Retired King Calls Funcinpec a ‘Miniscule’ Party

Retired King Norodom Siha­nouk described Funcinpec as a “min­iscule” party staffed with former Lon Nol supporters in a message posted on his Web site on Tuesday.

“The sad reality is that FUNCINPEC is a (miniscule) party of former Khmer Republican-Lon-noli­ans. Bravo??” Norodom Sihanouk wrote of the party he founded in 1981, but from which he has since distanced himself.

The retired King was responding to comments made late last month by Funcin­pec lawmaker Khieu San, who, after being admonish­ed in the National Assembly for call­ing Taiwan a country, said he had been sent to Taiwan in 1973 by the Lon Nol regime for a year of mil­i­tary training.

Lon Nol overthrew then-Prince Siha­nouk in a coup in 1970.

“Thus he has refused to call TAIWAN the ‘island province belonging to the PR of China’ but instead calls it the ‘country,’ that is, the ‘country called Taiwan,’!” Norodom Siha­nouk, who has close ties to China, wrote of Khieu San’s time in Taiwan.

Contacted by telephone, Khieu San said he regretted his choice of words.

“I apologize,” he said. “It’s not a country, it’s an island. I agree.”

He added that despite his previous involvement in the Lon Nol re­gime, he is devoted to Norodom Si­ha­nouk.

“Funcinpec is founded by His Majesty the King, Norodom Siha­nouk. I love him most of all,” Khieu San said.

Funcinpec lawmaker Monh Sa­phan said he has noticed that Fun­cinpec officials who used to serve un­der Lon Nol have gone on to com­­ply with the royalist party’s policies.

“They joined the royalist party because they like the royalist part­y,” he said.

Funcinpec Minister of Rural De­velopment Lu Laysreng, who was elected to the National Assembly under Lon Nol, said people had no choice but to serve the regime, as Lon Nol was the man in charge.

“At that time it was the Lon Nol regime, so people under Lon Nol were Lon-Nolians,” he said.


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