National Assembly president Heng Samrin yesterday highlighted the government’s achievements of nearly four decades since the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, especially its efforts to thwart Sam Rainsy’s plan to stage a coup.
He was presiding over an event to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the founding of the Solidarity Front for Development of Cambodian Motherland, which led to the Khmer Rouge being toppled.
Thousands of CPP members, civil servants and students gathered at Chaktomuk Conference Hall in the capital to mark the event.
Mr Samrin, one of the founders of SFDCM, noted that the event was aimed at remembering the spirit of all those who sacrificed a lot to save the country from Pol Pot’s cruel regime.
“[The formation of] the Solidarity Front on December 2, 1978 did not only rescue our lives from the genocidal regime but it also restored democracy which led to the development of the nation and society,” Mr Samrin said. “Together we mark that great event which led to the liberation of the nation and Cambodian people.”
He said that on December 2, 1978 the SFDCM united the people and forces supported by Vietnamese volunteer soldiers to overthrow the Democratic Kampuchea regime led by Pol Pot from 1975 to 1979.
“Now, Cambodian people are living in peace with freedom and security and they have united, leading to development,” Mr Samrin added. “Right now we can see with our own eyes the huge development in all sectors which was made possible by our efforts together.”
He noted that on January 7, 1979 the SFDCM-led forces ended the dark regime of the Democratic Kampuchea and ushered in a new era in which Cambodian people received the rights to freedom and rebuild their nation.
“We have never forgotten the dark days of the Khmer Rouge regime which separated families and caused a lot of pain,” Mr Samrin said.
He also deeply thanked neighbouring countries, and the international community which have given aid and supported the Kingdom since the country was at war until now.
“We believe the international community will continue to provide assistance to develop the Kingdom, including maintaining peace and democracy,” Mr Samrin said.
He praised the armed forces and authorities at all levels for their efforts to prevent Rainsy’s plan to return and cause chaos in the Kingdom.
“Recently we have succeeded in thwarting a coup bid by a rebel group led by Sam Rainsy who planned to return on November 9, 2019 to overthrow the legitimate government,” Mr Samrin noted.
Prime Minister Hun Sen in a message yesterday lauded the event to mark the founding of the Solidarity Front for Development of Cambodia of Motherland which united forces to overthrow the Khmer Rouge.
He noted the SFDCM was founded by him, Mr Samrin and the late Senate president Chea Sim and that the Pol Pot regime was ousted on January 7, 1979.
“December 2, 1978 is the day a group of Khmer Patriots gathered in Snuol district in Kratie province to launch a plan to liberate the country from the Democratic Kampuchea regime,” Mr Hun Sen said.
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay yesterday claimed that the fledging SFDCM did not have enough soldiers to topple the Khmer Rouge.
“The Front was formed on December 2, 1978, and it is very difficult to believe it could form an army strong enough to overthrow that murderous regime in just hardly one month,” he said, adding that historical facts show that Vietnamese troops came to topple the Khmer Rouge.