A Change of Guard

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Sunday, 7 August 2011

Sirik Matak: A hero or a villain?

Anonymous said...
Re: Sisowath Sirik Matak's letter 27-08-1973

Not me for sure to honor Sirik Matak's memory. His letter can not fool me of his real bad intention. Remember, Sirik Matak (pictured) forced Lon Nol to sign the coup document with a gun so the National Assembly could proceed the debate of removing Sihanouk from power the next day. He knew so well that America was going to leave SE Asia, but his ambition blinded him. May be Long Boret, the foreign minister and then prime minister of the Khmer Republic, and only others that can tolerate his crime.

6 August 2011 8:44 PM
Anonymous said...

The first commentator was correct, Lon Nol did not want to remove the King (Sihanouk). However, the King's proclamation blaming Lon Nol is wrong. The King himself knew that he needs help and nothing that he can do to remove the Viet Cong so what he used Lon Nol as his scapegoat...my father was a commander during that time and he knew about this as well...This is the fact.
Anonymous said...

Sihanouk had warned Khmer communists that if they push hard (with their agenda) he will let the military take over the situation. Chau Seng in turn warned Sihanouk that Lon Nol may become the next Suharto. Lon Nol himself however never wanted to take over Sihanouk,but he would play along if the Head of State insists him to do so. In Tam was not sure whether the whole event was genuine or Sihanouk and Lon Nol have schemed the situation just to get rid of the communists (Khmer and Viet).

Sirk Matak on the other hand had definitely wanted Sihanouk out or even dead. He thought he was supposed to be the king after the death of his grandfather, King Monivong, in 1941 and again after the death of Sihanouk's father, King Suramarit, in 1960. That was why he staged the coup against Sihanouk regardless of the Viets or the KR, but he used the pretext of chasing out the Viets for his own benefits (popularity).
Anonymous said...

Sirik Matak had a long ambition to power and throne of Cambodia, being quite upset that the throne had been given to the Norodom line by the French instead of his line, the Sisowath, after the death of King Sisowath Monivong in 1941.

The French was smart enough to exploit the animosity and rivalry between the 2 royal lines of Cambodian monarchy for their interests and so in the end both of them served France's interests willingly and eagerly in order to get favors from the French.

Stupidity, greed and ambition of her leaders are the real causes of Cambodia's downfall!

Sirik Matak's letter to Sihanouk is only one side of the story to make him look good and patriotic and also because he realized that his doomed time is coming.

Instead of toppling Sihanouk, he should have worked with the Prince, even though the prince's policy of neutrality was not perfect, in the fight against the Vietcongs and the North Vietnamese army who came to Cambodia illegally.

It does not matter what, in time of resistance to the invaders, you work together and settle your differences through peaceful means later and not through a coup or a lotus revolution or whatever you want to call it, which can only brings destruction to Cambodia.

Anet Khmer

7 August 2011 7:46 AM
Anonymous said...

8:44 PM and 7:46 AM, For people who quickly jumped to idolize and worship Sirik Matak as a hero, they did not know Sirik Matak very well. Sirik Matak had long wished to take the throne, but felt very bad when the throne was passed over to Sihanouk in 1941. Since then he had always harbor ambition to retake the throne. He had plotted many things behind Sihanouk's back, including, along with Lon Nol, conniving with Dap Chhuon in 1959 to topple Sihanouk from power. Sihanouk entrusted him with many important positions within the government because he is his cousin and was married to the sister of Sihanouk's wife Monique, but at the end betrayed Sihanouk. And again in 1970, Sirik Matak had pointed a gun into Lon Nol's head to force him to stage a coup against Sihanouk. It was said that at that time Lon Nol did not want to stage a coup against Sihanouk. 30 years later, Sirik Matak's son, Sisowath Sirirath, had betrayed Sihanouk's son Ranariddh when he joined with Nhiek Bunchhay to depose Ranariddh in a party coup d'etat in 2006. About 10 years earlier, Sihanouk had jokingly told Sirirath publicly "not to betray Sihanouk like what your father did to me". Eventually, Sirirath did follow his father's path and betrayed the Norodoms who had given him many important positions, like Minister of Defense and ambassador to the UN in the 1990s and early 2000s.

There are views that the reasons Sirik Matak decided to stay back in Cambodia was not because he really loved the country, but because he had hoped that, with Nol Lon and other important leaders had already left the country, that he would be lucky enough to be the top leader of Cambodia and become the president of the Khmer Republic. Now, because of his stupidity, he had paid for with his life.


Anonymous said...

Many people, including me, may not know Sirik Matak enough to properly judge him. Ironically, most of the bad comments about Sirik Matak are nothing more than mere speculations or personal vendetta.

As for Sihanuk, no one needs to speak about him - his records and legacy undeniably and abundantly speak for themselves.

By the way, does anyone wonder why Sihanuk always claims everyone - including his close relatives, the republicans, the KR, the Vietcongs who he admired and still do...etc betray him?

To this day, I don't think Sihanuk realizes it has always been he who betrays himself. It is too much for him to grasp that only his flip-flop self-serving policy that will follow him to his grave yard.

Anonymous said...

Well, some of the claims may be mere speculations, but the information about Sirik Matak pointing the gun at Lon Nol's head has been confirmed and recorded in many books. Even about his plots against Sihanouk, they have also been recorded in some articles also. However, many Khmer republicans who idolized Sirik Matak and Lon Nol, will never admit that their republican idols were also responsible for the Khmer tragedy. To them, all the Khmer woes and tragedy were the faults of Sihanouk. Sihanouk did commit some accesses during his rule, but without the 1970 coup against him, Cambodia would be as stable as it can be and the tragedy that followed would not have occurred. As a result of Lon Nol's and Sirik Matak's stupidity, and with some of Sihnouk's faults, Cambodia had turned upside down.

