Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday inaugurated the new $1.6 million premises of the National Counterterrorism Committee’s secretariat in Phnom Penh, saying the fight against terrorism was necessary for the continuation of Cambodia’s social order.
In a speech delivered to an assembly of naval, air force and army personnel at the military airbase in Phnom Penh, the premier exhorted the armed forces to protect Cambodians and all people from terrorism.
“Do whatever it takes to guarantee that there will be no terrorism,” said the premier, himself a five-star general. “My children are serving the nation. They have to be able to respond to the most difficult challenges in order to be trained.”
Mr Hun Sen’s son, Brigadier General Hun Manet, commands the national counterterrorism unit, comprised of personnel from different military units including the 70th Infantry Brigade.
“This force is to be used for the worst incidents to protect the people, the nation, the top institutions and our foreign friends living in Cambodia,” he said in remarks broadcast on national radio.
“Cambodia’s government considers terrorism as the most cruel crime in human history that provokes social chaos, aiming politically to exploit human life regardless of nationality and gender wherever possible,” he added.
SRP lawmaker Yim Sovann, the opposition party’s spokesman, welcomed the idea, adding that fighting corruption in Cambodia is also critical.
“We have to be ready to fight against terrorism,” he said. “Right now, terrorism in Cambodia is not a problem, but the terrorists can use Cambodia as a place to launder dirty money if corruption still takes place.”