Sihanoukism 'perfect contrast' to KR: King Father
By Neth Pheaktra
The Mekong Times
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Former King Norodom Sihanouk has
claimed that, in "perfect contrast" to the policies of the Khmer Rouge (KR), under his reign Cambodia was a picture of agrarian stability.
"For me it is not a question of egotism, but I never abandoned Sihanoukism for 'Khieu Samphanism, Ieng Saryism, or Pol Potism," he said referring to his own Sangkum Reastr
Niyum (1955-1970) reign and the doctrine of former KR leaders.
In a statement posted on his website Apr 19, the King Father said the KR had led the nation into slavery and subsequent "colonization" by Vietnam. In the 1950s and 1960s intellectuals were happy to "run to the hills" and join the KR, as they found the "spartan" lifestyle of KR leaders such as Khieu Samphan honorable, he added.
Although he admitted that he lived as an aristocrat, Sihanouk said rural people had "farmland, houses, animals, chickens, ducks and ox-carts" during his reign. However, under the KR, "Cambodians used to living with freedom and ownership were turned into slaves who had to give all of their properties to Angkor
"Prior to the Pol Pot, Ieng Sary and Khieu Samphan era, we drove vehicles and motorbikes and rode bicycles," recalled the former leader. "Under their rule, the people worked like buffalos pulling and dragging ploughs in rice fields."
He also said it was the KR attempt to "re
conquer" Khmer Krom territories - now part of Vietnam - that led to the Vietnamese invasion in 1979 and ten years of Vietnamese occupation.
"Without the joint efforts between Norodom Sihanouk and [Prime Minister] Hun Sen, Vietnam would not have provided Cambodia with independence and sovereignty in 1989," he added.
He ended his letter in bitter sarcasm: "Long live Khieu Samphan! Long live Ieng Sary! Long live Khieu Thirith!"
Former King Sihanouk was kept under house arrest by the KR during their 1975-1979 reign. In a further statement made on his website Apr 27 he said the KR executed five of his children and 14 of his grandchildren.
"The [Republican] Lon Nol supporters, who were [then] refugees in the West, told me that the KR fed some of my grandchildren's bodies to crocodiles, while my other grandchildren had their heads smashed against tree trunks,” he said.
Extracted from The Mekong Times
Issue No. 56
Tuesday, April 29, 2008