To observe the 42nd anniversary of the “December 2 movement,” Prime Minister Hun Sen released a statement yesterday to remember the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge regime.
“Everyone understands that without the birth of the [Solidarity Front for National Rescue of Cambodia] on December 2 and the victory on January 7, today would not be the same,” Mr Hun Sen said. “This is the truth of history.”
The anniversary cannot be celebrated with an event this year because the government has banned gatherings of more than 20 people after the first community transmission of COVID-19.
The “December 2 movement” began in 1978, in the Snuol Liberation Area, Snuol district, Kratie province, to topple the Khmer Rouge’s genocidal regime which lasted from 1975 to 1979, and was called the Solidarity Front for National Rescue of Cambodia (SFNRC).
He said the SFNRC formed because the people were united, both inside and outside the country.
Together with the now CPP honourary president and National Assembly president Heng Samrin and former CPP president and Senate president Chea Sim, who passed away in 2015, Mr Hun Sen and other “patriotic heroes” organised forces to overthrow the regime of Pol Pot, which was toppled on January 7, 1979.
Mr Hun Sen said the SFNRC has been renamed the Council for the Solidarity Front for the Development of Cambodia.
“In response to the call of the SFNRC, people everywhere stood together as a force of national unity, with the overwhelming support of the Vietnamese volunteer army and the support of friends around the world to overthrow the Democratic Kampuchea regime until the glorious victory on January 7, 1979,” he said.
He said that when forces entered Phnom Penh on January 7, it: “Ended the darkest period ever in Cambodian history, ushering in a new era, and our Cambodian people regained their rights, freedoms and opportunities to rebuild their homeland.”
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan told Khmer Times yesterday that CPP working groups can observe the anniversary at local levels by holding small meetings and maintaining a safe social distance to prevent COVID-19.
He said the Council for the Solidarity Front for the Development of Cambodia is commonly referred to as the Front Council and has groups in 25 provinces and the capital.
“It is a network from the national to local levels to raise awareness and remember the truth of history,” Eysan said. He said people should not forget the patriots who rescued the nation and saved the lives of many people.
The National Assembly released a statement yesterday that the December 2 Front not only saved the lives of the people from the Khmer Rouge regime but also helped to restore, build and develop Cambodia, gaining peace, national unity and development.
“We have come a long way through tens of thousands of obstacles,” it said. “Countless dignitaries, veterans and our patriots have sacrificed their lives in the cause of the motherland without fear of exhaustion and regret for life.”
Cambodian historian Sambo Manara said yesterday that December 2 was the starting day of a new history. In 1978, Cambodian people suffered from torture during the Khmer Rouge period and the December 2 movement was an example of how to solve the nation’s issues when the Kingdom faces a crisis.
“To prevent maltreatment and killing, there must be a way to solve this problem. Do we need survival? Or do we need the killing like when we could not do anything?” he said.
“December 2 was the day of the establishment of relations between Cambodian armed forces and the presence of Vietnam armed forces to oust the group who cruelly killed people during this period. All these points are indisputable because we did not have the ability to solve this problem alone,” Manara said.