Top Cambodian leaders were all present at a big meeting held in Phnom Penh on January 7 to mark the collapse of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime 32 years ago, recalling Vietnamese sacrifice of many lives to secure victory.

Chea Sim, President of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and Senate Chairman; Prime Minister Hun Sen; and National Assembly Chairman Heng Samrin, attended the celebration.

Among representatives from foreign diplomatic corps present at the event, Vietnamese envoy Ngo Thi Hoa presented the meeting with a basket of flowers.

“The Cambodian people have engraved in their hearts Vietnamese volunteers’ devotion and sacrifice of their lives to the liberation of Cambodia from the Pol Pot genocidal regime and the revival of the nation,” said Chea Sim.

The CPP President said close cooperation and great assistance from Vietnam helped to end the most disastrous period in Cambodian history.

His speech reaffirmed CPP’s strong support for the tribunal of Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) to hear crimes committed under the rule of Pol Pot and his accomplices.

Chea Sim called for further international assistance in both commitments and material for the ECCC to fulfil its duty in the principle of safeguarding the fruits, especially peace and stability, that the Cambodian people have gained at a cost of material and human lives.

He also highlighted economic achievements recorded by the Cambodian people amidst the global crisis, citing GDP growth of five percent and a reduction in the poverty rate by almost half, to 26 percent in 2010.

The CPP leader said CPP has paid due attention to maintaining stability of government and will carry on cooperation with the coalition FUNCIPEC party as well as back Hun Sen in his premiership bid for the next term and other terms to come.

He said CPP recognised the Royal Government’s effort in speeding up the demarcation and planting of border markers along the borders with Vietnam and Laos. He also raised a strong protest against any attempt to destroy the process.

He added that CPP warmly welcomed the results of international and regional meetings held recently in Cambodia. He cited a regional meeting on the Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam development triangle, one on Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam development, and the other on economic cooperation along the Ayeyawadi - Chao Praya - Mekong Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), as well as the sixth international conference on Asian Political Parties.

He also made public his party’s stand to gradually normalise the situation along the border with Thailand, through dialogue, in the principle of ensuring territorial integrity and sovereignty./.