Construction Starts on Prime Minister’s ‘Win-Win’ Stupa

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.

An artist's rendering of a stupa being built to celebrate Prime Minister Hun Sen's 'win-win policy' (Khem Sovannara)
An artist’s rendering of a stupa being built to celebrate Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ‘win-win policy’ (Khem Sovannara)

“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.”

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