Cultivating solidarity between Vietnam and Cambodia

Saturday, 2019-06-08 16:51:14
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A parade in Cambodia marking the 40th anniversary of the victory over the Pol Pot genocide regime
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NDO - Forty years after the victory over the Khmer Rouge genocide regime, Cambodia has many proud achievements including over 7% economic growth for many consecutive years, strongly improved infrastructure, enhanced living standards for the people, and positive and strong international integration. During the development process of Cambodia, the solidarity and attachment between the people of Cambodia and Vietnam have been constantly nurtured.

The 40th anniversary of the overthrow of the Pol Pot genocide regime is an opportunity for Cambodian and Vietnamese people to review the history of solidarity and shoulder-to-shoulder relations between the two countries both in hard and peaceful times.

In his speech delivered at the ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the victory over the Pol Pot regime on January 7, 2019, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen emphasised that the historical victory was based on the combined power of two resources, including the strength and great unity of all Cambodians under the leadership of the Cambodian People's Party and great and timely assistance by Vietnamese volunteer troops. Prime Minister Hun Sen affirmed that without the combination of the two powers, there would be no victory on January 7, 1979.

In 1975, shortly after winning the resistance against the US, the Cambodian people fell into a great tragedy again, when the Pol Pot group pushed Cambodia into an unprecedented genocide in human history. During the rule of Cambodia, from April 1975 to January 1979, the Khmer Rouge regime implemented a policy of suppression and massacre of its fellow citizens while establishing prison camps and creating fields of death everywhere. Millions of innocent Cambodians were killed in various forms of barbaric torture.

At the risk of the nation's demise, the elite Cambodian people stood up to find a way to save the country. During the most difficult time of the Cambodian revolution, Hun Sen and many Cambodian patriots placed their faith in Vietnam. The Vietnamese army and people shared difficulties, helped and trained many Cambodian officials to become the core force to gradually coordinate with the forces inside Cambodia to fight against the Pol Pot regime.

In a recent interview, General Neang Phat, Secretary of State at the Cambodian Defence Ministry recalled that Vietnamese volunteer troops entered the Cambodian territory to join the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation to liberate Cambodia and overthrow the Khmer Rouge genocide regime. After the day of liberation on January 7, 1979, the Khmer Rouge did not disintegrate completely, so Vietnamese soldiers stayed to help Cambodia preserve the victory and prevent the brutal regime from returning. On the day when the Vietnamese volunteer troops returned Vietnam, the Cambodian government, people and army held a solemn farewell for the friend who used to stand side by side with the locals to fight for peace for Cambodia.

Speaking to the press on June 3, Cambodian Defence Minister Tea Banh made it clear that the Vietnamese volunteer troops helped to liberate the Cambodian people. "We consider that the Vietnamese volunteer troops came to save our people and that meant a lot to us," said Minister Tea Banh.

After many years of trial with hundreds of thousands of documents and evidence, on November 16, 2018, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) under the auspices of the United Nations officially issued a verdict on the crime against humanity committed by the Khmer Rouge.

The ruling reflected objectively the historical truth, enforcing justice and making fair restitution for the victims, which in turn welcomed by the international community and the United Nations.
Forty years have passed, the ruling returns justice to innocent victims who were massacred by the Pol Pot genocide and once again affirms the righteousness and pure help of the Vietnamese volunteer troops in Cambodia. Vietnam's contributions and sacrifices in joining the Cambodian people to end the Khmer Rouge genocide have been widely acknowledged.

On the day that the Vietnamese volunteer troops returned to Vietnam, Cambodian Pracheachon (The People) newspaper run an editorial on June 29, 1989 that "During extremely tragic years under the Pol Pot genocide regime, there are so many strong and rich powers in this world, but only the poor neighbour of Vietnam came to save our nation”. Previously, Australia’s Canberra Times newspaper wrote on March 19, 1989 that everyone has to admit that Vietnam's entry into Cambodia has brought about telling results. The action was welcomed by the Cambodian people as the liberation for their country.

The historic victory on January 7, 1979 completely abolished the genocide regime and revitalised the Cambodian people while opening a new era for Cambodian development in independence, freedom, peace, neutrality and prosperity. This was a common victory for the peoples of the two countries, as well as of the progressive humanity in the world, demonstrating the noble international spirit, the traditional and neighbouring brotherhood, the close and lasting attachment, faith, and pure help of the Party, State, Army and people of Vietnam towards the people of Cambodia.