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.