Prince Disavows Biography Claim

Prince Norodom Ranariddh has disavowed the contents of his biography “Warrior Prince,” in which he is quoted as being critical of King Norodom Sihanouk.

A release from Prince Noro­dom Ranariddh’s cabinet stated: “The book written by Mr Harish Mehta entitled ‘Warrior Prince’ does not at all reflect the terms of the interview nor the contents of HRH Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh’s words. His Royal Highness is very unhappy and disapproves with the content of the book, which is the main reason he renounced to attend the press conference…in Bangkok.”

Most of the quotes in the book came from 18 hours of interviews the prince gave to the Bangkok-based journalist-author Mehta in 1997 soon after the prince fled Cambodia following the factional fighting earlier that year. The author said he gave the prince three years to contest his quotes before the book was published.

The King has released two statements this week in which he disagrees with characterizations attributed to his son in the book.

A third statement released Thursday disputed “deformations in the Truth” contained in the book regarding the state of the country during the 1960s, and contained press clippings from then that show Cambodia in a favorable light.

The prince’s statement concluded: “HRH Samdech Krom Preash always remains respectful, very grateful and loyal to their Majesties the King and Queen, Father and Mother of the whole Nation. All of his activities and actions in the past as well as at present constantly show his sincere loyalty and gratitude towards his August Father, the Great Mo­narch, the Father of the National Independence and the great Leader of the Khmer people.”

Reached in Bangkok Thurs­day, Mehta suggested the book “may turn out to be therapeutic for the family.

“I applaud Prince Ranariddh’s courage in speaking openly about his family. Maybe this is a time for the father to reach out to the son. It may improve the cohesion of the Royal Family to talk this through. This is a human problem.”

 

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