Retired King Norodom Sihanouk made several short but controversial postings about the border issues on his Web site Thursday.
In handwritten notes accompanying recent news articles, Norodom Sihanouk denounced the 1985 border treaty between Cambodia and Vietnam as “illegal” and compared Funcinpec lawmaker Princess Norodom Vacheara to legendary French martyr Joan of Arc.
The postings followed a Tuesday announcement by the Ministry of Information that Prime Minister Hun Sen and Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Kai on Monday signed an additional agreement to the 1985 border treaty.
Norodom Sihanouk described the 1985 treaty as “absolutely illegal and contrary to the Paris Accords about Cambodia” in the margins of a Wednesday news article.
“In fact, it’s illegal,” he wrote in response to a paragraph in a second Wednesday article quoting a Ministry of Information-released statement on how Monday’s agreement would establish a basic legal framework for a peaceful and friendly border.
On two separate articles he called Princess Vacheara “Jean d’Arc.”
Princess Vacheara has in recent weeks criticized the secrecy surrounding the treaty and said that it would be illegal if it were implemented without King Norodom Sihamoni’s signature.
But she also lauded Hun Sen for attempting to solve the border issue.
Var Kimhong, head of the government’s border committee, declined comment on the retired King’s Web site postings, though at a news conference Wednesday he vigorously defended the legality of the 1985 treaty and Monday’s agreement.
Hun Sen at the news conference blamed the loss of Koh Trol on the Brevie line, which he said the retired King endorsed in the 1960s.
“Now I follow the King, right?” the premier asked rhetorically. “His Majesty wants to claim the Brevie line, I accept the Brevie line.”
“I do nothing different,” he said, responding to criticism from border activists. “They meant to implicate the King Father over the loss of Koh Trol, but they did not dare curse the retired King, so they cursed me,” Hun Sen added.