Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sihanouk declares his exile

Sihanouk declares his exile

Sihanouk declares his exile

King Father Norodom Sihanouk says he will not return to Cambodia and will follow

the example of a Khmer prince who died in exile, according to an October 16 statement

sent from Beijing.

"Nowadays we are separated between people who say Cambodia gains more land (also

gaining water for people to use) and people who think Cambodian land is being eaten

a lot," said the letter, sent to the Post and published on his Web Site.

"These days I am not the one to say which side is wrong or right," wrote

the former King, who abdicated one year ago and turns 83 this month. "That is

why I won't return back to the country."

"I would like to withdraw myself and please don't accuse me of being a traitor

to the nation."

In an October 14 speech, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he would order broadcasters

to play a 1970s song accusing the former King of ceding land to the Viet Cong.

A Lon Nol era song was reported to have been broadcast on state television on October

17. It included the words "Feel sorrow, Khmer land from [our] ancestors the

King sold to the Viet Cong, betrayed nation, religion."

Sihanouk said that although he had explained his position on border issues in the

past, he felt compelled to defend himself against "enemies, both outside and

inside the country, [who] accuse me of being a traitor to the nation."

The three-page letter stressed that Sihanouk would like to regain Kampuchea Krom

(now southern Vietnam) and Koh Throl, an island off Cambodia's southern coast, from

Vietnamese ownership.

Sihanouk ended his letter by citing the example of Prince Aruna Yukunthor, the son

of Sihanouk's great-grandfather King Norodom, who died in exile in 1934 after trying

to oppose the extension of French power in Cambodia.

"I want to finish it now, if there are any injustices that happen to me, I won't

be quiet and will struggle until the end of my life," Sihanouk wrote.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • Locally-trained commercial pilots to lift Cambodia’s aviation standard

    The Kingdom is boosting its civil aviation sector with the establishment of a flight school with a local airline to meet growth demands once air travel recovers At 22, First Officer Reachta Lim is the youngest commercial pilot in Cambodia. He flies with the national flag