Wednesday, 24 Jul 2019
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Vietnam delivers diplomatic note to oppose Singapore PM Lee's Cambodia remarks

Updated at Friday, 07 Jun 2019, 11:19
The Hanoitimes - Vietnam officially protests remarks saying Hanoi invaded Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has sent a diplomatic note to the Embassy of Singapore in Hanoi to protest the Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s statement in which he said Vietnam “invaded” and “occupied” Cambodia after toppling down the Khmer Rouge regime. 
 
Vietnamese Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang. Photo: MOFA
“The ministry has worked with Singaporean agencies by both official and unofficial channels over the issue,” the MOFA’s Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press meeting on June 6. 

“We believe that Singapore understands our message,” Hang added.

Earlier on June 4, the spokeswoman said in a statement that Vietnam regretted that some contents in the Lee's eulogy to decreased Thai former prime minister Prem did not objectively reflect the historical truth, causing negative impacts on public opinions.

“As an active and responsible member of ASEAN, Vietnam has and will continue working with other members to build a strong ASEAN community, [based on] unity and solidarity, and playing a central role in the region,” she added. 

Vietnam raised voice following Lee Hsien Loong’s remarks in the Shangri-La Dialogue on May 31 and on Facebook later. 

Cambodia immediately opposed the remarks with some statement by Defense Minister General Tea Banh and lawmaker of the Cambodia People’s Party Hun Many on June 3. 

Both Cambodian senior officials said that the Vietnamese volunteer troops came to liberate their people in the context that the whole world was against them. 

They said the support has been “enormously meaningful” for Cambodian people. 

The Cambodian officials demanded the Singaporean PM correct his words. 

 
Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong
Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong. Photo: Nikkei
On June 7, the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially protested Lee’s remarks, considering Lee’s statement reflects Singapore’s position then in support of the genocidal regime and the wish for its return to Cambodia.

"Singapore was the host of the tripartite meeting that led to the formation of the coalition government of the Democratic Kampuchea, which had prolonged the war and the suffering of Cambodian people for another 10 years. It is an act against the survival of the Cambodian people,” Freshnewsasia quoted the ministry as saying.

“The statement is also an insult to the sacrifice of the Vietnamese military volunteers who helped to liberate Cambodia from the genocidal regime,” the ministry noted. 

As of June 6, neither PM Lee nor Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Ministry reacted to the backlash from the Cambodian and Vietnamese governments.
Linh Pham
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