Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at the commemoration event (Photo: VNA)

Phnom Penh (VNA) – The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) marked the 37th anniversary of the historical victory against the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime (1975-1979) in Phnom Penh on January 7.

The event saw the participation of a 10,000-strong crowd, and representatives from the diplomatic corps and international organisations in Phnom Penh.

Delivering a speech at the celebration, CPP President and Prime Minister Hun Sen said the ceremony was held to commemorate Cambodian soldiers and patriotic citizens who sacrificed their lives to save the country from genocide.

He noted the country is grateful for the great support from Vietnamese voluntary soldiers during the fight.

Hun Sen recalled these dark days, saying CPP members surviving the mass killing had formed the Cambodian United Front for National Salvation on December 2, 1978. The front gathered Cambodian people to fight, with great assistance from the Vietnamese volunteer army, against the Pol Pot-led genocidal regime.

The victory sealed on January 7, 1970 marked Cambodia’s escape from the darkest period in the country’s history to step into a new era of independence, freedom, democracy and social progress.

The Prime Minister stressed that this is the truth that could not be distorted or denied by any force, noting that if the coup of 1970 had not occurred, the Pol Pot regime would not have existed, and without the January 7 victory, there would not have been the present Cambodia.

These facts will always be embedded in the minds of Cambodian people for generations, he said.

The CPP leader went on to highlight the nation’s achievements recorded last year in stabilising political situation, ensuring security, and boosting local economy.

Cambodia is forecast to reach a growth rate of seven percent, thanks to progress made in industry, agriculture and service.

Income per capita rose to 1,228 USD in 2015 from just 229 USD in 1993, and is expected to hit 1,325 USD in 2016. The rate of poverty declined to 13.5 percent in 2015 from 53.2 percent in 2004.

Hun Sen stated the CPP will maintain the culture of dialogue with other parties in the parliament, and strive to resolve all issues based on national reconciliation and solidarity, and in line with the law and democratic principles.

The CPP will also forge cooperation with other political parties, civil societies and social organisations which share common stances in developing the country and serving its people’s interests, he noted.

Reigning from 1975-1979, the Pol Pot-led genocidal regime killed nearly 3 million Cambodian civilians in only 3 years, 8 months and 20 days, destroyed all social facilities and pushed the Cambodian nation to the brink of perdition.-VNA