King Decries New Book for Second Time Statement

King Norodom Sihanouk has issued his second statement rebutting the recently released biography of his son, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, and says a third statement is still to come.

“Warrior Prince,” by Bangkok-based author-journalist Harish Mehta, is based mostly on comments made by Prince Ran­ariddh late in 1997 after he had been driven from Cambodia following factional fighting against troops loyal to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

In the latest statement from the Palace, the King says he does not recall telling a story in 1993 to Prince Norodom Sirivudh, then a close aide to Prince Ranariddh, about how a Monte Carlo casino kept a revolver for losing gamblers to use on themselves. In the book, Prince Ranariddh said he took the story as a message that he should drop out of the election race that year.

In the book, Prince Ranariddh noted that his father didn’t let him meet foreign dignitaries such as Charles de Gaulle and Chou En-Lai.

“During my numerous official state visits to France, Indonesia, USSR, China, Czecho­slovakia, I noticed that no head of state (or head of government) introduced his children or grandchildren,” the King wrote. “From a protocol standpoint, I had to imitate these heads of state and heads of government.”

The King also disagreed with Prince Ranariddh’s statement that he was mostly raised by his great-aunt. The King said Prince Ranariddh’s mother stayed with him until 1947, when she married Chap Huot. Prince Ranariddh was born in 1944.

The King denied ever criticizing his son for high speed driving, and says he never said to his son’s future wife: “You have to be very careful with my son Ranariddh because he used to change his girlfriends every holiday.”

In his first statement released Sunday, the King said the Fun­cinpec Party headed by Prince Ranariddh benefited from the use of his name in the 1993 elections, and that it was his efforts that led to Prince Ranariddh’s return to Cambodia in time to run in the 1998 elections.

At the end of his second statement, the King promised a third statement will be released in the near future. Prince Ranariddh could not be reached for comment Wed­nesday.


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