Sihanouk To Post Media Critiques no Longer

Retired King Norodom Siha­nouk, in a faxed letter dated Thurs­­day and posted to his Web site Sat-urday, said he would no longer publish his handwritten com­men­taries on newspaper articles on the In­ternet.

Norodom Sihanouk also wrote, in a letter addressed to Julio Jel­dres, his official biographer, that the Hindu divinity Indra had re­vealed to an acquaintance that his ab­di­cating in October 2004 had saved the Cambodian monarchy from cer­tain destruction.

“For almost a week now I have stopped writing annotations on newspaper articles and commenting on Cambodia’s problems,” the re­tired King wrote to Jeldres, who fled Cambodia in April after critical com­­ments he made about Prime Minister Hun Sen were made public.

“I believe I have already said all there is to be said about these serious problems and have already ac-complished, with conscientiousness and passion, my duty to my Coun­try, its People [and the Little People in particular] and the Khmer nation,” he wrote.

“At 84, it is time for me to stop in­viting the animosity, hostility and criti­cism of a growing number of high-profile people,” he added.

The retired monarch has in re­cent years used his Web site—and often his jotted annotations to me­dia articles—to voice sometimes controversial opinions on Cam­­bodian issues such as poverty, deforestation and land grabbing.

In recent months, he drew rare direct criticism from Prime Min­ister Hun Sen for comments on Cam­bodia’s border issues.

The retired King ended his letter to Jeldres by telling him that, ac­cording to revelations made by the divinity Indra to a “respectable Sihanoukist Lady,” had he still been reigning King after October 2004, “the Khmer monarchy would have been irrevocably toppled.”

In letters posted to his Web site and dated Wednesday, retired King Norodom Sihanouk wrote that he was powerless to pardon jail­ed opposition parliamentarian Cheam Channy and the men convicted of killing union leader Chea Vichea. “Please forgive me as I am retired already,” he wrote in res­ponse to an Aug 12 letter from Chum Seang Ieng, Cheam Chan­ny’s wife. ­

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