Princess: Prime Minister Belittled Throne

Funcinpec Parliamentarian Princess Norodom Vacheara said on Friday she was considering suing Prime Minister Hun Sen who she claimed threatened and belittled her and the Cam­bodian monarchy during a Council of Ministers meeting on Friday.

Princess Vacheara—the half sister of King Norodom Sihanouk and sister of Prince Norodom Sirivudh—said she was informed that Hun Sen threatened to send her to Prey Sar prison and also stated he would no longer respect her title as a princess.

According to the princess, Hun Sen told the weekly meeting of the government cabinet that he would only address her by the title “neang”—the Khmer term for a common lady—or at best, “luk chum teav,” the more polite term for an important lady.

Hun Sen also suggested that she be put in Prey Sar prison with a “herd” of other people, the princess added.

“I have hard evidence that confirms Hun Sen used very foolish language to abase me and the throne. If he abases me like this, how does he respect the monarchy?” she asked. “This is the barbarous language of a dictatorship. What Hun Sen said, looks down on the King.”

Princess Vachera said she will hold a press conference at the National Assembly this morning and added: “I am considering whether on not I will sue him…. I don’t have police and military to defend me, but I have the law.”

Hun Sen’s alleged verbal attack follows Princess Vachera’s visit to Prey Sar prison last week to meet radio station owner Mam Son­ando, who was jailed for allegedly inciting the Jan 29 anti-Thai riots.

She had also demanded Hun Sen or another senior government official address the National As­sembly to explain the security failings on the night of the riots.

A minister who attended the cabinet meeting confirmed that Hun Sen made the stinging at­tack against the princess, then afterward ordered all those present to keep silent.

According to the minister—who requested anonymity—Hun Sen directed his remarks about the princess to Funcinpec’s Pub­lic Works Minister Khy Taing Lim, and instructed him to pass them on to Funcinpec leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

Prum Nhean Vicheth, a CPP government spokesman who also attended the meeting, said on Friday that he didn’t hear such things.

“I didn’t hear that because I left the meeting earlier,” he said.

Penn Thol, spokesman for the weekly cabinet meetings, could not be reached for comment.

The princess said she had not yet informed the King of the prime minister’s alleged remarks.


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