Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has expressed his ‘regret’ over the comment made by his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong that Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia during the fighting to topple the Khmer Rouge.
“I deeply regret to learn of the Facebook post of H.E. Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, on 31 May expressing his condolences on the passing of General Prem Tinsulanonda in which he said “His [General Prem] time as PM coincided with the ASEAN members (then five of us) coming together to oppose Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia and the Cambodian government that replaced the Khmer Rouge…” Hun Sen said in Facebook page yesterday night.
He said his [Lee Hsien Loong] statement reflects Singapore’s position then in support of the genocidal regime and the wish for its return to Cambodia. Singapore was the host of the tripartite meeting that led to the formation of the coalition government of the Democratic Kampuchea, which had prolonged the war and the suffering of Cambodian people for another 10 years.
“It’s an act against the survival of the Cambodian people. His statement is also an insult to the sacrifice of the Vietnamese military volunteers who helped to liberate Cambodia from the genocidal regime. His statement reveals to the Singaporean people and the world that leader of Singapore had indeed contributed to the massacre of Cambodian people.” Hun Sen added.
Tensions between Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam flared earlier this week after Mr Lee on Friday posted a condolence message on Facebook regarding the passing of former Thai Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda.
In the message, Mr Lee said Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia to topple the Khmer Rouge government in 1979. Mr Lee repeated the comments again on Friday last week during his speech at a security summit in Singapore.
“After the Cold War ended, the US became the sole superpower. Southeast Asia entered a new phase. The Indochinese wars finally ended, and the communist countries opened up,” Mr Lee said. “Earlier, Vietnam had invaded Cambodia, thus posing a serious threat to its non-communist neighbours.”
Vietnam has also joined Cambodia to backlash Lee Hsien Loong saying his comment did not objectively reflect the historical truth.