As Cambodians began the first of three days of New Year celebrations, the country’s political leaders took the occasion to spread well-wishes, and messages, of their own.
“May the goddess named Mundia Devy of the New Year protect all Cambodian people, making them goodhearted and living with honor and mutual understanding,” Chea Sim, the president of the Cambodian People’s Party and the Senate, wrote in a holiday missive.
In a public message, Prime Minister Hun Sen promised his government would “make further efforts to strengthen peace and stability and push forward social and economical development.”
The government had done well in preserving peace and territorial integrity over the past year, Hun Sen said, alluding to the ongoing military standoff at the border near Preah Vihear temple and the weathering of the global economic crisis.
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy, meanwhile, said in his own New Year message that “the agricultural system in Cambodia is weak,” a reference to predictions by astrologers that Cambodia could face hot weather and damage from insects in the Year of the Tiger.
Kem Sokha, president of the opposition-aligned Human Rights Party, said in the past year Cambodia had faced political problems, attacks on parliamentarians, drug use and human trafficking.
In the upcoming year, he said, his party will work “to ensure democracy, application of the rule of law and respect for human rights.”