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PM confirms dubious death plan

PM confirms dubious death plan

S ECOND Prime Minister Hun Sen confirmed a newspaper's report about an alleged attempt

to kill him in order to make a new record in Cambodian history, but was still uncertain

if the source of information was reliable.

"The plan was set for 1996 at the latest. It is true, based on the two witnesses,

but whether the speaker [the source of information] was telling the truth, I don't

know," Hun Sen told reporters on Nov 14.

The two witnesses are So Naro and Cheam Phary who, according to Hun Sen, played for

him a tape which recorded a conversation about an assassination attempt.

So Naro, secretary general of the Khmer Journalists Association (KJA), told the Post

that the information was taped in a conversation he had with Funcinpec Secretary

General Prince Norodom Sirivudh at the party headquarters at the end of October.

But, Naro broke the story only last week in an edition of Angkor Thmei (New Angkor)

newspaper, of which he is the publisher. The story quoted Prince Sirivudh as saying

that there would be an attempt to murder Hun Sen to make a change in history. The

story did not identify the alleged plotter.

At press time, Prince Sirivudh was in Siem Reap and could not be contacted for comment.

Hun Sen said that the alleged plotters would launch an ambush on his convoy of vehicles

on the road with simultaneous firing of B-40 rockets, and if this attempt failed,

another effort would be carried out in the Royal Palace during the Khmer New Year

in April.

He said that neither did he have "immortal life," nor was he "a target

for anybody to shoot." He described the desire of the unnamed "politician-extremists"

to change the course of history by killing him as "cowardly, disgraceful and

unforgivable."

Although he would die only once, such an event would not just end with his death,

he warned. "The story will continue and I don't know how long it will be. But,

maybe more Hun Sens will be born," he said, in an apparent reference to his

supporters.

He said that First Premier Prince Norodom Ranariddh and he signed a letter on Nov.

14 instructing the Ministry of Interior to investigate the alleged plot.

Hok Lundy, chief of National Police, said that due to the threat and experience from

the lapse of security that led to the recent killing of Israeli Premier Yitzak Rabin,

security around the country's leaders would be tightened up.

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