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Thousands to mark anniversary of Solidarity Front

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Thousands of people attend an event at the December 2nd Memorial Monument last year in Kratie province. KT/Khem Sovannara

Thousands of people, especially CPP members and government officials, will gather in the capital today to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the founding of the Solidarity Front for Development of Cambodian Motherland, which paved the way for the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge regime.

A National Assembly statement yesterday said that its president Heng Samrin, one of the founders of SFDCM, will lead the gathering at Chaktomuk Conference Hall.

Mr Samrin, who is also honorary CPP president, is expected to deliver a speech on the party’s efforts and sacrifices to remove the Khmer Rouge and rebuild the nation.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan yesterday said that the “December 2, 1978” event was an important one that led to the collapse of the Democratic Kampuchea regime led by Pol Pot from 1975 to 1979.

“December 2, is a day that we remember an important event during which we united together to establish a joint armed force to fight against the Khmer Rouge,” he said. “It is great day to show solidarity in marking the event that led to the fall of Pol Pot’s regime on January 7, 1979.”

“Samdech Heng Samrin, late Senate Present Chea Sim, Prime Minister Hun Sen and some other patriots were the founders of SFDCM,” Mr Eysan said. “The SFDCM was established after events which took place on June 20, 1977.”

On June 20, 1977 Mr Hun Sen and his allies, including Nuch Thorn and Va Por Ean, went to Vietnam to seek assistance from the Vietnamese government to oust Pol Pot’s regime.

Mr Eysan said people should appreciate the efforts of CPP leaders who sacrificed much for the nation and people.

“If we did not unite the forces it would have been hard to defeat the Khmer Rouge,” Mr Eysan noted. “Our leaders’ efforts have led to peace, political stability and development today.”

Hun Many, a CPP lawmaker and president of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia, on Saturday led thousands of youths to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the founding of the SFDCM at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium.

He said the celebration aims to reflect on the sacrifices made by Cambodian fighters to free the nation from the Khmer Rouge.

Mr Many also called on youths to play bigger roles in helping to further develop society since the country is enjoying peace.

“Certainly now, as Cambodia enjoys peace and stability, it is also a time for young Cambodians to think more about their roles, responsibilities and contributions to society and the people,” he noted.

Ros Chantrabot, the country’s leading expert in history and former vice president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, yesterday said that December 2 is the “root” of peace and development in the Kingdom.

“December 2, is a very important day to reflect on the efforts and struggles of Samdech Hun Sen, Heng Samrin, Chea Sim and others who made sacrifices to save Cambodians from being massacred by the Khmer Rouge,” he noted.

Mr Chantrabot said that any accusation by critics, especially members of the opposition, that December 2 is the day that led to an invasion by Vietnamese troops is not reflected in history.

“I think it is a false accusation because if there was no December 2 and then no January 7, there will also not be a today,” he said. “They just use the term Vietnam’s invasion as an excuse to criticise the government.”

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