Triumph of Justice and Vietnam - Cambodia Solidarity

Thursday - 11/01/2024 15:14
Triumph of Justice and Vietnam - Cambodia Solidarity
President Vo Van Thuong and delegates attended the ceremony. (Photo: Dinh Hoa)
President Vo Van Thuong and delegates attended the ceremony. (Photo: Dinh Hoa)
On January 7, at the Hanoi Opera House, a ceremony took place to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the victory in the war to protect Vietnam's Southwestern border and join hands with the Cambodian army and people in defeating the genocidal regime.
The ceremony was chaired by the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations, in coordination with the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Hanoi People's Committee. Politburo member and President Vo Van Thuong attended the event.

Attending the ceremony, on the Vietnamese side, there were also Politburo member, Standing member of the Secretariat, Head of the Central Organizing Committee Truong Thi Mai; Secretary of the Party Central Committee, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai; leaders of ministries, departments, agencies, central organizations, socio-political organizations, people's associations, research institutes, and universities; leaders of Hanoi and provinces bordering Cambodia; leader of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations; leaders of the central Vietnam - Cambodia Friendship Association and Vietnam - Cambodia Friendship Association of Northern provinces and cities; representatives of all walks of life; Vietnamese heroic mothers; former experts, former Vietnamese volunteer soldiers who performed international duty in Cambodia and students representing the younger generation.

On the Cambodian side, there were Member of the Standing Committee of the Cambodian People's Party (CPP), Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia Neth Savoeun; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Cambodia to Vietnam Chea Kimtha; staff of the Cambodian Embassy in Vietnam; and Cambodian students studying in Vietnam.

Ambassadors, Charge d'Affaires of Southeast Asian countries, and United Nations representatives in Vietnam also attended the celebration.

Vietnam - Cambodia stand side by side both in times of trouble and in peace and development

In his commemorative speech, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai said that the event had significant meaning, demonstrating the spirit of great national solidarity, pure international solidarity, and the quest to protect and maintain national independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

Triumph of Justice and Vietnam-Cambodia Solidarity
Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai spoke at the ceremony. (Photo: Dinh Hoa)

He reviewed the history of close solidarity, standing side by side through times of difficulty and tribulation and in peace and development between the two peoples of Vietnam and Cambodia.

After the victory in 1975, the people of Vietnam and Cambodia earnestly wished to live in peace to restore and develop their respective countries after years of war, sacrifice, and hardship. However, right after coming to power in April 1975, the Pol Pot group took advantage of the revolution's achievements, betrayed the Cambodian people, and established the so-called "Democratic Cambodia State", implementing an extermination regime. The strain brought Cambodia into a terrible unprecedented disaster. Thousands of schools and hospitals were closed, and millions of innocent people were brutally murdered. In three years, eight months, and 20 days, more than three million Cambodians and tens of thousands of Vietnamese people were slaughtered.

At that time, Cambodia's patriotic forces faced an extremely difficult situation, as CPP Chairman Hun Sen once said: "There was nothing left but empty hands and waiting for death".

Along with that, the Pol Pot group mobilized most of its main military power to invade Vietnam's Southwest border, seriously violating the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Vietnam. They distorted history, provoked, and incited national hatred, trampling on the good values of traditional friendship and good neighborliness between the two peoples of Vietnam and Cambodia.

Given the situation, the Party, State, and people of Vietnam have strived to preserve friendly neighborly relations with Cambodia and the achievements from the process that people-oriented revolutionaries and patriots of the two countries working side by side to fight for national independence. Vietnam has proposed bilateral peace negotiations and support from the international community, including the Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations. However, the Pol Pot group kept on exuberantly pursuing its policy, continuing its acts of aggression, massacring Vietnamese people along the border between the two countries, and genocide of the Cambodian people.

Responding to the urgent call of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation of the Cambodian people and to protect the sacred sovereignty of the Fatherland, protect the lives and property of the Vietnamese people, the Party and the State, the Vietnamese army and people exercised their legitimate right to self-defense, crushed acts of aggression. They joined hands with the armed forces and the people of Cambodia to overthrow the brutal genocidal regime on January 7, 1979.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai, it is a legal and ethical action, demonstrating a noble, pure, righteous, sincere international spirit, willing to sacrifice for the close, long-standing relations between the Party, State, and people of the two countries. It is a continuation of the tradition of solidarity in fighting against the common enemy of the two nations.

"This historic victory is a common victory of the two peoples, firmly protecting the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Cambodia and Vietnam, closing the darkest page of Cambodia's history. It saved the Cambodian people from the genocide disaster, opening a new era of development in independence, freedom, peace, neutrality, and prosperity. Victory over the genocidal regime of Pol Pot also made an important contribution to maintaining peace and stability in Southeast Asia and the world over," he emphasized.

