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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prime Minister bashes Royalist critics on his birthday

Prime Minister bashes Royalist critics on his birthday

In a speech given March 28 at his birthplace in Srok Steung Trang, Kampong Cham province,

Prime Minister Hun Sen warned the King Father Norodom Sihanouk's pen pal Ruom Ritt

that if he continues criticizing the government, he would order Bayon TV to air footage

of executions that took place during Sihanouk's Sangkum Reastyr Niyum regime prior

to 1970. King Father Sihanouk has since decided that he would not return to Cambodia

but will remain, for the time being, in China or North Korea.

Hun Sen also sent warnings to Royal Biographer Julio Jeldres and Prince Sisowath

Thomico. According to a public statement released April 5 by Jeldres, King Father

Sihanouk is now in "voluntary exile". Jeldres, who is currently in Australia,

also said he fears for the security of his staff at the Khmer Institute of Democracy,

that KID's phone lines were temporarily cut and that Sihanouk's website has been

suspended.

King Father Sihanouk, for his part, said on April 5 that he would no longer post

politically-related articles on his website.

An unofficial translation of excerpts of the Prime Minister's speech follow:

"Ruom Ritt never wrote about the fact that Preap In, Sao Ngoy and Mathura were

executed by a firing squad. If Roum Ritt wants to, I have films showing these events.

I can arrange to have them shown on TV. But Ruom Ritt never wrote about this kind

of thing. This is my birthday so I dare talk about it. As a child who was a victim

of the old regime, injured five times, and having lost one eye because of these kinds

of people, it is because of that, that it is like that. Now we have peace, what else

do they want? I will tell you everything now because Ruom Ritt never dares to write

about it. Only Hun Sen dares to talk about this truthfully. In the past, before we

can watch any movie, we had to watch the shooting of Preap In, Sao Ngoy, Chau Bory

and Mathura which was filmed for us to watch, and Ruom Ritt never writes anything

on this issue. Every day Ruom Ritt is writing criticism about the government, if

he does not criticize this one, then he criticizes the other one. Cambodia has only

this kind of people, that's why it's like that. He is old, why doesn't he go to the

pagoda?"

"Ruom Ritt put a curse on these people, but whoever puts a curse on Hun Sen,

he always dies fast. Pol Pot always cursed more than anybody else, now he has vanished.

Now, Ruom Ritt is almost vanished also. If he dares say anymore, Ruom Ritt will also

vanish, just because of talking. Now I regret that he stopped because if he writes

some more, he should write about Preap In who was shot in Trapeang Kraleung. I have

the film, if you want to see it, I will show it to you, if Ruom Ritt dares to continue

criticizing me, I will have the film shown for everyone to see Preap In shot by firing

squad in Trapeang Kraleung. I will have them all shown on Bayon TV station so that

Ruom Ritt will see so he won't forget to write about the judgment of Preap In, and

who ordered his killing by firing squad. Why doesn't Ruom Ritt write about that?

This was one of the events that led to the war in Cambodia, but nobody dares to talk

about it, only Hun Sen dares to talk about it. I have to force myself to talk about

it because I am so fed up. Now it's not coming just from Ruom Ritt, but also from

another Julio Jeldres, a Chilean national, and this one, he is a high ambassador

of the King also, or at least he has a ministerial title, but this one is a Chilean

national, he fled from Czechoslovakia before arriving in Cambodia. Now, there is

also Sisowath Thomico. I said let's show each other our full strength and see what

will happen. I have never seen anybody talking bad about one's own country but never

accept one's own single truth."

"I apologize but I resolved myself to fight, be it Ruom Ritt or Lord Indra,

I will go to heaven to find him to discuss about it even if he is Lord Indra, I will

go ask him, even Lord Brahma lost to Thoamabal, isn't it? I don't fear Ruom Ritt,

I will go ask him. I want to clearly discuss with him why is it so difficult? Now

Ruom Ritt's writings are coming back, if I don't hold them back from now on, they

will come back again. Now, he writes for the foreigners because they don't understand,

but how about Khmer people? Isn't it the fault of Lon Nol who formed the Salvation

Government, but he had opposition from within his own government which gave him such

a hard time, that's why Lon Nol's Coup d'Etat has some merit to it. As for me, I

will not do that, I will only follow the law but I won't allow anybody to disturb

it either, I will follow the constitution and according to the constitution."

".....I will tell you one more thing, tell Ruom Ritt to wake up from his writing

coma, but this time he should write about why Preap In, Sao Ngoy, Mathura and Chau

Bory were killed by firing squad? Why they formed an army in Mondolkiri? Why they

took Tea Banh to be killed? Tea Banh's real name was Tea Sangvan but when the army

took him to kill him [translator's note: shooting in Khmer is "banh"],

the firing squad could not kill him so they called him Tea Banh until now. But Tea

Banh was not shot by Pol Pot, he was shot by the Sangkum Reastyr Niyum's army. Now

Ruom Ritt is accusing Hun Sen of being a dictator. This is just like when he talked

only about the good things, but the bad things he never talked about them at all.

Similarly on the scolding, he scolds on the bad things, but he never says anything

about the good things such as I built schools, roads, hospitals, canals, not even

a single word, he only talks about the bad things. Now when Ah Ruom Ritt is gone,

then Ah Julio, Ah Thomico are appearing, so I said, it's almost time, I'm going to

teach these guys a lesson but I just want to announce it in advance; they publish

one day, I fight them back for two days in advance, they don't let me have a peaceful

birthday at all, not only that, I can't even have a New Year either. I am mad from

now already."

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