Hun Many, a lawmaker for Kampong Speu province and president of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia, received the Padma Shri award from the Indian government on Monday in New Delhi for his outstanding achievements in public affairs.
Mr Many returned to Cambodia with the award last night.
“Here to represent the Kingdom of Cambodia in receiving the highest civilian award, the Padma Shri award bestowed by the President of India and witnessed by the leaders of Indian government, including the Vice President, Prime Minister Modi and his Ministers and outstanding citizens and other Padma Bunshan and Shri awardees,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
“I owe it all to my dear family, trusted colleagues, dedicated UYFC family and more importantly I owe it to my beloved country,” he added.
Manika Jain, Indian ambassador to Cambodia, said in a video posted on the UYFC’s Facebook page that Mr Many was awarded the Padma Shri, the highest civilian award in India which was established in 1954.
“Padma is given to people of eminence who have had achievements in the fields of medicine, science, public services, social services, arts and literature,” she said.
Ms Jain added that the Indian government decided to select one candidate from each of the 10 Asean member states to commemorate its relationship with Asean this year.
She said that from Cambodia, the Indian government chose Mr Many, who has worked in public service, especially in the field of youths and bringing them together. He is also the youngest leader in parliament, which is why he was chosen.
“With this award, I am sure this recognition is not only about friendship, it is also good intention that India always wants the Cambodian people to prosper and live in peace, prosperity and stability,” added Ms Jain.
“We are also trying to assist in capacity building in education and social development projects in Cambodia, so with this collaboration, we believe that it will bring the two countries much more closer, especially the younger generation would have an incentive to know the younger generation of the other countries.”
In 2015, Mr Many received the Gusi Peace Prize for his work in youth leadership and humanitarianism and as an advocate of cultural heritage.
The same year, he received the ASEAN People’s Award during the 27th Asean Summit in Kuala Lumpur for leading the UYFC and contributing to cooperation with Asean members.
Chuon Chan Phearun, a UYFC member, said he was proud on behalf of Cambodian youth that Mr Many was honoured with the award.
“I am very proud that he received this incredible award, which is a model for the next generation of young people to engage in humanitarian activities as well as educate and develop the youth,” he said.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said that all awards have conditions before being given to any individual.
“For Cambodian compatriots to receive different awards, it is a value that I have always encouraged and admired in any situation or form,” he said.