Phnom Penh: The Embassy of India in Phnom Penh celebrated the 72nd Republic Day of India on 26th January 2021 by hosting a Reception at the Raffles Hotel, Phnom Penh. On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia H.E. Mr. Prak Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
Besides, H.E. Mr. Var Kim Hong, Senior Minister, Chairman of Cambodian Border Affairs Committee, H.E. Mr. Prum Sokha, Minister of Civil Service, H.E. Mr. Chhit Sokhon, Minister of Cults and Religion, H.E. Mr. Sry Thamrong, Minister attached to Prime Minister, several Secretaries of State from various Ministries, Members of Parliament, members of Diplomatic Corps, the business community, prominent members of the Indian community, local media personnel attended the event.
The event began with the playing of National Anthems of Cambodia and India followed by remarks by Ambassador and H.E. Mr. Prak Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. In her address, Ambassador touched upon various aspects of the relationship between India and Cambodia under various bilateral and multilateral frameworks, including in the areas of defense, development cooperation, capacity building, execution of Quick Impact Projects in Cambodia, restoration and preservation work that is currently ongoing in Ta Prohm Temple in Siem Reap and soon to be started restoration work in Preah Vihear temple, India’s fight against Covid-19 and development of a vaccine, evacuation of Indian nationals from all over the world, including Cambodia, etc.
In his remarks, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn recalled the age-old relationship between the two countries, thanked India for being the first country to recognize Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime, when other developed countries were reluctant to do so and noted that the bond of traditional friendship and close co-operation between the two countries has been remarkably nurtured and strengthened over the years. He also appreciated the humanitarian assistance especially on mine action that India has provided. He congratulated India for developing its own vaccine and hoped that with joint efforts and shared commitment, the existing relations will continue to be further promoted for the mutual benefit of the people of both countries.
At the Embassy premises, more than 150 members of the Indian community, Persons of Indian Origin, and friends of India in Cambodia attended the Flag Hoisting in the morning. Keeping in view the health protocols that are in place in Cambodia due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was organized on a small scale with a limited number of participants.
The ceremony commenced with the unfurling of the National Flag by H. E. Dr. Devyani Khobragade, Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Cambodia. Members of the Indian community recited the national anthem. Following this, Ambassador Khobragade read out the Hon’ble President of India’s Address to the Nation on this occasion. The program included a cultural performance by children of the Indian community followed by light refreshments.
Photo by: Sakura Engly & Supplied