After liberation, thousands of experts and Vietnamese volunteers continued to stand side by side with the Cambodian people to implement national revival tasks and prevent the genocidal regime's return. In that arduous and fierce battle, countless heroes, experts, Vietnamese volunteers, and members of the Cambodian revolutionary armed forces sacrificed their lives or got wounded on the battlefield.

"The Party, State, and people of Vietnam will forever remember the great contributions of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers, officials, and experts who did not hesitate to sacrifice and overcome countless difficulties and hardships in the righteous defense of the Fatherland's Southwestern border, standing shoulder to shoulder with the Cambodian army and people to defeat the brutal genocidal regime of Pol Pot, fulfilling noble international obligations," stated Deputy Prime Minister.

After many years of trial, on November 16, 2018, the Special Tribunal for Cambodia under the auspices of the United Nations officially ruled that Pol Pot's former leaders committed genocide against humanity.

The ruling reclaims justice for innocent victims murdered by Pol Pot's genocidal group and once again affirms the shining righteous, impartial, and pure help of the Vietnamese expert and volunteer army.

Vietnam - Cambodia relations brought to a new level

Looking back on the 45-year journey since the victory on January 7, 1979, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai said: "We are delighted to see Cambodia, after receiving the assistance of the Vietnamese Party, State, army and people and international friends, have strongly revived. The Cambodian revolutionary armed forces are constantly developing and growing to carry out the mission of protecting, building, and developing the country.

Under the wise reign of the King of Cambodia, the leadership of the CPP Party, the Senate, the National Assembly, and the administration of the Government, Cambodia is constantly developing, political security and social order are maintained, the economy continues to grow, people's lives are constantly improved, and Cambodia's role and position in the region and the world is constantly enhanced. The recent 7th National Assembly election is evidence of the strong trust of the Cambodian people in the role of the CPP Party and Cambodia's current path of national construction and development.

Inheriting the tradition of solidarity and unyielding heroic spirit of January 7, 1979, the Deputy Prime Minister said that through closeness and mutual help, Vietnam and Cambodia continue to develop "good neighborly relations, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, long-term sustainability" to a new level.

Accordingly, the two countries have deepened political relations, considering this as the foundation for orientation in cooperative relations, strengthening the defense and security cooperation pillars, closely coordinating in foreign affairs, and enhancing high efficiency in economic, cultural, educational, scientific, and technical cooperation.

In 2022, Vietnam - Cambodia trade turnover reached over USD 10 billion The two sides are determined to soon bring the figure to USD 20 billion. Vietnam is home to the second-largest number of international tourists to Cambodia in 2023. The two sides have signed many cooperations, especially in connecting the two economies and participating in regional cooperation and connection.

People-to-people exchanges are increasingly developing with diverse and practical activities. An increasing number of Cambodian young people and students are coming to Vietnam to study, some of whom are present at today's ceremony. The Deputy Prime Minister hopes that the students will study well and continue the traditions of the previous generation.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai, the border area between the two countries, which was heavily damaged in previous wars, has now become a border area of peace, friendship, cooperation, and development. The people of the two countries are close and friendly to each other and support each other's development. Recently, the functional forces of the two countries have closely coordinated and well managed the border, completing 84% of demarcation and marking on land, and are determined to complete this work.

With enthusiasm and loyalty, the Cambodian authorities and people have actively supported and helped Vietnam in the search, retrieval, and repatriation of the remains of Vietnamese volunteers and experts in Cambodia, and returned them to their Fatherland. The Vietnamese side has cooperated and supported Cambodia in bringing back the remains of 49 soldiers from Cambodia's united armed forces for national salvation on December 1, 2022.

Vietnam always attaches importance and gives high priority to constantly consolidating and strengthening good neighborly relations, traditional friendship, and comprehensive cooperation with Cambodia, for the benefit of the two peoples, for peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world, stated the Deputy Prime Minister

Quoting the folk song "Like the Mekong River that flows for thousands of years, the meaning of friendship will never fade", he believed that Vietnam - Cambodia relations would continue to develop to new heights. "This is also the earnest wish of the people of the two countries, as well as of the heroic martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the independence and dignity of the two nations," said he.

Cambodia gives high priority to preserving the tradition of solidarity and mutual support between the two countries

Speaking at the celebration, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Neth Savoeun said the meaning of January 7 is engraved in the hearts of Cambodian people.

They will forever remember the highest gratitude of the officers and soldiers of the Cambodian National Solidarity Front for National Salvation, patriots, especially the heroic soldiers of the Vietnamese volunteer soldiers. They shed blood and sacrificed their lives for the cause of overthrowing the genocidal regime of Pol Pot and liberating the Cambodian people.

"Without the timely help and support of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers, the Cambodian people are truly at risk of death," Deputy Prime Minister Neth Savoeun said.

