Search

 

Cablegate: Cambodia's Man Who Won't Be King -- Ranariddh's

O 290822Z OCT 04
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3153
INFO ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY CANBERRA
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

C O N F I D E N T I A L PHNOM PENH 001701


DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/BCLTV
DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS USAID/ANE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/29/2014
TAGS: PGOV KDEM CB
SUBJECT: CAMBODIA'S MAN WHO WON'T BE KING -- RANARIDDH'S
SNIT FIT

Classified By: DCM Mark C. Storella for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) As Cambodia crowns King Norodom Sihamoni today, his
half-brother, Norodom Ranariddh, is infuriating even
supporters through childish and petulant behavior. Ranariddh
is stealing local headlines from the solemn coronation
ceremonies through a series recent missteps:

-- On October 25, Ranariddh's car was not permitted to enter
the palace through the central gate, as Ranariddh sought to
follow in behind the new King's motorcade. Ranariddh was
furious. On October 26, Ranariddh insisted on removal of the
senior palace police security officer for closing the gates
in his face.

-- On October 26, Ranariddh called for the ouster of senior
palace minister Kong Som-ol, arguing that the position should
not be held by an individual aligned with a political party,
the CPP.

-- Also on October 26, Ranariddh, who is president of the
National Assembly, attacked Information Minister Khieu
Ranariddh for halting live broadcasts on government TV of
National Assembly sessions in favor of 15-minute summaries.
Kanharith argued that viewers were not interested and that
the only ones asking for airing of the full sessions were the
Parliamentarians themselves.

-- On October 28, Ranariddh raised eyebrows throughout the
royal family by failing to attend a Buddhist coronation rite
for royals.

-- On October 29, Ranariddh emerged from one of the
coronation ceremonies to face a phalanx of reporters. He
avoided controversy until the end when he was asked if he
regretted that he was not King. Ranariddh responded that he
did not mind because, while not King, he was "a King maker."

2. (C) Over dinner October 28 with Ambassador and visiting
U.S. ECOSOC Ambassador Sichan Siv, three leading members of
Ranariddh's FUNCINPEC party all expressed disgust with the
Prince's behavior. While all three had some personal reasons
to be angry with Ranariddh, the strength of their
condemnations was striking. Prince Sisowath Sirirath noted
that Ranariddh did not even know that, under palace protocol,
only the King, the PM and heads of state were permitted to
use the gate from which Ranariddh had been blocked. Sirirath
told the story of Napoleon, who approached the gates of
Fontainbleau in normal clothes and was barred by the guard.
On returning in full imperial regalia, he elevated the guard
to general of his guard for sticking to the rules. Sirirath
commented that that was the way a leader should act, whereas
Ranariddh had responded with pique and fired someone who was
simply following orders.

3. (C) FUNCINPEC Deputy Secretary General Sina Than
expressed frustration with Ranariddh's inability to keep his
mouth shut. Sina noted that the National Assembly and
FUNCINPEC had spokesmen and Ranariddh should avail himself of
their services rather than speaking every time there was an
open microphone. The group went on to say that Ranariddh had
become increasingly unserious as a political leader. They
expressed irritation with his fawning efforts to curry favor
with Hun Sen, noting Ranariddh's recent declaration that the
police should report directly to the PM so that they would
not be subject to political manipulation. The FUNCINPEC
members considered this patent nonsense. Japanese Ambassador
Takahashi told Ambassador that Sihanouk had expressed his own
disgust with Ranariddh during an audience October 27.
Sihanouk reportedly said that Ranariddh had demonstrated
consistent bad judgment and tat Sihamoni was the better
choice to preserve the monarchy.

4. (C) Comment: Ranariddh's poor comportment over the past
week clearly demonstrates his pique at being passed over for
a younger half-brother as King. While Ranariddh has
vociferously denied any desire to ascent the throne of late,
former King Sihanouk has commented simply that, "anyone who
tells you they do not want to be King is lying." Our dinner
companions October 28 expressed grave doubt in Ranariddh's
leadership ability, suggesting that, rather than raising his
stature, he is increasingly making himself a laughing stock.
King Sihamoni's reserved and respectful behavior, by
contrast, seems quite regal indeed.


Ray

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Climate: UN Chief Lauds ‘day Of Hope’ As US Officially Rejoins Paris Climate Accord

The official return of the United States to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change represents good news for the country and the world, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday during a virtual event to mark the occasion. The US, under ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>