A Change of Guard

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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sam Rainsy denies link between father and Pol Pot's lost love

Give our kids a better deal 
PHNOM PENH (The Cambodia Herald) -- Opposition leader Sam Rainsy has denied that one of his father's mistresses, while serving as ambassador to London, was Pol Pot's lost love, according to the New Statesman.

The British magazine reported Friday that the love triangle surrounding the former beauty queen was the focus of a new novel by Peter Froberg Idling, the author of "Pol Pot's Smile" published in 2006.

Writing in the New Statesman, the Swedish writer said that Pol Pot's former mentor Keng Vannsak "told me that he believed the revolutionary suffered from a broken heart.

"According to Vannsak, in 1949 Pol Pot fell in love with a princess and one-time beauty queen, Son Maly. Around five years later, she left him for Sam Sary," he said, referring to Sam Rainsy's father.

Sam Sary's term as ambassador to London was cut short in 1958 after he admitted "whipping" one of two beauty queens he had reportedly brought from Cambodia.

In an autobiography published last year, Sam Rainsy said his father's term was "interrupted when one of his mistresses, Iv Eng Seng, who was also a family governess and therefore lived with us, was admitted to a London hospital after having been beaten up."


The opposition leader said his father "accepted public responsibility for the incident" but that "in fact, it was our long-suffering mother who caused the injuries."

Froberg Idling said that when he met Sam Rainsy, "he denied that Iv Eng Seng had ever been in a beauty contest or been called Son Maly."

So he focused on the other reported mistress, Tep Kanary. "I wrote once more to Sam Rainsy, who replied: 'Tep Kanary, whom I know little of, was not a part of my father’s household in London'," the Swedish writer said. 

Froberg Idling said he later received third-hand information about another woman named Somaly who allegedly accompanied Sam Rainsy's father to London. 

"I started asking around and again came up against a barrage of confusing, contradictory information. 

"I had finished writing my book and given up my quest when finally I was given a phone number for a woman I strongly believed was Son Maly: a 75-year-old real-estate owner in Texas. Yet I already knew, as I slowly dialled the number, that no one would answer."

Froberg Idling's new novel, "Song for an Approaching Storm" is published by Pushkin Press.
- See more at: http://www.thecambodiaherald.com/cambodia/detail/1?page=11&token=OTU4YWUzMzdlNGQ#sthash.og8fPAYX.dpuf

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