Triumph of Justice and Vietnam-Cambodia Solidarity
Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Neth Savoeun spoke at the celebration. (Photo: Dinh Hoa)

According to Deputy Prime Minister Neth Savoeun, the January 7 victory ended Cambodia's bitter era, and opened a new era that is revered by the entire people as the second day of the resurrection of the Cambodian people. Without January 7, there would be no Cambodia today. Cambodia is fortunate to have escaped this barbaric and cruel regime. In particular, leader Samdech Techo Hun Sen led the patriotic movement and prevented the return of the genocidal regime, striving to build the economy, society and people's lives from nothing. With the win-win policy, the Samdech Techo Hun Sen government brought Cambodia from the minefields to become a fully sovereign country with peace and harmony. Today, the slogan "Thank you, peace! Thank you, win-win policy" has become the spirit and high unity of the entire Cambodian society. They decided to take December 29 as Peace Day.

The 7th-tenure Royal Government of Cambodia was established with the strong support of the majority of the people who are moving forward in the most correct path under the intellectual and energetic leadership of Prime Minister Samdech Thipadei Hun Manet. Deputy Prime Minister Neth Savoeun said that the new term government is continuing to inherit positive achievements from the noble peace legacy of Samdech Techo Hun Sen. The Government strives to overcome challenges to steer the Cambodian boat towards development and prosperity. Through the implementation of five strategic directions and political platforms, the Royal Government of Cambodia is accelerating economic growth, aiming to make Cambodia an upper middle-income country by 2030 and building the foundation towards completing the vision of becoming a high-income country by 2050.

Deputy Prime Minister Neth Savoeun affirmed that Cambodia and Vietnam are neighboring countries. Despite experiencing many historical difficulties and great challenges, the two countries still maintain good relations and develop in all fields according to the motto "good neighbors, traditional friendship, comprehensive, long-term sustainable cooperation." This valuable relationship is further tightened through regular contact and exchange of delegations between leaders at all levels, from Party leaders, Heads of State, Heads of Government, Chairmen of the National Assembly, and leaders of the two countries.

On behalf of the Royal Government and the people of Cambodia, he expressed his excitement when seeing the people of the two countries enjoying great benefits from the achievements of bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia, including most fields such as economics, trade, investment, agriculture, transportation, telecommunications, education, culture, tourism, defense, and security. Trade turnover between the two countries in 2022 increased by more than US$10 billion, and Vietnamese tourists to Cambodia ranked second. Vietnam is still an important investment partner of Cambodia. Cambodia gives high priority to preserving the tradition of solidarity and mutual support between the two countries. They are satisfied with the development of relations between ministries, border provinces, front organizations, mass organizations, and youth.

"We can truly say that Cambodia-Vietnam is an example of the best neighbors in the world, showing kindness, brotherhood, friendship, and loyalty," said Deputy Prime Minister Neth Savoeun.

He congratulated the great achievements that the Vietnamese people gained in recent times, especially the recovery and rapid development after successfully controlling the Covid-19 pandemic. He believes that under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam led by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnam will continue to achieve victories in socio-economic development, enhancing its positive position in the region, and the international arena.

Representing the former Vietnamese volunteers and experts who supported Cambodia, Colonel Nguyen Dinh said that nearly half a century has passed, but he still remembers the memories of the war and performing international duty in Cambodia full of difficulties and hardships. He still remembers the good images of loyalty and support between the two peoples, of the united alliance to fight with the Cambodian revolutionary armed forces, the care, and protection of the Cambodian people towards the volunteer soldiers.

Triumph of Justice and Vietnam-Cambodia Solidarity
Colonel Nguyen Dinh spoke on behalf of former Vietnamese volunteers and experts supporting Cambodia. (Photo: Dinh Hoa)

He said that when Vietnamese volunteer soldiers marched into Cambodia, they were joyfully welcomed by people from all regions of Cambodia. In the early days of liberation, Vietnamese volunteer soldiers did not hesitate to help tens of thousands and millions of emaciated and hungry Cambodians in many places return to their old homeland, stabilize their lives, rebuild their houses, hospitals, and schools, and restore pagodas. Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts also nurtured thousands of Cambodian children orphaned after the genocide.

After helping the Cambodian revolutionary armed forces grow stronger, protect the achievements of the revolution, build and revive the country, since 1982, Vietnamese volunteers began to gradually withdraw their troops back home. After seven rounds of withdrawal, on September 26, 1989, the last units and soldiers of the Vietnamese volunteer army returned to the Fatherland, marking the day Vietnamese volunteers and experts completed their glorious international duty in Cambodia.

"The volunteer soldiers and experts who completed their missions in the past have now returned to their normal lives. Tens of thousands of people have voluntarily become members of the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association at all levels. We vow to fulfill the new mission of a tireless army of gratitude, a reliable force of people-to-people foreign affairs in the period of integration and development of the two countries," Colonel Nguyen Dinh said.

At the ceremony, representatives of the young generation of Cambodia and Vietnam vowed to strive to preserve and cultivate the traditional friendship between the two countries and two peoples, built from the sweat and blood of previous generations.

Source: Vietnamtimes

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