Exchange programme recalls memories of volunteer soldiers in Cambodia

Saturday, 2019-01-05 12:41:47
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Delegates at the “Troops sent by Buddha” programme share the stories of the southwest border defence war.
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NDO/VNA – An exchange programme entitled “Troops sent by Buddha” was held in Hanoi on January 4 for former Vietnamese volunteer soldiers in Cambodia.

The event drew Sen. Lieut. Gen Phan Van Giang, Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army and Deputy Defence Minister; Sen. Lieut. Gen Nguyen Trong Nghia, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam People's Army (VPA)'s General Department of Politics; and President of the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association Central Committee Vu Mao, among others.

Participants recalled that on January 2, 2012, during a visit to the southern province of Dong Nai to attend the inauguration of the historical relic site, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen reflected on the event many years ago, when Cambodian people were so close to death that all they could do was praying for help from Buddha. It was at that moment that Vietnamese volunteer soldiers came and saved them. Therefore, Vietnamese soldiers were believed to have been the troop sent by Buddha, he stated.

After 40 years of the southwest border defence war victory, the memory of the heroic victory as well as the image of a troop sent by Buddha have remained clear in the minds of Cambodian people.

At the programme, the historical witnesses shared the stories of the southwest border defence war, the significance of the victory against the genocidal regime, and the value of peace and independence that Vietnamese and Cambodian people restored.

At the programme, Colonel Nguyen Van Hong who directly fought in the war, introduced his books on the war which have since been turned into a 10-chapter film.

Over the years, the Vietnam-Cambodian relationship has strongly developed in all fields, especially defence. In the future, the two sides have agreed to continue coordinating closely together in building a shared border of friendship and educating younger generations on the need to reinforce the friendship between the two countries.

The same day, a meeting was held in Ho Chi Minh City to mark the 40th anniversary of the victory of the southwest border defence war and the joint victory of Vietnam and Cambodia over the Pol Pot genocidal regime (January 7, 1979).

Speaking at the event, Cambodian Consul General to HCM City Im Hen said that the Cambodian people have never forgotten the valuable assistance of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers in the liberation of their nation from the Pol Pot genocidal regime.

Cambodian people have come to consider January 7 as their second birthday. Without this day, there would have been nothing today, he said.

The official also expressed his deep gratitude to the Vietnamese Party, Government, and ex-voluntary soldiers and experts for supporting the Cambodian nation and people in escaping from the genocidal regime.

An exhibition marking 40 years since the victory of the southwest border defence war and the joint victory of Vietnam and Cambodia over the genocidal regime opened in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on January 4.

Colonel Ho Van Thai, vice head of the Department of Politics under the Military Zone 9 High Command, said the event looks to honour soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country’s sovereignty and freedom.

On display were nearly 300 valuable images, documents, and items from the southwest border defence war and the joint victory over the genocidal crime in Cambodia.

The exhibits include personal belongings which were discovered during the repatriation of soldiers’ remains, such as handkerchiefs, shoes, and water bottles, along with weapons like guns, bullets, and binoculars, among others.

On the occasion, a high-ranking delegation of the Military Region 1 High Command of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces paid a visit to the Vietnamese martyrs’ cemetery in Duc Co district, in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, on January 4.

Offering incense to martyrs at the martyrs’ cemetery in Duc Co district.

The delegation was led by General Houth Chheang, Deputy Commander of the Royal Cambodian Army and Commander of Military Region 1 under the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Leaders of the Cambodian localities of Rattanakiri, Strung Treng, and Mondulkiri also attended the event.

The visit was to honour Vietnamese volunteer soldiers who fought with Cambodian people to overthrow the Pol Pot genocidal regime and liberate the country. It also offered a chance for the two nations’ armed forces to share experiences, thereby deepening the friendship, cooperation, and development of Vietnam and Cambodia.

The visiting delegation also presented gift sets to 20 policy beneficiaries in Duc Co district.