Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prince Sihanouk never turned a blind eye



Prince Sihanouk never turned a blind eye

Prince Sihanouk never turned a blind eye

100325_16
Photo by: Courtesy of Documentation Centre of Cambodia

Dear Editor,

I wish to request your well-esteemed daily to kindly correct the quotation lent to me in an article by Mr Cheang Sokha titled “Hun Sen lambasts Lon Nol takeover” (March 19, 2010), in which I would have said in an interview last month that although the Khmer Republic failed, the events of 1970 came about as a result of popular discontent about the Vietnamese communist infiltration of Cambodia to which the Prince had turned a blind eye.”

I did say that by 1968, the communist global and regional powers had changed strategy and started in a turning point of the Vietnam War to intensify their pressures on Cambodia, with the attempt of urban guerrilla and territorial occupation by the Vietminh and Vietcong of Dam Dak (Ratanakkiri).

Prince Sihanouk, Head of State, never turned a blind eye on these exactions, since he denounced them at several occasions, during the Cabinet meeting, in press conferences with maps of Vietminh settlements and encroachment from the Royal Armed Forces as well as photographs of captured Vietminh soldiers, as reported by my father, then vice president of the Council of Ministers, presided over by Samdech Penn Nouth, in his memoirs.

This explained also our resumption of the relationship with the United States to counterbalance this interference and violations of our territorial integrity by the Vietnamese communists. From that time already responding to the Prince’s denunciation of these Vietnamese exactions, many young people spontaneously offered their service for the defence of the country.

It was unfortunate that facing this mortal danger, we Cambodians did not stay united and instead split, and that the United States instead of helping us keep our independence, which Prince Sihanouk had strived all his life for with his balancing policy that the Western journalists coined “a tightrope policy”, and indirectly and unwittingly collaborated with the communists they were fighting to make an onslaught on Cambodia, by supporting the 1970 coup, as they did in the early sixties.

For Mr Sebastian Strangio’s interview, I also added that the timing was ill-chosen at this juncture of the Vietnam War, because the US mind was set for the withdrawal of their troops and presence from Indochina, at the end of the sixties.

Please kindly publish this clarification for the accuracy of the historical facts and for the benefit of your readers.

Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Son Soubert
Member, Constitutional Council

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

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration