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Royal succession

Royal succession

The Editor,

It is most regrettable that Denise Heywood did not do her

homework before interviewing Prince Sihamoni (Post, April 21 - May 4).

I

have never said that "Prince Sihamoni wanted to be King." My only contribution

to the debate was made in an article written by Bronwyn Curran in the Phnom Penh

Post of December 3 - 16, 1993, in which I stated that "Prince Sihamoni is the

ideal candidate because of his distance from the country's politics and his

absorption in the arts. He is a complete artist only interested in music, thus

he would make a great patron of the arts and ancient Khmer culture and

traditions." At no time did I say in the above-mentioned statement that "Prince

Sihamoni wanted to be King." These comments of mine have since been repeated by

other writers, including my friend Nate Thayer in a recent article published by

the Cambodia Daily and the Far Eastern Economic Reveiw.

Furthermore, my

remarks were based on my personal research as Official Biographer to His Majesty

the King. During the course of that research I spoke to ordinary citizens,

senior officials in the government and Royal Palace and also to members of the

Royal family.

I have not released my research and do not intend to do so

until His Majesty's biography is completed in due course.

I deeply regret

that by trying to be helpful to the Phnom Penh Post and to contribute in an

informed way to the debate on the role of the Cambodian monarchy, I have left

myself open to accusations that I have "lied" in commenting on this issue. I

strongly reject such accusations.

- Julio A. Jeldres, Honarary

Minister and Official Biographer to His Majesty the King.

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