Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lon Nol’s plotting started back in 1959

Lon Nol’s plotting started back in 1959

Lon Nol’s plotting started back in 1959

Dear Editor,

The events of March 18, 1970, actually began in 1959 with an attempted coup by General Dap Chhuon Mchulpich, military commander of the Siem Riep area.

Supported by the US military and its puppets in South Vietnam and Thailand, this plot could have resulted in Cambodia ceasing to exist. The plan was to divide the nation between its neighbours, with the total area under de facto US control.

King Norodom Sihanouk’s film, Shadow Over Angkor, dramatises these events, which are detailed in his book My War With the CIA. A DVD of this film and a book are available in Phnom Penh.

Plots to remove King Sihanouk, due to his neutrality, began in the 50s. Neutrality was “unacceptable” to Cold War warriors like Allen and John Dulles, who constantly pressured Sihanouk to accept American aid and thus domination.

The 1959 coup was thwarted, and General Dap Chhoun arrested. King Sihanouk instructed Lon Nol to bring the general to Phnom Penh for questioning.

Lon Nol’s reaction was to have Dap Chhuon shot so as not to reveal Lon Nol’s involvement with the plot.

It took another 11 years before another coup was successful and Sihanouk was removed.

Perhaps if Lon Nol had been shot with Dap Chhuon, Cambodia may never have endured the horror inflicted on it by US aggression. In 1959 the Khmer Rouge were nothing, Cambodia was at peace, and its people lived in harmony.

In the 1971 Paris Peace Accords, Nixon agreed to pay Vietnam reparations of US$3.25 billion. Of course the US government never paid this money, which would be worth nearly $20 billion if paid today.

If Cambodia was to take action for damages, it could consider a figure of $10 billion to $15 billion as fair compensation for illegal US activities from the 1950s onwards.

The US has the gall to claim the Lon Nol era debt must be repaid.

Perhaps Cambodia can deduct this amount from its damages claim, which should be made soon while the US remains an existing nation.

John Conner
Phnom Penh

Send letters to: [email protected] or PO?Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length. The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh