Construction of a massive memorial in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changva district designed to pay homage to the achievements of Prime Minister Hun Sen commenced on Thursday, with a Defense Ministry spokesman encouraging public donations to ensure its speedy completion.
The stupa’s three pillars will mark the successes of Mr. Hun Sen’s “win-win” policy, which the prime minister credits with ending decades of civil war in the country, said Chhum Socheat, spokesman for the Defense Ministry.
“The first one will showcase the historic harmonization, the second one will show the peace achieved through the win-win policy and the third will show achievements brought by the win-win policy,” General Socheat said.
The spokesman did not disclose details on how the 8-hectare stupa compound—located on land donated by CPP Senator Ly Yong Phat, one of the country’s wealthiest businessmen—would be funded. However, he encouraged donations from Cambodians both at home and abroad to hasten its completion.
“We have a financial plan, but we cannot disclose it because we want to be open to public contributions. The duration of construction depends on the financial contribution by Cambodian people both inside and outside the country,” Gen. Socheat said. “The more contributions, the faster construction will be.”
In February last year, officials announced that the walls of the monument would feature reliefs illustrating achievements including the formation of the United Front for the National Salvation of Kampuchea on December 2, 1978, and the toppling of the Khmer Rouge on January 7, 1979, after which Vietnam installed a government with Mr. Hun Sen initially serving as foreign minister.
Opposition spokesman Yem Ponhearith, who chairs the National Assembly’s commission on education, culture and tourism, welcomed the construction of the stupa and applauded the legacy of the prime minister’s win-win policy.
“I think the win-win policy means that all Cambodians win by ending wars and by promoting national solidarity and understanding between Cambodians,” he said. “So building a stupa to recall the history of Cambodia is good.”