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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Premier refutes three conditions Dear Sir,

Premier refutes three conditions Dear Sir,

I n response to Ms Sue Downie's article, "Beijing: Faxes and Flights", which appeared in the Sept 9-22 edition of the Phnom Penh Post, and in particular with reference to the three conditions under which my August father would supposedly agree to "retake political power", please allow me as the person directly concerned in this matter to set the record straight.

Firstly, it is profoundly regrettable that Ms Sue Downie has ascribed to me certain words on the simple basis of affirmations stemming from Funcinpec officials, all the more so as she met with me directly after my discussions with these very officials and in the presence of two foreign diplomats.

Secondly, I made it clear during that meeting that my August father had asked me to inform those who wish to see him retake power that he was not interested in doing so. My father moreover congratulated me for working in difficult conditions, namely in the context of:

  • A national press which day in and day out criticizes and insults the Royal Government and its members;
  • An international press which is terribly critical of this same Government;
  • Human Rights organizations which have taken it upon themselves to become involved in Government affairs;
  • And, partisan politics which serve to undermine rather than to promote national unity.

Thirdly, the article claims that HE Mr Sam Rainsy, the Minister of Finance, was prevented by the two Prime Ministers from going to Beijing to meet His Majesty the King. The fact is that the meeting in Beijing which HE Mr Sam Rainsy was scheduled to attend was to focus on "development" issues. For this reason, the two Prime Ministers felt is was appropriate to send the Secretary-General of the CDC instead. In no way was it their intention to prevent HE Mr Sam Rainsy from meeting with His Majesty the King.

It is also worth mentioning that His Majesty the King has clearly expressed a desire not to meet with anybody but he three top officials in the Royal Government. His Majesty has made this clear on several occasions, including when he informed Mrs Saumura Tioulong, the wife of HE Mr Sam Rainsy, that he would not be able to meet with her.

I hope this will lay to rest any unfortunate rumors stemming from tendentious allegations.

- Norodom Ranariddh, First Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia

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