28 July 2016
HENG SAMRIN AND THE “PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KAMPUCHEA”
Concerning today’s decision by the court in Phnom Penh relative to the defamation case brought against me by Heng Samrin, I would like to make two remarks:
1) The proclamation of a republic generally follows the abolition of a monarchy. Such events mean the physical or political elimination of a monarch. When the new authorities formed after 7 January 1979 proclaimed their “People’s Republic of Kampuchea,” they did express their intention to eliminate former King Norodom Sihanouk from the political scene. Even though they did not call for a physical elimination associated with a death sentence – it was the Lon Nol regime that sentenced Norodom Sihanouk to death after the proclamation of the “Khmer Republic” in 1970 – they really wanted to eliminate/kill Norodom Sihanouk at least from a moral and political point of view. The “Khmer Republic” and the “People’s Republic of Kampuchea” had the same intention and showed the same spirit in their actions when it came to trying to eliminate our former King Norodom Sihanouk. In the first half of the 1970’s and throughout the 1980’s, the two regimes grossly insulted and defamed our former King. They nurtured the same anti-monarchy and anti-Norodom Sihanouk spirit, and this is the most important point to consider in this case.
2) On my 17 November 2015 Facebook post – which is the cause for the lawsuit – I did not mention anybody’s name and just referred to the “regime born on 7 January 1979.” However it is Heng Samrin, as an individual and in his current capacity as President of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia, who is now suing me for “defamation” on behalf of the “People’s Republic of Kampuchea.” On what legal and judicial grounds is Heng Samrin entitled to do so on his own? Has there been a prior decision by the court or any relevant authorities allowing him to sue me on behalf of the “regime born on 7 January 1979”? Or is this lawsuit a personal dispute? One day in the future, when victims of the deadly K5 Plan implemented under the “People’s Republic of Kampuchea” are allowed to take legal action before an independent court, who will designate whom to face the court and to respond to charges possibly associated with crimes against humanity? Will Heng Samrin appear again?