In his tenth letter refuting the contents of Harish Mehta’s biography of his son Prince Norodom Ranariddh, King Norodom Sihanouk has written that he has only read up to page 110 of the 220-page book, and still has plenty to complain about.
“Each chapter [of ‘Warrior Prince’] I have read contains so many deformations of the truth, unmerited attacks and accusations against me, malevolence, injustice, contempt and wickedness towards me, it is henceforth very difficult to choose the ‘questions’ to which I must give priority in my responses,” the King wrote. “I have an embarrassment of choices.
“The book does not hesitate to speak many times of treason….To be a traitor is the worst of sins that a man can commit in his life. To treat someone like a ‘traitor’ is the worst insult and humiliation one can inflict.”
He points out a passage that suggests the US was not behind the 1970 coup when Lon Nol took over the government while the King was traveling overseas, and that the US was content to give the new government only financial aid and materials.
“[The book] obscures the aerial raids over Cambodia and the bombardments [day and night] of our country by the US Air Force, and above all the intervention of US ground forces well into the interior of Cambodia, all this under the order of President Richard Nixon,” the King wrote. “And [the book] seems to ignore that at Kent State University, American students died for having dared to protest against the intervention of US ground forces in Cambodia.”
The King also denies an incident recounted in the book concerning an alleged 1993 conversation aboard a plane in which he dismissed the chances of Prince Ranariddh being elected prime minister in national elections later that year. The King said Queen Norodom Monineath could testify he made no detrimental comments on that flight about Prince Ranariddh’s election chances.