General Khieu Sopheak Needs to Get His Facts Straightened Out

General Khieu Sopheak attacked me once after a statement by Prince Sisowath Thomico that was mistakenly attributed to me in the article “K Krom Mark 66 Years Since Cochinchine Pact” (June 5). He did not even bother to apologize for this error in person.

He again attacked me over a telephone interview I did with The Cambodia Daily concerning an article on the royal appointment of Excellencies Sar Kheng and Say Chum as “samdech.”

I merely said that during the Sangkhum Reastr Niyum time, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, as head of state, knighted Samdech Chakrei Tioulong and Samdech Bovor Setha Thipdei Son Sann (when they had already retired) in 1969, while Samdech Chauvea Veang Penn Nouth was knighted while in function as Prime Minister in 1952.

I did not make any other comments. Instead, General Sopheak made his own interpretation of my assessment of the historical facts, which he believed contained some critical connotation. He may have ignored the fact that during the interview, I also took the liberty to congratulate the two men.

On the question of betrayal, I dare say that my father served only one regime: the Kingdom of Cambodia—unlike some others who served under the foreign occupation regime. Samdech Son Sann declared in front of Prince Sihanouk at a 1987 press conference in Tokyo that he was a democrat, not a republican. I wish General Sopheak had enough courage to recognize the historical facts.

Son Soubert, president, Human Rights Party

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