19th March 2008
By San Suwit
Radio Free Asia
Translated from Khmer by Khmerization
In a speech inaugurating the Prek Chrey Bridge in Cheung Ek commune, Dangkor district in Phnom Penh on 18th March, Prime Minister Hun Sen (pictured) has reminded about a coup d’etat that toppled the then Prince Sihanouk 38 years ago and at the same time reiterated his support for the monarchy. Mr. Hun Sen has also stressed that he was the one who invited Prince Sihanouk to return back to Cambodia a second time and he was the one who renovated the Royal Palace for the former king (Sihanouk).
Mr Hun Sen declared that the monarchy belongs to the people and it is not a property of anyone. The prime minister also declared that the former king and queen will return to Cambodia from Beijing in April.
Mr. Hun Sen said: “The monarchy is not the property of any princes, it is not a property of any group of princes. The monarchy belongs to the people of the whole country. I have been a prime minister and have continued to support the monarchy for a long time. I have regularly had an audience with the king to present the government reports to him, except in March, but I will have an audience with him in April. And for the King Father and the Queen mother, I will not declare yet, but I just want to tell you that they will be coming home to celebrate the Khmer New Year with all of their countrymen in Cambodia. So, now I am very happy.