Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prince pleads his innocence

Prince pleads his innocence

A lleged coup plotter Prince Chakrapong made his first public comments from exile

during an interview with Nate Thayer in Kuala Lumpur on July 9.

Prince Norodom Chakrapong went into exile in Malaysia on July 3

after troops surrounded a Phnom Penh hotel he was hiding in. He was accused of

treason and being linked to a rebel force of up to 300 troops. They were

persuaded to peacefully return to barracks before reaching the

capital.

On his alleged role in the coup.

You know as a

professional, it makes no sense. They say I had 200 people. Compared with more

than 100,000. I am courageous but I am not stupid. Three hundred to compare with

100,000. What can they do? It is ridiculous to do that. In guerrilla warfare,

yes. You know, in the jungle we can do that but in the town, how can we do that?

Secondly, those responsible for the coup must stay with their troops, you know,

at least to protect him, in case it is not successful. At least they know where

to escape, to prepare the retreat, the withdrawal. Not to allow myself to be

surrounded like that.......

If I knew anything, I would have gone into

the jungle already or in the province. When I go into battle I tell no one the

time, the day I go. Nobody knows what I am going to do, even my bodyguards don't

know and nobody can find me. That is the reason I can survive ten years in the

jungle. And all of us - General Sin Song has experience during 70-75. He was the

Minister of Security more than 14 years. I have my military experience of more

than 30 years and more than 10 years in jungle warfare. We are not young people

who have just become Generals. We are professionals. How can we do

that?

The government elected by Untac is collapsing, the regime is

collapsing. But they must find someone as a, you know, as a wall to protect

them. What they did finally is they found the people, Chakrapong and Sin

Song........I say to you, for myself I think we don't need to have a coup.

Because everybody expects the government is going to fall by itself. Why to make

the coup illegally?......Everybody expects that this government must be changed.

If this government must be changed, why do you need the coup, why? It is

illogical to do that and it is illogical to have 200 or 300 men to make a

coup.

You say that we, Sin Song and so on, are behind it. But how can you

be assured that we are behind the coup. We have no voice to explain our point of

view. Sin Song so called confessed, but who has come to ask him what he is

really saying? Because what you know is only by the government , not by the

people themselves who are responsible. If you have a democracy, you know,

looking at even your country, the mafia even has a right to answer in public.

Only the government says he confessed. What is the proof? They can falsify, they

can change anything, they can make it up. Whoever has the power can make it

up.

On the state of the government.

I have been very

disappointed with what was organized by the United Nations, what has happened

here. But never mind, the past is the past. I believe in the constitution, but

what is now happening with democracy in Cambodia? Nothing is new. Nothing. Has

Cambodia become as a dictatorship, but under another way, another form? It is

more dangerous. Before I am fighting against the regime of the communists but

now the so-called liberal democracy because on behalf of the liberal democracy

they have made a dictatorship. It is more dangerous.

A lot of countries,

the super powers and so on, they are looking just only at the face and

artificially. It is very dangerous. But the super powers and the other countries

forget. In any country, in your country, in the democratic country, if something

is wrong, all the people who do something wrong must go, but the institutions

must be there.... this government cannot stay forever, must be replaced. Make

new elections and so on......The fruit is already ripe for the collapse of the

government. Everybody is talking about that. Not just me, but everybody. The

question is just a question of time already. Just only that.

The best way

is new elections. They will give the people the choice to elect the Khmer Rouge

or to come and enter the government. They don't need to make an amendment if the

people choose the Khmer Rouge. We cannot. But if the Khmer Rouge are not

elected, they have no reason to reject this constitution and the new

government.

You know, I say if you don't choose something, no election,

at least we can change the government because new faces, new people, can regain

the confidence of the people. If we allow the same people to do the same policy,

you lose the confidence of the people. I think that for the next election

everybody will lose... a third party will win.

On the Khmer Rouge

The government is very smart. They know the whole world is very

anti-Khmer Rouge. It is Khmer Rouge, Khmer Rouge. But what about the other

problems? Yes, it is important the problem of the Khmer Rouge but it is more

important the problem of democracy. The problem is there.

