King Calls Party Leaders to Royal Palace to Tell the Truth From Party Leaders at Royal Palace Meeting

Editor’s note: The following is an ed­ited transcript of Tuesday’s im­promp­tu meeting at the Royal Palace between King Norodom Si­han­ouk, CPP Minister of Cabinet Sok An, Funcinpec Secretary-Gen­er­al Prince Norodom Sirivudh and op­position party leader Sam Rainsy.

The King, upset over a Tuesday re­­port in The Cambodia Daily, asked Prince Sirivudh and Sam Rainsy to confirm that their parties had no objections to a communi­que—handwritten last week by the King at a Nov 5 meeting at the pal­ace—that outlined a tentative agree­ment between the CPP, Funcin­pec and the Sam Rainsy Party on the formation of a new government.

King Norodom Sihanouk: I, today, would like to welcome Sok An, Sam Rainsy and Prince Sir­i­vudh and press representatives of the three parties. I, today and here, would like to identify that my objective is not to lead my grandchildren to solve the problems of appointing a new government….

Please let TVK broadcast completely to the nation and people, in­cluding soldiers, police and civil servants. So I have decided so that not any words should be miss­­­ing because at the talk of Prasat Ser­ey Monkul on Nov 5 2003, the broadcast failed to do so completely.

Some people after the talks came out and used unreasonable words. It’s not angry, but it is unreasonable….

Now please let’s talk about The Cambodia Daily issue on Tues­day, Nov 11, 2003. The Cambodia Daily wrote that people at the Serey Monkul talks on Nov 5 were forced into the coalition—it is not a sport—and were unfairly pressured to join with the CPP.

Funcinpec and the Sam Rainsy Par­ty joined with the CPP to appoint the tripartite government—I myself failed to force [that point] at all. But I have evidence that His Excellency Sam Rainsy, president of the Sam Rainsy Party, proposed this.

Many newspapers published again and again that HE Sam Rainsy suggested the tripartite government. His Excellency Hun Sen is not hap­py with the tripartite government. He said so again and again….

So please Funcinpec representative, Prince Norodom Sirivudh, and Sam Rainsy, please speak out about these two points, and who is at fault? I want to ask the second point, Is any word or line of my handwritten article…different from what Sam Rainsy and Prince Norodom Ranariddh said?…

Please bring the article to point it out to me, which point is it? Which point did I write badly to inform the compatriots?… If there are any issues to talk with me about, please speak freely.

Prince Norodom Sirivudh, Funcinpec secretary-general: Your Majesty did not say anything different from the truth. Your communique is very clear.

I would like to acknowledge that [The Cambodia Daily] is different from the truth. Those points that Your Majesty wrote went along with the fact and the result of the meeting in the spirit of Nov 5.

I feel sorry about the foreign newspapers, bringing untrue in­for­mation to publication. Again, as Funcinpec’s leaders, I and Samdech Krom Preah [Ran­a­riddh] officially agreed, and nev­er said the notice was different from the truth.

I would like to inform the compatriots that it is very true. So the article of The Cambodia Daily newspaper did not reflect the truth and does not offer justice to the King.

 

King Sihanouk: Thank you very much for offering justice to the King. Please, HE Sam Rainsy, president of the Sam Rainsy Party, kindly speak about both points.

Sam Rainsy, opposition leader: Your Esteemed Majesty, I, as president of the Sam Rainsy Pa­rty, would like to emphasize that the Sam Rainsy Party’s stance is the same as Funcin­pec’s.

It is the stance of the Alliance of De­m­ocrats, and I would like to sug­­gest, definitely, to have a tripartite government, and, meanwhile, also propose a new prime min­ister.

So the King did not force the for­mation of the tripartite government. It is the stance of the Al­liance of Democrats that proposed the tripartite government with a new prime minister. This is the first point.

The second point is that what Your Majesty wrote in the letter is really true to the facts…. What the foreign newspaper published does not go along with the truth. It distorted and twisted the truth right away. Thank you.

King Sihanouk: Thank you to HE Sam Rainsy for offering justice to Samdech Euv.

Now, regarding Samdech Hun Sen being prime minister, in my hand­written communique for signing, I failed to write forcing you to accept Samdech Hun Sen as prime minister.

I wrote that Samdech Krom Preah [Ranariddh] and HE Sam Rainsy, both parties, according to Sam­dech Krom Preah [Rana­riddh] on Nov 5, said that both parties will not speak, again and again, about the name of the person for prime minister.

It does not mean [Prince Ran­a­riddh] accepts Samdech Hun Sen as prime minister. He just lets the CPP submit a suggestion for any person to be its prime minister candidate. [Prince Ranariddh] said so. He said in the room with many people. They heard this….

Please let us see it clearly. For ex­ample, both parties do not accept Samdech Hun Sen. When Samdech Hun Sen goes in, they won’t vote for Samdech Hun Sen. That’s it. It is not me to force them to accept Samdech Hun Sen….

I respect the National As­sem­bly. The National Assembly agrees or not, it’s up to the National Assembly. Please don’t be confused. So that’s why, please, [journalists and party note-takers], write down all points to avoid doing as The Cambodia Daily did, depicting King Sihanouk as a clown at its own discretion….

It is not reasonable. I have reached 82 years. My children and grandchildren offer me justice. They congratulate and welcome me when I appear. Why do they speak to the newspaper and let the so-called newspaper persecute me and the nation and break our nation?…

On the day Hun Sen goes in, if they want to deny Samdech Hun Sen as prime minister, don’t vote for Samdech Hun Sen. That’s it. But if he knows how to get two- thirds, he will win. It’s the constitutional law….

I would like to point out that The Cambodia Daily makes people and the nation confused. Please make sure about this case. Now I finish. I do not have anything more.

 

Sok An, CPP minister of Cabinet: Your Esteemed Majesty, [Prince Sirivudh], ladies and gentlemen…. I would like to comment regarding the two points about Your Majesty’s handwritten communique on the meeting of Nov 5….

Many readers appreciate the writing that reflected the truth, especially CPP leaders appreciated Your Majesty’s opinions written at the meeting….

I would like also to notice another point regarding The Cambodia Daily. It is not one time, it is many times that it wrote beyond the truth and different from the truth….

This is a good opportunity for Your Majesty to call attention to the writings related to public opinion.

King Sihanouk: Thank you to Your Excellency representing the CPP that offers justice to the King. Thanks to my three grandchildren who offered justice to the King. Thank you.

(Translation by Nhem Chea Bunly)

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