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

  • Without shoes or a helmet, a young cyclist steals the show

    Pech Theara gripped the curved handlebars of his rusty old bike, planted his bare feet on its pedals and stormed as fast as he could towards the finish line. The odds were against him as the 13-year-old faced off against kids with nicer bikes at

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • PM dispels lockdown rumours, gifts masks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on November 12 denied rumours that he will lock down the country in response to increased Covid-19 fears, referring to them as propaganda aimed at destabilising the country. In a Facebook post, he said some people had spread rumours that the government

  • SilkAir adds flight to Phnom Penh schedule

    Silkair (Singapore) Pte Ltd is increasing its flight frequency between Phnom Penh and Singapore with a third weekly flight on Saturdays, according to Cambodia Airports’ Facebook page. The other flights offered are on Tuesdays and Sundays, with an estimated Phnom Penh arrival time at 5:35pm