A Change of Guard

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Saturday, 27 October 2012

We should be united [The disunity in the Royal Household]

Friday, 26 October 2012 
By Princess Soma Norodom
Phnom Penh Post

"Prime Minister Hun Sen and the government control the political arena and the monarchy, and will continue to do so as long as he is in power."

The future of the country’s royal institution has been in the minds of Cambodians as they mourn the loss of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk. Not only has this topic been addressed by the locals, but by the international forum.

I have been asked about the future of the monarchy by several international media outlets including CNN, AsianAffairs.com and the German press agency.

As a journalist, in a country with little freedom of the press, it’s a skill to disseminate the facts without jeopardizing your career.

During the memorial ceremony for His Majesty Norodom Sihanouk on October 17, 2012, I witnessed that unity was weak among the Royal Family members and a division within the current government.

His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni has no power and is only a figurehead and the government is the new ruler of the country.

It was apparent at the memorial ceremony when some members of the Royal Family could not get inside the Throne Hall of the Royal Palace to pay their respects to their beloved family member, the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk.

The Throne Hall was overcrowded by government officials, delegates and VIPs from Asian countries.

I felt like I was at an ASEAN Summit Meeting instead of at a memorial service for a beloved family member.

Critics have stated that Prime Minister Hun Sen and the government control the political arena and the monarchy, and will continue to do so as long as he is in power.

The government has considerable say about who becomes the next king.

The nine-member Throne Council includes the Prime Minister and top officials from the National Assembly and Senate, all from the same ruling party.

The future of the monarchy is in their hands.

The Cambodian Royal Family has no power and is not wealthy, unlike the royal families in Thailand and England.

The lack of a successor to the current king, His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, is a concern to some royalists and supporters.

Some believe the monarchy will slowly fade away.

I witnessed the division among my own Royal Family members on the first day of the memorial ceremony for His Majesty King Father Norodom Sihanouk.

We were all there to mourn the loss of the King Father, but some of my Royal Family members didn’t even speak with each other.

I hardly attend Royal Family functions as I have work obligations to financially take care of my father, but I want to unite our family.

If we can’t get along with our own family, what makes us think we can bring peace to the country?

“United we stand, divided we fall” is a famous motto from the United States which suggests that when we are united we cannot be defeated, but when you are alone you can be defeated.

With the current ruling party domination, and the division among Royal Family members, the future of the monarchy looks dim. Fear can only grow in darkness. Once you face fear with light, you win.

The Social Agenda with Soma Norodom
The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.


Anonymous said...

Can not get along among the royal families members how in the hell they can lead the country to fight enemy from out side? Thank you SOMA for inside information of your families divisions,sorry for not getting to the throne hall to pay respect for later king.

You're absolutely right,Hun sen may put one of his son on your families throne after your Uncle King Sihanmoni leave this earth.well,only time can tells about that matter,Hun sen is so paranoia about his power he'll kill anyone in his way anyone know that,the world know that too.Thanks SOMA for inside story.

Yobal Khmer

Anonymous said...

She worn only the leopard skin shirt she must loves leopard huh? I get you a real leopard from Africa my queen if you like the skin to much! Always seen her wear this leopard skin shirt.Are you broke like me?


Anonymous said...

Maybe she will the next Yingluck of Kambuja would you consider running for pm position Ms Soma? I vote for you,you seems like having a fair open mind candidate for little Kambuja.Sorry to hear your inside story about your royal families,royal families like that ever since the falling of Angkorwatt era,nothing news about king families didn't get along.


Anonymous said...

she does not know any things,
don't listen to her

Anonymous said...

The King represent our country Cambodia and not just represent your royal family.

Anonymous said...

She didn't say anything about king not represent Cambodia,she said royal families didn't get along and Hun shit won't allowed them to visit the corpse of the death king in the throne hall.Only foreigners or state representative from another countries were allowed to roamed in the throne hall and her royal families didn't get along didn't talk to one anothers that all.Do you think that she didn't know that? Answer for 7:50AM above.....

Anonymous said...

Looks like Hun Sen owned the corpse of Sihanouk. Even family members do not have full rights to pay respect to him. Hun Sen uses Sihanouk's death for his political gains.

Anonymous said...

she was not politician, she does not know the fact,,

she needs to learn more & deep about khmer,,

it is good to have governments run the country, not royal families,,

Anonymous said...

2:09 PM, this is not about running the country. It's about having the rights to pay respect to your loved ones. What if your father died and I don't let you pay respect to him or only allow a limited time. How would you feel?

Anonymous said...

2:50pm, even so, royal family can't run country,

she's a liar, , they all can pays respect to king father,

no one stop royal family to pays respect,,

she the one who created problems,
she has personal problems.

Anonymous said...

4:18 PM, she went there so she knew what was happening. You weren't there so you don't know anything.

Just look at the members of the committee to oversee the cremation/funeral of Sihanouk. All are from the CPP, except Nhek Bun Chhay, and not even one member of the royal family was in the committee.

Anonymous said...

this soma talk too much, big mouth,
not good personality,

she got her own personal problems,
she needs a treatment on her behind

Anonymous said...

28 October 2012 1:19 AM You need a brain transplant. Your low education shows that you were born in Youn and thus understood nothing from her comment.

Anonymous said...

regardless, where i was born.,
regardless, what u said,

this lady, got big mouth, bad personality

most important, she got personal problems

Anonymous said...

You're off the topic every time, I was wondering if your comprehension of English language is at what level? Topic is about royal families not her,she open up her dirty closet for Cambodians people to know that royal families didn't get along and don't talk to one another and Cpp forbided royal families to visit the corpse in throne hall,only foreigners. can visit freely on the throne hall.Please make sure you understand the subjects before you jumb into conclusion and judge her so harshly,she is very open minded person, she alright straight talks that what we need nowadays....


Anonymous said...

So you admit you were born in Youn. You are a good CPP dog, thats why you are attacking her without understanding her comment.

I wouldnt be surprise if you also attack Mom Sonado for protecting democracy and support Hun Sen kangaroo court of justice in the sentencing of Mom Sonando to 20 years as a ring leader.

You are a good Youn CPP dog.