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Prince Ranariddh Reveals Persecution of Coalition

Royalist Funcinpec party's leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh in an unofficial meeting with his party members in Siemreap city Friday morning, reminisces about past events resulting in what he says are his deep sufferings.

He told about 500 Funcinpec members who went to greet him about the events that led him to believe that he has been persecuted.

These past actions are: more than 50 provincial governor and deputy governor positions from the Funcinpec quota have been removed by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

He tries to soothe those officials who have been stripped of their positions, and encourages them to continue their good work for the party's benefits, and asks them not to use their anger as a compass.

He says that some people think that he is not hurt, but that he is deeply hurt, for he has helped solve the nations's difficult problems, and that Mr. Hun Sen assumed prime minister position (because of his will to share power). He says that in his letter to him, the former King wrote that, what the prince has done for the nation, the people cannot forget.

This response is uttered one day after Prince Ranariddh returns to Cambodia from abroad after more than 5 months of absence.

Two days before his scheduled return, Mr. Hun Sen threatened to remove provincial and deputy provincial governor positions from those officials who go to greet the prince, falling short of mentioning his name.

Prince Ranariddh begs Mr. Hun Sen to have empathy for the Funcinpec party founded by former King Norodom Sihanouk, saying that all of the Cambodians are the Monarch's subjects, his children. Government spokesman and Minister of Information, Khieu Kanharith cannot be reached for comment.

Cambodian People's party's (CPP) senator Ek Sam Ol declines comment saying he is busy in a meeting.