Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Banh marks anniversary of PM’s ‘struggle’

Banh marks anniversary of PM’s ‘struggle’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of National Defence Tea Banh. Hong Menea

Banh marks anniversary of PM’s ‘struggle’

Minister of National Defence Tea Banh will commemorate the 42nd anniversary of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s struggle to reach Vietnam and return with troops to topple the genocidal Khmer Rouge.

Banh, who is also deputy prime minister, will hold the remembrance ceremony on Thursday on behalf of the prime minister in Koh Thmar in Tbong Khmum province, from where Hun Sen began his journey in 1977.

Historian Diep Sophal, an assistant at the Institute of Military History who organised the ceremony, said Banh is to inaugurate a 9.9km-long road named “Hun Sen’s Historical Road”, hold a local spirit-thanking ceremony and plant a type of banyan tree as a symbol remembering Hun Sen’s departure to Vietnam.

He said Banh would travel from Bun Rany Hun Sen Primary School to the Cambodia-Vietnam border to a place where an ebony tree grows – the location where Hun Sen and his comrades crossed over the border into Vietnam.

He is also to place a memorial stone there and present gifts to locals, Sophal said.

“The location known as Koh Thmar, in Memot district’s Tonloung commune, was the former headquarters of Hun Sen, who was then the commander of Zone 21 at the border region. He left Cambodia with his four closest and most trusted comrades,” Sophal said.

The four comrades were Nuch Thorn, Nhek Huon, San Sanh and Va Por Ean, he said.

“Hun Sen decided to devote his life to the struggle and crossed into Vietnam while [the Khmer Rouge’s] Democratic Kampuchea and Vietnam were in conflict."

“He had to overcome many dangers, including bumping into the Khmer Rouge, being attacked by Vietnamese troops, stepping on landmines or falling into traps with sharpened bamboo."

“Hun Sen did not wait to be killed by the Khmer Rouge, and with very little hope, he had to struggle to Vietnam, even with the possibility of his arrest there,” Sophal said.

Sophal said the journey undertaken on June 20, 1977, was the beginning for the emergent Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, which was formed on December 2, 1978.

This led to the overthrow of Khmer Rouge on January 7, 1979, he said.

“The Paris Peace Agreements on October 23, 1991, did not actually end the civil war in Cambodia – war [with the Khmer Rouge] only ended on December 29, 1998 thanks to the Win-Win strategy of Hun Sen,” Sophal stressed.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said the commemoration was “a gesture to emphasise and glorify the heroism of the prime minister”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the