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PM: Those Unhappy with Peace Day Need Not Take a Day Off

KOH KONG: Prime Minister Hun Manet defended the new national holiday he established for December 29, saying that those who criticize the new Peace Day do not need to rest with the rest of the nation if that’s how they feel.

On January 1, 2024, the PM officially declared December 29 “Cambodian Peace Day” to commemorate the peace established by his father, former Prime Minister Hun Sen. He says that the holiday is to remember and thank patriotic heroes who fought in both the “diplomatic battlefields” and the actual battlefields.

"Peace Day in Cambodia is for all Cambodians who love peace and hate war," he said in a meeting with more than 10,000 workers in Koh Kong on Monday morning.

It seems not all Cambodians support the new holiday, however, and some have suggested it is purely a celebration of the Hun family. The PM did not outright deny this take, but said that his family was among all Cambodians who hate war. He said there was nothing wrong with designating the day as a holiday and that it should not be the subject of criticism.

"Some people criticize Peace Day, which will be a national holiday, as a holiday is for the Hun family. This Peace Day is for all Cambodians who love peace and hate war, including Hun family,” he said. “It’s not exclusively for the Hun family, but for all Cambodians who love peace and benefit from peace: people all over the country."

He went on to explain that peace was only achieved through his father’s Win-Win policy. He said that December 29 will now be a day to celebrate the policy and the Win-Win monuments throughout Cambodia that commemorate it. He reiterated that those who are not satisfied with the new holiday do not need to take a day off.

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