King Norodom Sihanouk said he has forgiven Sam Rainsy for a controversial New Year statement and expressed hope the controversy will “not cause trouble for anyone or the nation.”
The comments, included in a letter responding to correspondence from a local NGO, come less then a week after the King joined CPP and Funcinpec leaders to publicly reprimand the opposition leader for “slandering the throne, the monarchy and our national religion.”
“For me, I am not unlenient to Sam Rainsy,” the King wrote to Lao Mong Hay, executive director of the Khmer Institute of Democracy. “I firmly hope that CPP and Funcinpec have no intention to use the story to cause trouble for anyone or the nation.”
The controversy flared up last week when CPP and Funcinpec party leaders issued separate statements denouncing Sam Rainsy Party statements. In his address, Sam Rainsy said Cambodia is ruled by dictatorial leaders, and condemned Funcinpec as “morally decrepit” and as having “no strategy whatsoever.”
The outcry over the letter led to concerns that Rainsy would be stripped of his immunity and charged with treason, which government officials denied.
In his letter to the King, dated Jan 20, Lao Mong Hay asked the King to “use your power and influence to help prevent this controversy which can spoil the peace, happiness, national unification and the good procedures of democracy which all these are your achievements and idea, and also what all the Cambodian people want.” said Cambodians should stop blaming bad events on karma and instead insist on reform in the government. He