Retired King: ‘I Am Not Conniving With’ Anyone

Retired King Norodom Si­ha­nouk reiterated previous pledges to stay out of Cambodian politics in a handwritten letter dated Friday and posted to his Web site Saturday.

Citing a quote from Information Min­ister Khieu Kanharith that coup plotters were allegedly using “the border issue and the name of the King to overthrow the government by undemocratic means,” Noro­dom Sihanouk claimed that high-ranking officials were trying to im­plicate him in political schemes.

“I have entirely ceased to write, speak and act on the situation in Cambodia,” Norodom Sihanouk wrote. “And I am not politically conniving with any person, party or others,” he added.

He also on Saturday posted an undated letter sent to his Cabinet Director that seems to place distance between the royal family and the controversy surrounding Prince Sisowath Thomico’s abrupt departure from Cambodia following his public statements on the contested island of Koh Tral.

“Please Your Excellency…present to the Queen Mother my most profound homage and deepest admiration for having succeeded as if by miracle in unraveling this princely situation that, without Her intervention, could have caus­ed new smears to the Royal Family and the Monarchy,” the letter, signed by Srey Meanon, states.

The retired King on Saturday also posted a handwritten letter clarifying his position on recent articles by Ruom Ritt posted to his Web site that are intensely critical of US incursions into Cambodian territory during the war in Vietnam.

“We know my position vis-a-vis the expansionism of our great Neigh­bors,” Norodom Sihanouk wrote.

“As for the US today, I express to their Embassy in Phnom Penh as well as to Washington, DC, my profound gratitude for their noble and fair actions to promote pluralist liberal Democracy and Human Rights in the 2nd Kingdom of Cambodia.”

“It’s not true that I continue to be anti-USA,” he added, insisting that Ruom Ritt’s recent postings pertain only to the past.


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