It is most regrettable that Denise Heywood did not do her
homework before interviewing Prince Sihamoni (Post, April 21 - May 4).
have never said that "Prince Sihamoni wanted to be King." My only contribution
to the debate was made in an article written by Bronwyn Curran in the Phnom Penh
Post of December 3 - 16, 1993, in which I stated that "Prince Sihamoni is the
ideal candidate because of his distance from the country's politics and his
absorption in the arts. He is a complete artist only interested in music, thus
he would make a great patron of the arts and ancient Khmer culture and
traditions." At no time did I say in the above-mentioned statement that "Prince
Sihamoni wanted to be King." These comments of mine have since been repeated by
other writers, including my friend Nate Thayer in a recent article published by
the Cambodia Daily and the Far Eastern Economic Reveiw.
remarks were based on my personal research as Official Biographer to His Majesty
the King. During the course of that research I spoke to ordinary citizens,
senior officials in the government and Royal Palace and also to members of the
I have not released my research and do not intend to do so
until His Majesty's biography is completed in due course.
I deeply regret
that by trying to be helpful to the Phnom Penh Post and to contribute in an
informed way to the debate on the role of the Cambodian monarchy, I have left
myself open to accusations that I have "lied" in commenting on this issue. I
strongly reject such accusations.
- Julio A. Jeldres, Honarary
Minister and Official Biographer to His Majesty the King.