before the anniversary,” he said.

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He noted that the FUNSK began fighting almost as soon as it was formed. At the time, many casualties were sent to Vietnam.

Tea Banh added that Cambodia is now peaceful and prosperous due to the humanitarian spirit of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who initiated the idea for the stupa and ordered the repatriation of the remains to the Kingdom.

To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the “Day of Remembrance on the Journey to the Overthrow of the Pol Pot Genocidal Regime”, the prime minister had ordered the stupa and recommended its location, in Tonloung commune’s Koh Thmor village.

He said now that the Kingdom enjoys comprehensive peace, it is time to return the fallen heroes to their homeland.

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