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07 January celebration controversies

Written By vibykhmer on Sunday, January 4, 2009 | 5:42 PM

Monday, January 05, 2009


Khieu Kanharith (Photo: DR, Cambodge Soir Hebdo)

04 Jan 2009

By Ung Chansophea and Alain Ney
Cambodge Soir Hebdo
Click here to read the article in French
Translated from French by Luc Sâr

Demands have been made in favor for the commemoration of 1991 Paris Peace Accords on Cambodia. The presence of CPP logos during the 07 January celebration will certainly raise criticisms from other political parties.
“It will be a ceremony to everybody’s memory,” Khieu Kanharith, government spokesman, indicated during a press conference about the 30th anniversary of the end of the Khmer Rouge regime.

While some are criticizing the choice of this date which marks the beginning of the Vietnamese intervention in Cambodia’s internal affairs, Khieu Kanharith retorted: “Some people said that 07 January should not be celebrated, but rather 23 October 1991, the date of the signing of the Paris Accords… but one must remember that if there were no 07 January 1979, there wouldn’t be 23 October 1991 either.”

Trying to cut short another controversy, Khieu Kanharith indicated that two logos will be seen during the ceremony: the 07 January banner and the CPP logo. To those who ask about the presence of the ruling CPP party logo, Khieu Kanharith replied that it is Hun Sen’s party who paid the bill for this anniversary which amounts to “several million riels,” and that the government did not pay for it. Nevertheless, he reassured that “07 January doesn’t belong exclusively to the CPP, but to all the Khmer people.” Khieu Kanharith did not indicate if other political parties have asked to contribute financially to be able to display logo at the Olympic Stadium.

Close to 40,000 people will participate in the festivities organized inside the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh. NGO and embassies representatives, as well as other party political parties are invited.

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