King Norodom Sihanouk used his 12th letter complaining about the Prince Norodom Ranariddh biography “Warrior Prince” to refute passages concerning Prince Norodom Chakrapong.
Once considered a strong candidate to succeed the King, Prince Chakrapong led an abortive attempt to set up a breakaway nation in the northeastern provinces following the 1993 elections. Eventually brought back into the royal fold, he now owns Royal Phnom Penh Airways.
The King disagrees with the following characterization in the book: “Chakrapong was grievously hurt, even heartbroken, by the spectacle of his beloved father colluding with Ranariddh to keep him out of political life.”
Later in the book, author Harish Mehta suggests the King gave tacit approval to Prince Chakrapong’s plan to form a breakaway nation, and then shot it down in order to assert his own power.
“I never did anything like this that could injure [Chakrapong’s] personal, political and professional interests,” the King wrote. “I love all my children. I am not an ‘abnormal father.’ I have always wanted the success of my children, without distinction.
“As for the ‘secession’…it is very mean to suspect me of approving it. In all my life, I have never betrayed my country and its people. In this grave ‘secession’ affair, I made known to those responsible that it was absolutely necessary for them to put an end to it without delay and that they would obtain the pardon of our state. The ‘secessionists’ gave their ‘autonomous zone’ the name of ‘Samdech Euv’ because they naturally had the need of the people’s support and they knew the people loved me.”