T HE coup plot set tongues wagging in the capital for several days, as events
unfolded. The Post has sounded out the word on the street.
With little evidence of military activity some questioned if it really
Sor Lardin, a student at the Faculty of Archeology,
Fine Arts University.
"I was listening to a Voice of America radio broadcast at 8:30 pm and was
surprised to hear there was a coup. I could hardly believe it because during the
day-time the situation in Phnom Penh was normal. I think it was a real coup. If
the coup was successful Cambodia would have become a communist country again
because the members of the coup are mostly former communists. And Cambodia would
have been plunged into war again. Some of my friends say it was the King's
initiative. But I denied it because Prince Chakrapong does not normally follow
In Viracheath a student at Institute of
"I think the coup was real. The people arranging the coup had conflicts with
their political party because after the elections they didn't have the power
they wanted. It would have been bad for Cambodia if the coup had been successful
because it would have provoked turmoil in the country and would have blocked our
economy both domestically and internationally. I think certain neighboring
countries may have been the prime instigators of the coup, especially those who
encouraged Khmer politicians to wage war with each other over the past two
Doung Sopheap, a policeman in Russeikeo
"Prince Chakrapong and Sin Song set up the autonomous zone when they failed
in the elections which means they are power-thirsty. So far they have had no
positions in the government so I think it was a real coup to get power. It was a
terrible thing which we don't want to hear about anymore. We are now fed up with
the war. I don't think the King was behind the coup because he loves Cambodia
and the people so much. He would not want to put his children, the people, in
trouble. Another coup may happen if the government does not dig up and root out
all the coup leaders. I think there might be foreigners who have gained benefits
for a long time from the Cambodian conflicts arising from coups such as Lon
Yim Deth, a student at the Faculty of
"I think the coup was just a political line pre-prepared
by Khmer politicians. If it was a real coup, they should have done it when the
two Premiers were outside Cambodia for the peace talks with the Khmer Rouge -
like Lon Nol's coup when the King was away. And why was one of the coup leaders
arrested while the other was freed? I'm not surprised or panicked. However, not
many people believe what I think."
Thao Sarathoum, a student at
Phnom Penh University.
"It was just a political trick which we cannot understand. The coup leaders
should have ordered the convoy of APCs to open fire when they were blocked on
the way to Phnom Penh. If the coup were true it really was a most serious
criminal offense so why has the King ordered the release of Prince Chakrapong?
If it was a real coup and the leaders of the coup were released just as easily,
there will be more and more coups in the future. Most of my friends believe
Uy Borasy, Psar Chas market trader.
"Almost all people didn't know about the coup when it happened, and neither
did I. We just read the papers and spread what they said to others. If the
papers said it was a coup we would say it was a coup. If they said it was
terrorism, we would then say it was terrorism. So we don't know whether it was
real. However, it affects the peoples' lives a lot. Before the coup a sack of
husked rice cost 50,000 riel but in the last few days the price has risen to
nearly 70,000 riel. Secondly, it affects the security of the people who have
been living quite peacefully since the elections."
"I felt Prince Chakrapong and Sin Song could not arrange the coup because
they were not popular nor famous. My experience in the past is that Lon Nol had
a lot of support, and in the morning when Lon Nol's coup broke out there were
tanks in all the streets."