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Sihanouk - the inconvenient truth

Re: "Cambodia's former king Norodom Sihanouk dies, aged 89", National, October 15.



"Simply marvellous" how people forget that he was a French puppet, a distant relative of the real royal family, which was allied to Siam and thrown out by the French.

How, at various times, he accepted US assistance, but played the West against the Viet Cong, imitating Siam's famous tactic.

However, he always sided with whoever was coming to power - French, Americans, communists or Vietnamese.

He rode a political surfboard, keeping his family on top regardless who held the real power.

Cambodia's independence in 1953 also brought about Thailand's loss of its eastern provinces, which France had always guaranteed would be returned.

Prah Tabawng (Monk's Staff) became Battambang and the border town of Syam Rayap (Dazzling Siam) became Siem Reap ("Victory over Siam"). The French stole the old Khmer ruins at Angkor and gave them to the Cambodians.

Truths the Cambodians still refuse to remember.

Siam has always been an ally of Cambodia, although Cambodia has often been an enemy of Thailand.

Michael Weldon

Udon Thani


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