Retired King Blasts Border Deal With Vietnam Supplement

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.


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