Anonymous said...

ក្រុមគ្រួ សាធារណរដ្ធ នឹងនៅតែ






សាខន។ សូមអបអរសាទរ លោក

ឡុងសារាត់ និងនាង សាក់ស៊ុត


Anonymous said...

I think he is great Hero! He rather died in his homeland and not choose to leave the country.

Khmer Eternity,

Anonymous said...

He was a super stupider!
He risked the fate of his country by trusting in the great strength of a super quitter and he risked his own life by hoping that KR will be his good listener.
Words "Siri and Amatak" were the real concept behind which his father intended as a name for him but the good old magistrate probably had his own version to give to the lad!
Lesson for Khmer parents: If you play with Pali word you better know the rule of Agama otherwise your offspring name would be a mixed up! I like the commentator who come up with the name Long Saraot
and Sut Sampoey !

Anonymous said...

Sirik Matak is a true Khmer hero.

He would rather risk his life and face certain deadth to stand up and defend what he believed rather than betraying his own conscience like some cowards did and continue to do without the least shame.

Sirik Matak is a man of principle, and for what he did, he is my hero eternally, just as his name Amatak!

Anonymous said...

support him ??????? and also those who follows him ? Sirik Matak.. . to all Khmer leaders… You should remember what sirikmatak said in his last letter to the U.S President: “ I have only committed the mistakes of believing in you, the Americans “

Now, the “big” questions is : What makes Sam Raingsy thinks that the U.S will

Anonymous said...

Sirik Matak.. . to all Khmer leaders… You should remember what sirikmatak said in his last letter to the U.S President: “ I have only committed the mistakes of believing in you, the Americans “

Now, the “big” questions is : What makes Sam Raingsy thinks that the U.S will support him ??????? and also those who follows him ?

Anonymous said...

Gun point to Lon nol to sign the decree to remove Shihanouk from the throne or not. it is not the big issue. The fact the matter that the man who was so so much angry then turning to revenge his political embarrassment on Cambodian people was the talking point here. You could order to kill lon nol and his clans and their families but Cambodian people would have not been part of this revenge crazy saga between you and lon nol.
Sihanouk's bloody hands. No matters he has done to salvage his crimes, the hell is wating for him in twenth enternal burning cascade.
Although he claimed he was a victim like other Cambodian people, he is in the unique situation because he was the one who called people to join Khmer Rouge in 1970. He helped the blood Khmer rouge to power.
Claiming to liberate people and country from USA imperalism, but pushed Cambodia and people to the brink of catatrophic destruction. By saying he didn't know about this coming condition, it looks like the parents refused to acknowledge that their children are using street drugs, which can bring harful to themselves. What a shortsighting and braindead of Shihanouk, the man who claims he is the smartest, articulate, and most maneuver politician.
Shihanouk's family members and cambodian peole who killed during Pol Pot were the victims of his self-hanging cliff,upside down suicidal architecture.
Shame on you Shihanouk and shame on who continue to respect this man.
Cambodian people desire much better than this man.

Anonymous said...

In the past, Cambodia destiny was on the hand of super power, US, Russia, China and the EU country.

Cambodia leaders did not have that much of power as some of the bloggers claimed in this forum.

After independent, Cambodia had to deal with the cold war which Cambodian had nothing to do with it except it located in the war zone.

It is rediculous to claim that Sihanouk let the North Viet in the country. The fact was, they were coming any way with or without his permission. So it is better to say that he let them in just to save his face. Let look at the number, who are going to stop 50K to 100K North Viet army ? Cambodian ???

Even the US couldn't do it, and you want Cambodian Army to do it ?
You must be crazy just to think about it !!!!

If you were a Viet soldier, would you run to Cambodia just to stay alive ? Ofcourse any body would do that !!!

Even the farmers who were living along the border felt sorry for them. They were skinny and starving. The farmers also fed them just for the sake of doing good deed to the neighbore. It is always Cambodian principle (most of Cambodian).

Khmere Empire was great because the Kingdom accepted every ethenicity in the society. If you don't believe it, just look at the artifact or sculpture on Ankor Temple. There were many different faces who came and worship the King.
It is the same as modern day United States.

Anonymous said...

2:03 AM,I think most Cambodians including myself can forgive and try to forget the past then start life over. But the stupid thing here is the calling on Khmers to honor a man that they try hard to forgive and forget. His glory was dead long time ago as his name implied "Siri Matak" and don't try to change to "Siri Amatak".I don't care about Sihanouk anymore and he is not the main subject of this discussion.

Anonymous said...

Of course no one care to talk about Sihanouk. Why waste time, he ain't worth talking!

As for Sirik Matak, he died a long time ago, but his sacrifice and heroism stay "amatak", unlike some old foe who continues to live a disgraceful life without honour!

Anonymous said...

ព្រះរាជក្រឹត្យបានត្រាស់ថា ចាប់ពី
ឆ្នាំ២០១២ទៅ រាល់ថ្ងៃ១៨មីនា ប្រ
ពិធីឡើងអ្នកតា ម្តាក់។
ច្បាស់នូវជើង ត កុំឱ្យច្រឡំជើង ដ !!
ជៀសវាងកុំបន្លំប្រើជើង ក ព្រោះ
ជាការប្រមាថទៅនឹងផ្លែជូរជូរ ឬុ
តម្លៃ ១កាក់។