The Council of Ministers’ Press and Quick Reaction Unit has produced a video documentary about how Prime Minister Hun Sen liberated the country from Pol Pot’s regime and gave a second life to Cambodian people.
The one-hour, 34-minute documentary entitled Marching Towards National Salvation will be broadcast today on state television network TVK and some private stations at 7pm.
It says that on April 17, 1975, a genocidal regime was formed nationwide. Cambodians were killed, driven out of cities and residential areas, and their civil rights were stripped.
“It was a regime with no schools, no markets and no money, in which people were forced to work and live together in communes. And the torture and murder of people became more and more serious,” read the subtitles from the more than two-minute trailer posted on the Council of Ministers’ website.
Mr Hun Sen and four other comrades – Nuch Than, Nhek Horn, Sou Kimsreang, and Va Por Ien – departed for Vietnam and asked for help from the Vietnamese government to organise a resistance movement of national liberation.
“At the time it was difficult to make that decision,” the Prime Minister said in the film.
“To be far away from the country at 25-years-old due to the emergence of murderers,” he said, wiping his eye. “Those tears were for my country before I crossed the border.”
He spoke of getting caught and said he would have resorted to suicide if that eventuality came true.
“I always had 12 needles with me to thrust into my throat in case I was seized and sent back to Cambodia,” Mr Hun Sen said.
Press and Quick Reaction Unit spokesman Tith Sothea said the purpose of the documentary was to create more awareness of history among Cambodians. “Cambodian people have to know about the struggle to rescue the country until now to guarantee peace and to know who the real national saviours are,” he said.
Former opposition lawmaker Ou Chanrath said the ruling CPP was trying to garner support from the public before the upcoming national election.
“It’s a campaign to improve public opinion because the ruling CPP recently dissolved the opposition party so they need to work to gain popularity and the faith of the people,” he said. Government spokesman Phay Siphan dismissed the claims of the former opposition party member.
“If there was no liberation on January 7, 1979, the treasonous CNRP would not even exist,” he said.
Mr Siphan said the video showed the history of salvation from the genocidal regime that killed about two million people.
“It just reminds us of the history of national salvation and how people were liberated,” he said.