Solidarity Front Inaugurates $3-Million Stupa in Kratie Province

To mark the 35th anniversary of its founding, the Solidarity Front for the Development of the Cambodian Motherland on Monday inaugurated an enormous, $3-million stupa in Kratie province’s Snuol district in a ceremony presided over by National Assembly President and Front leader Heng Samrin.

Some 20,000 people attended the official unveiling in Pi Thnou commune of the 41-meter-tall, marble-coated monolith—which sits on a tiered base and is topped with a bronze statue of a young couple carrying a Cambodian flag—according to deputy district governor Men Vanna.

The Solidarity Front for the Development of the Cambodian Motherland's new $3-million stupa is inaugurated in Kratie province's Snuol district yesterday, the 35th anniversary of the Front's founding. (Lim Chea Vutha)
The Solidarity Front for the Development of the Cambodian Motherland’s new $3-million stupa is inaugurated in Kratie province’s Snuol district yesterday, the 35th anniversary of the Front’s founding. (Lim Chea Vutha)

“The structure is a reminder for the next generation to respect the Front,” Mr. Vanna said Monday.

“On the 2nd of December [1978], our ancestors saved the country and the people from the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge,” he said.

The Solidarity Front—then called the United Front for the National Salvation of Kampuchea—was founded in Pi Thnou commune on the border of Vietnam on December 2, 1978. A little more than a month later, on January 7, 1979, Vietnamese forces installed Front members, including Prime Minister Hun Sen and Mr. Samrin, as the post-Khmer Rouge leaders of Cambodia.

“Today is the 35th anniversary of the Front’s rescue of our country…. No one should forget that,” said Boeng Vin, chief of Pi Thnou commune.

On Sunday, the CPP-aligned Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia, which is headed by the prime minister’s youngest son, Hun Many, marked the Front’s anniversary by hosting an extravagant concert at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium.

In a speech at the concert, Mr. Many called on the country’s young men and women to emulate the example set by Solidarity Front members in order to “protect the peace and stability of the country.”

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