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King Sihanouk says health "fragile"

King Sihanouk says health "fragile"

His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk says he is suffering from fatigue and that his

schedule is too busy, according to a statement in the most recent issue of the Bulletin

Mensuel de Documentation (BMD), published by the Royal Palace Secretariat.

In the latest BMD, released Mar 1, the King notes in a statement dated Feb 18 that

the revue of English and French-language press articles is incomplete "because

my health is becoming more and more fragile; often times I feel tired; moreover,

certain days, my use of time (in Phnom Penh) is too burdened. Thus, I have neither

the physical or intellectual force nor enough 'free' time to read all the press articles

on Cambodia and to annotate them."

The palace BMD regularly contains a selection of press clippings on Cambodia with

King Sihanouk's personal notes written in the margins, which many palace watchers

use as a way of guaging the Monarch's thinking on issues of the day.

The latest BMD has only a few notations by the King. In response to one article entitled

"Government plans tough law to beat illegal logging" the King wrote "(We)

will have finished assassinating our last forests in five years or later. The beautiful

speeches, the beautiful plans and 'forest codes' only serve to mask the will to ruin

the country and the Little People."

The same issue of the BMD includes a letter from one of the King's most devoted correspondents.

Writing from the Pyrenees, Ruom Ritt, noting the King's "general physical weakness",

requests that he be able to use the BMD to implore "elite" compatriots

and foreign visiters to take pity on the King and not to ask for audiences unless

it is "a question of life or death for Cambodia".

A summary of the King's activities indicates that between Feb 3 and Feb 28 the Monarch

had seven medical examinations which included injections for unspecified ailments.

The King's schedule also lists 27 audiences with a variety of Cambodian and foreign

dignitaries during the same period.

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