Royal Biographer: Ranariddh’s Claims False

Retired King Norodom Siha­nouk’s official biographer Julio Jeldres attacked Prince Noro­dom Ranariddh for reportedly accusing him of starting a rumor that the prince would replace his half-­brother King Norodom Sihamoni.

“Despite having almost 200 …advisers and experts in his Cab-inet, [P]rince Ranariddh cannot get his facts right,” Jeldres wrote in a letter Wednesday ad­dressed to the French-language Cam­bodge Soir newspaper and forwarded by e-mail to The Cam­bodia Daily.

“It is not the first time that Prince Ranariddh gets his facts utterly wrong regarding my actions and activities,” he wrote.

Late last month, Prince Rana­riddh, head of the National As­sembly and Funcinpec president, denied a rumor that he had plans to take over the throne. According to an Oct 27 report by Cambodge Soir, the prince charged that such rumors were disseminated by Jeldres.

In his letter, Jeldres went on to say that talk of a plot to unseat King Sihamoni arose from a letter to Norodom Sihanouk by his pen pal Ruom Ritt, which suggested that Prince Ranariddh would attempt to ascend the throne after Norodom Sihanouk’s death.

While some have questioned whether the elder king’s enigmatic pen pal is Norodom Sihanouk himself, such allegations have angered the retired king.

“I am not Ruom Ritt. I have never met him,” Jeldres also wrote. He added: “Prince Rana­riddh risks having no friends at all if he continues to insult and make unfounded allegations against people, like me, [who] have supported him.”

Jeldres wrote that when he asked for an explanation, Prince Ranariddh replied, “I cannot take legal action against Ruom Ritt because he is in France.” The biographer called this “yet another nonsensical and irresponsible re­mark.” Attempts to reach Jel­dres were unsuccessful.

(Ad­ditional reporting by Lor Chandara)

 

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