I ask your

country and everybody: Is democracy more important than the problem of the Khmer

Rouge or not? If you promote democracy the problem of the Khmer Rouge can be

solved by democracy. The government must do a good job for the people. The only

way to fight the Khmer Rouge is not fighting but through promoting a better life

for the people.

So you think that this government has shown that it is

incapable of dealing with the problems and needs to be changed?

Yes.

First there is economic collapse. Secondly, security collapse. Third, justice

for the people. Fourth, for the democracy.

Now, they ban everybody who

dares to criticize the government, to put them in jail or put them somewhere.

But the Constitution says that you can criticize, you have the right to free

speech in the Constitution.

And, you know, everything goes down like

economic, social, and security and a lot of people just dying for nothing.

Like I say to you, again the Khmer Rouge, in Anlong Veng and Pailin,

many people lose their lives and materials but nobody is responsible. Only some

commanders have changed. But who gave them the order to go attack? Who are

responsible for ordering them to go to attack Anlong Veng and Pailin? Who takes

this position? It is the responsibility of the government. Why to change only

the men who just only execute the order? Nobody is responsible. In this

government everything goes wrong but it is the fault of the others but never

them.

On Hun Sen

Look at Hun Sen. Hun Sen conducts all

the government and the party through the election and he lost. But he stays

there. And this government has had no success. I don't ask the government to go

undemocratically, like in a coup, but they must take responsibility as the

people who are responsible for the country. Like the other leaders of democratic

countries. Like your country, like France, like Japan. I don't ask them to go

undemocratically, to make a coup d'etat, but they have to take responsibility

for their job.

On the CPP after the coup attempt.

I think

the CPP artificially still stays the same, but internally I think it is

destroyed by Hun Sen. The majority in the CPP want to say something but they

have no opportunity to express their thinking democratically. You know, in our

party we have the congress, but Hun Sen is always against the Party congress. I

think this is the beginning of the end of the CPP because Hun Sen destroyed

everything. In the political ring and the military ring.....I don't know if the

CPP can recover...It depends on the reaction of Sar Kheng and Chea

Sim.

In the CPP now, nobody can control anybody because it is so divided,

so divided. I can assure you it is so divided, so divided...the smaller

commanders are worried about their safety and security. They are less controlled

by the people in power. But according to experience, Hun Sen doesn't trust

anybody now. I don't know who depends on who now. Hun Sen may use more and more

the troops of Funcinpec, the cadres of Funcinpec also. Hun Sen arrests the CPP

people to destroy the CPP. In this way, Hun Sen is a champion to destroy his own

party for his own ambition. And what will Funcinpec do now? Funcinpec maybe now

has more or less the possibility to make pressure against Hun Sen because Hun

Sen is more and more isolated from his party. Now the main obstacle is over

Chakrapong, Sin Song and so on. But the next target is Chea Sim and Sar Kheng. I

think that in this way the strategy of the two is there. The two prime ministers

agreed to have to, you know, divide the power.

Hun Sen is looking for

security and military affairs and Funcinpec are looking for economic affairs and

financial affairs.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Kem Sokha talks politics, power and Hun Sen

Kem Sokha, leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, sat down with The Post’s Alex Willemyns and Mech Dara to discuss his supporters’ initial disappointment with this year’s

Phnom Penh eats: Dine amid green gardens at Chol Chet

Located just off National Road 1 about 9km south of central Phnom Penh, Chol Chet — which means 'like' in Khmer — is a great getaway from the bustle of the capital.

NEC officials tally votes during a recount last week in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia’s National Election Committee last week rejected 33 of 61 complaints filed over the conduct of June 4’s commune election, according to a s

People search for their names on the voter lists at a polling station in Kampong Cham’s Veal Vong commune earlier this month.

Four years ago, when the opposition snatched Kampong Cham away from the ruling party in 2013 national elections, it hinted at a deeper shift taking