Friday, 11 July 2014

Protecting the Monarchy

“This is a miracle of the late King Father’s sacred power; an impossible thing occurred at the time. Ig­niting the royal flame was attempted five times before it worked, this is a sacred power... For the fifth time, it was me alone.”

“I knelt down to the feet of his majesty [the King Father] and prayed that I was sorry for setting [his body] on fire, but I had no choice. So, I brought forth the fire, and the flame finally ignited... I told the Queen Mother that his majesty did not want to leave his children. In response, the Queen Mother said ‘[the King Father] was waiting for you.’... Now I have to inherit the task of protecting the monarchy.”

Self-proclaimed miracle performer Hun Sen, 17 February 2013

“This place [cremation site Veal Men] is like a mansion for the King. That is why we must have security inside to keep guard.”

Keo Nara, one of some ten Royal Palace security guards posted to the King’s mansion, 23 January 2014

“Thousands of tourists walk past the site every day, and I feel very uneasy and ashamed about the place where the King Father was cremated. [The current state of the cremation site] may be interpreted as a lack of respect for the King.”

Prince Sisowath Thomico, a former adviser to the late King Father, 23 January 2014

Would the late King Father turn over in his grave? While the monarchy is claimed to be protected, his cremation site has been allowed to fall into ruin. It is locked shut, off limits to the public, though it is in full public view. Nevertheless, it provides for now accommodations for the security guards who are seen washing motorcycles and carrying out other household chores.

It should not be a surprise, however, if the miracle performer turns the cremation site into another modern commercial complex or prime residential units. The eyesore is just a pretext – not that it is necessary – for making a lot of money later.

Thus, how will the dead and the weak that need protecting match the protector who also happens to be a miracle performer?

Ung Bun Ang


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