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King Sihanouk's biographer responds to attack

King Sihanouk's biographer responds to attack

The following is a statement issued November 25, 1999 by His Majesty the King's biographer,

Julio Jeldres in response to attacks against him in the Cambodian media and comments

from Prime Minister Hun Sen following a letter he wrote to the King regarding allegations

a friend of his was involved in the kidnapping of Sam Rainsy Party National Assembly

member Lon Phon.

JULIO A. JELDRES
Ambassador

(Royal Kret of 11 June 1991)

Official Biographer to His Majesty the King

(Royal Kret of 25 September 1993)

Honorary Member of HM's Cabinet with rank of Minister

(Royal Kret of 25 September 1993)

Officer of the Royal Order of Cambodia

(Royal Kret of 22 April 1985)

Commander of the Royal Order of Sahametrei

(Royal Kret of 13 June 1997)

The Cambodian-language "Reasmei Kampuchea" newspaper published in its issue

of 21 November 1999 a virulent and lengthy attack on me, because I recently requested

His Majesty the King's assistance to ensure that no violence be used when the Cambodian

Police arrested Mr. Huoth Ravouth, a Cambodian friend of mine, who is allegedly the

kidnapper of a member of the Cambodian National Assembly, Mr Lon Phon.

Under the present politically biased judicial system in place in Cambodia, it is

not possible for me to seek redress, through legal action, thus the necessity of

this Statement.

1) In my letter to His Majesty the King, dated 16 November 1999, I did neither

request a "Royal Amnesty" nor "special treatment" for my friend

Huoth Ravouth, who is accused of the kidnapping of the Sam Rainsy Party Member of

the National Assembly, Mr Lon Phon. I simply asked that the police do not use violence

when arresting him and expressed the hope that proper justice would take its course.
2) I felt compelled to do so, because the Cambodian Police are known to have

shot alleged criminals before they are brought to Court. In quite a number of cases,

it has been well documented that the so-called "criminals" were not involved

in the crimes they were alleged to have committed but paid with their lives for this

"mistaken identification" made by the Cambodian Police.

3) That my personal letter to His Majesty the King was leaked to "Reasmei

Kampuchea" shows a tremendous lack of respect for His Majesty the King and a

desire to cause harm to His Majesty's standing with the people of Cambodia.

There are elements in Cambodia who are profoundly disturbed by the huge affection,

popularity and love His Majesty receives from the majority of ordinary Cambodians.

4) It has become clear to me for a number of years that the same elements

have worked hard to suppress the long-standing friendship, respect and affection

existing between His Majesty the King and myself by alleging that I have constantly

interfered in Cambodia's internal affairs, every time I have expressed concern over

human rights issues or issues that affect the daily lives of the people of Cambodia.

This was made abundantly clear, when Cambodian Television was initially instructed

not to show footage of the launching of my book on the Royal Palace of Phnom Penh,

presided by Her Majesty

the Queen on 2nd November 1999.

6) In today's Cambodia there are many foreigners who use the country for

illegal activities such as drug trafficking, money laundering, child trafficking

and prostitution. They are never accused of "interfering in the internal affairs

of Cambodia". In fact, they are protected by the same anti-democratic elements

that have organized this new attack against me. In today's Cambodia greed has replaced

humanity.

7) In the above mentioned article of "Rasmei Kampuchea" mention

is made to allegations, without any proof, over many years by Ben Kiernan an Australian

supporter and propagandist for the Khmers Rouges, who has written "ad nauseam"

that I was myself a supporter of the Khmers Rouges because His Majesty the King kindly

gave me the title of "Honorary Member of FUNK" back in 1971.

The lack of intellectual honesty of Ben Kiernan has been well documented and it is

not necessary for me to repeat the arguments made by other Cambodian scholars on

this matter.

As far as FUNK is concerned, the allegation is constantly made by Kiernan and other

so-called Cambodian scholars that FUNK (or National United Front of Kampuchea) was

a front used by the Khmers Rouges. This is a distortion of Cambodia's contemporary

history.

FUNK was proclaimed on 23 March 1970 by HRH Prince Norodom Sihanouk, legal Head of

State of Cambodia, with the purpose of gathering all Cambodian democrats to fight

against Lon Nol's regime and its American supporters.

The FUNK Politburo had originally 11 members of which 6 were royalist supporters

(Samdech Penn Nouth, Statesman and former Cambodian PM; Chau Seng, former Director

of Cabinet

of the Head of State; Ambassador Chea San, former Ambassador to Moscow; Ambassador

Sarin Chhak, former Ambassador to Egypt, Ambassador Huot Sambath, former Ambassador

to the UN, General Duong Sam Ol, Royal Cambodian Air Force; and the reminder 5 were

left leaning or members of the Khmer Rouge movement (Khieu Samphan, Hu Nim, Hou Yuon,

Chan Youran and Thiounn Mumm).

It should be pointed out that with the exception of Samdech Penn Nouth, who died

of natural causes in France and General Duong Sam Ol, who still lives in France,

all the royalists and even some of the Khmer Rouge members in the original Politburo

of FUNK were executed, often in atrocious circumstances, by the Pol Pot regime, in

most cases at the notorious Bang Trabek camp.

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