The ruling CPP’s self-styled “mass movement,” the Solidarity Front for Building and Defending the Cambodian Motherland, was called Thursday to protect and preserve memorials to the victims of the Khmer Rouge.
Senate and CPP President Chea Sim said the Front must continue to remind the public of “the brutal killing of Pol Pot’s regime and remember to be grateful to the December 2nd front and January 7th.”
“We must respond by attacking against any twisted information and [we must] preserve stupas that keep the victims’ remains,” he said without elaborating.
Chea Sim added that it was imperative for the front to “educate and campaign” so that the public “understands our achievements that have been led by the CPP.”
Chea Sim made the call during a ceremony at Phnom Penh’s Chaktomuk Theatre where Muni-cipal Governor Kep Chuktema was appointed to be Front president in the capital.
Also appointed to the Front—which was originally established Dec 2, 1978 as the communist-era United Front for the National Salvation of Kampuchea—were municipal court director Chiv Keng, chief prosecutor Ouk Sa-vouth and municipal police chief Touch Naruth. Municipal Deputy Governor Pa Socheatvong was also appointed to be the Front’s deputy president in the capital.
Chiv Keng and Ouk Savouth could not be reached for comment, though Pa Socheatvong said the two court officials were not legally prohibited from participating in political movements.
“Their participation in the Front will not affect their neutrality,” he added.
Pa Socheatvong said that City Hall had scored its own victory for the Front in its ongoing operations to remove vagrants and beggars and keep the capital beautiful.
Phnom Penh has rounded up the homeless and given them vocational training before sending them back to their provinces, he said.
“But there are still some who affect the city’s public order be-cause there is no participation from the provinces,” he lamented.
On Jan 7, 1979, Vietnamese forces toppled the Khmer Rouge regime and installed the earliest incarnation of the current CPP-led government, whose leadership emerged from the earlier Salvation Front’s Dec 2 congress in 1978, which acted as the umbrella movement for the uprising against Pol Pot.
Chea Sim, CPP Honorary Presi-dent Heng Samrin and Prime Min-ister Hun Sen were members of the original Front’s 14-member central committee.
Prince Sisowath Thomico, president of the royalist Jatiniyum Front Party, said the CPP was endeavoring to re-write Cambodian history from its own point of view.
Koul Panha, director of the Com-mittee for Free and Fair Elections, said the participation of court officials in the Front was further damaging to the image of the Cambo-dian judiciary. The ruling party is making the Front synonymous with the government and wrongly using state property to promote the Front’s objectives, he said.
The CPP should remember that it is no longer the 1980s, Koul Pan-ha added.
“The CPP could do this during the State of Kampuchea, but not now,” he said, adding that a return to socialism would require constitutional amendments.