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PM Says Trust Was Foundation for Win-Win Policy

PHNOM PENH: Cambodian government officials gathered today to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of former Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Win-Win policy, which effectively ended the Khmer Rouge by allowing its members to join the government without major consequence.

Prime Minister Hun Manet said that the Win-Win Policy was born of trust, making Cambodia peaceful and primed for development. He said it showed the Khmer Rouge leaders’ trust in the former PM to deliver on his promises.

Speaking at a ceremony to commemorate the policy and the subsequent Victory Monument completed in 2018, Prime Minister Hun Manet said that other countries have failed to implement such policies due to a base level of mistrust.

"It is impossible to end a war without trust," he said. “Without trust, no matter how good the principles are, it is impossible.”

Based on his DIFID (Divide, Isolate, Finish, Integrate and Develop) policy employed after the Khmer Rouge was overthrown in 1979, Prime Minister Hun Sen launched the Win-Win Policy in early 1996 to completely eradicate the Khmer Rouge. The policy promised three conditions for defectors of the Khmer Rouge: guarantee for life and body, guarantee for career and occupation, and guarantee of ownership of both movable and immovable property. Defectors were welcomed to peacefully join the government and reintegrate into society, which further divided and weakened the Khmer Rouge.

"This is the key to win-win politics, which gives us the peace and development that we have today, which we must continue to implement," said PM Hun Manet.

The government is celebrating December 29, 2023, as the 25th anniversary of "Political Victory Day", which it says signifies the complete liberation of Cambodia from its civil war, leading to abundant peace in Cambodia.

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