BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA
The S. Korea-Cambodia New Village Movement has organized an Exhibition over three days from 22nd to 24th June at the Chenla Hall Theatre in Phnom Penh. More than 100 images illustrating the results of war between the North and South, including heart-wrenching photos of killings, executions, hunger and destruction were set in contrast to images of development.
The New Village Movement Exhibition was organized by the Korean Language Center in Cambodia and supported by the Phnom Penh Municipality.
Lee Kung Su, Korean Ambassador to Cambodia, said that this was the first such event to be held in Cambodia and it documented achievements of the people of Korea over 60 years.
After the war, South Korea became one of the poorest countries in the world and its situation at that time was worse than that of Cambodia in 1979, according to Lee Kung Su’s opening remarks.
However, due to hard work, a sense of direction and commitment to rehabilitation, all South Korean people woke up and worked hard together to develop their country. As a result, the Republic of Korea became one of the most developed countries in the world, said Lee Kung Su.
“I hope that this event will encourage the Royal Government and the people of Cambodia to learn from the Korean experience,” he said.
Pa Socheatevong, Deputy Governor of Phnom Penh Municipality, spoke of his appreciation for the New Village Movement’s presentation. He said the event reflected the difficulties the South Korean people had to confront in restoring and rebuilding their country, to the point where it became a global economic powerhouse.
Socheatevong continued, “These pictures are illuminating and provide an accurate chronicle of the years of construction, development and progress. Cambodia looks forward to traveling along the same path and learning from the South Korean experience.”
The Deputy Governor recalled that during the Khmer Rouge regime, the intelligentsia - the experts, the teachers the skilled people - they were all killed. After victory day, January 7, 1979, Cambodia faced a shortage of human resources, leading to a slow pace in reconstruction. Socheatevong recalled that his government was forced to adopt the “empty-handed policy”, gathering the remaining people some educational background; they worked on the principle "those who know more teach those who know less and those who know less teach those who have no knowledge."
Over time and under the leadership of Samdech Techo Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, this policy started to bring about development and success, said Socheatevong.
“I believe that Cambodia will become a highly developed and prosperous nation in the region,” he said.
To reach this objective, Socheatevong said his government works hard to develop the country through the various National Strategic Development Plans, the Rectangular Strategy and other Strategic Development Plans and initiatives. ////