Police Post Reward; King Levels Criticism Letters BlastsInvestigation ; Information As King

National police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the identification of suspects involved in the killing of Ta Prohm radio journalist Chuor Chetharith or the shooting of popular singer Touch Srey Nich and the killing of her mother.

In a statement issued Monday, the National Police General Com­missariat appealed to the public to cooperate with authorities and offered anonymity to informers.

Chuor Chetharith, 37, was shot dead outside the pro-Fun­cinpec Ta Prohm radio station on the morning of Oct 18. On Oct 21, Touch Srey Nich, 24, was shot twice in the face and once in the neck. Her mother, Kim Sin­oun, 59, was shot dead in the attack. The severely injured singer is being treated in a Bang­kok hospital.

On Monday King Norodom Siha­nouk, who expressed his outrage at both attacks last week, criticized the police for not conducting thorough murder investigations.

“Each time, on the occasion of the murder of a compatriot, you don’t truly seek to find and arrest the assassins,” the King said in an open letter to the police published on his Web site.

“On the contrary, you have the de­light of deploying your numerous, over-armed troops throughout the city and establish there in­numerable ‘checkpoints,’ sowing fear and fright in the homes of the mass population and the innocent and non-offending citizens,” he said.

King Sihanouk urged the police to put an end to their “game” and “hypocrisy.”

In a separate letter, the King ap­pealed to professional assassins to stop degrading themselves and urged them to seek other ways of making a living.

“I know that our Khmer race is capable of the worst violence….  But our Angkorian ancestors never degraded themselves as far as to assassinate their compatriots who were far from being traitors of the Fatherland,” he said.

“I know in our present Cambo­dia…it is difficult to find a truly profitable ‘job’ in terms of money,” he said. But, he added, “In as much as [you are] Khmers, you must find other causes, honorable causes, to have compassion for your defenseless compatriots and fear to go to hell.”

King Sihanouk also wrote a letter to the “shareholders of assassinations,” warning them not to use violence for political gain.

“[I]f, on the surface, you are always placed very high in the hierarchy of our national ‘elite,’ you must nevertheless…dare to examine your conscience and have shame of losing, in the face of your own conscience, your dignity of Khmer descendants and Angkorians,” he wrote.

“The Khmer electorate have enough intelligence and political ma­turity to not leave themselves to the influence of the acts or utterances of ‘militants.’ As a consequence, the assassinations of political motivation do not really serve your interests. I ask you to renounce them.”


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