Norodom Ranariddh

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Portrait of Ranariddh taken around 2006.

Norodom Ranariddh (born 2 January 1944) is a Cambodian prince, politician and law academic. He is the son of Cambodian king Norodom Sihanouk, and served as the First Prime Minister of Cambodia from 1993 to 1997.

Quotes[edit]

  • It is easier to talk about such things like democracy, human rights and freedom. Democracy is just a phrase to be talked about in idle gossip. Democracy means food for the people's stomach, shelter, education, medical facilities and basic amenities and the freedom to move freely. Discipline is more essential in our society than democracy, though they have a need of both.
    • As quoted in July 1994, from Peou, Sorpong (2000). Intervention & Change in Cambodia: Towards Democracy?. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 9813055391. , pp. 195-6.
  • I didn't choose to be prince. But I am a citizen [and] as a citizen of this country I have the right to enter politics. It is not good to make such a discrimination. We are part of the Cambodian nation.
  • I personally am too passionate, I am too much of a politician, and too outspoken to be a reasonable and successful king...definitely, I am no candidate for the throne.
  • It's difficult to be the King's own son rather than his adopted son. That's Hun Sen. Samdech Hun Sen, as an adopted son, has the right not to listen to the King. I, as his [natural] son, don't have such a right.
  • I didn't launch any campaign, I just want the people to protect our constitution, that the National Assembly has adopted, that we have the motto, nation, religion and King. So the people adhere to the religion and to the throne, ...so we have nation, religion and King and the foreigners often say that the Funcinpec party is the monarchist party, which supports multi-party liberal democracy, protects the constitutional monarchy, protects the throne, the King....If we can protect all this we have freedom.
    • Kiernan, Ben and Hughes, Caroline (2007). Conflict and Change in Cambodia. Routledge. ISBN 9780415385923. , p. 54.
  • On the contrary, it will be a big gift if I am not King. I do not believe my father is happy to be King. He continues to blame me for making him King. I am happy also not to be King. We look too much like each other. He was deposed and I was deposed. History will talk about my father being deposed in 1970 in a coup d'etat. History will talk about Ranariddh as the deposed prime minister.
  • Such a resemblance has to be through a natural way. You cannot succeed in resembling anyone, even if that man is your father. I was simply born like this. I did not have any intention to be similar to my father. For me, it is a big burden. People used to tell us it would be very easy for me to succeed because I am the son of Sihanouk. People adore the king and I look like him. It is not my achievement they are remembering, but the deeds of my father. On the contrary, if I fail the people would say, 'Oh you are the son, but you are not like your father'. It's rather a burden.
    • Mehta, Harish C. (2001). Warrior Prince: Norodom Ranariddh, Son of King Sihanouk of Cambodia. Graham Brash. ISBN 9812180869. , p. 133.
  • If I have one final word to say, I have to quote Singapore's Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew, when I met him after being appointed first prime minister. He told me this, 'You look like your father, you talk like your father, but please don't be like your father'. I think, what he said summed up my father. It is enough. With such an assessment, maybe it is not even necessary to write a book on Sihanouk and on me.
    • Mehta, Harish C. (2001). Warrior Prince: Norodom Ranariddh, Son of King Sihanouk of Cambodia. Graham Brash. ISBN 9812180869. , p. 136.
  • Of course, as a human being I am facing a great dilemma. I don't want to praise myself that everyone acknowledges that among the members of the royal family, maybe I am the only one. But at the same time Funcinpec needs me, and I am still fighting for the victory of my party, but it is up to the people. The party that wins the election [in 2003], its leader will be appointed prime minister.
    • Mehta, Harish C. (2001). Warrior Prince: Norodom Ranariddh, Son of King Sihanouk of Cambodia. Graham Brash. ISBN 9812180869. , pp. 178-9.
  • Please take my name off the candidate list. I’ve decided to stay in politics for good. Between the two choices of being the next king and being a politician, I will surely choose to involve myself in politics to lead Funcinpec ahead. I have decided to take to politics more than the throne. Prince Sihamoni has always sup­ported my candidacy for the throne. I thank him for his support. But I have decided I am not a candidate. I like to be in politics.
  • In 1993, I made a huge sacrifice: The winner shared power. I sacrificed once again not to take the throne [in 2004], be­cause I think that I have a duty to lead the Funcinpec Party, to protect the members. Who else can make sacrifices like me?
  • I would like to tell you that I no longer call Marie ‘Ranariddh.’ She can use Norodom. I don’t permit her to use [the name Ranariddh] because she has gone to, frankly speaking, she has gone to the traitors’ group. I am finished with her.
  • I have always been prepared – anytime, any day. I have a title to accompany the King, but I have long prepared myself for government service. If Samdech wants to call me anytime, even if I am not in the country, I have the ability to return.
  • I’ve been listening to my father’s songs lately. He was a wonderful composer; I love his songs very much. My father used to say to me, “My son Ranariddh sang my songs the best,” because you had to sing it with your own heart. I used to sing a lot. He didn't like to sing his own songs, so I used to do it.

About Norodom Ranariddh[edit]

Portrait of Ranariddh taken around 1992.
  • "I have encouraged him. I said to him after he told me that Hun Sen told him he wished him to be the next King...When I die, please replace me. Never continue to be Prime Minister, even the only Prime Minister. It will be good for you to be King because as King it will be easier to have a clean reputation." - by Norodom Sihanouk in 1996
  • "That man is Norodom Ranariddh and my name is Ung Huot. To answer your question, different personality, different name. I should not worry too much about Prince Ranariddh. Better to leave this and talk about me. You know Prince Ranariddh; and now you should know me. I was the one who tried to tell him to work together with Hun Sen. But he did not listen to me. I work with Hun Sen and there is peace and stability." - by Ung Huot, Ranariddh's successor as First Prime Minister of Cambodia in August 1997
    • Kiernan, Ben and Hughes, Caroline (2007). Conflict and Change in Cambodia. Routledge. ISBN 9780415385923. , p. 36.
  • Sihanouk’s son, Prince Ranariddh, I had met several times between 1981 and 1991. His father had placed him in charge of the royalist forces near the Thai border with Cambodia. Ranariddh resembled his father in voice, mannerisms, facial expression, and body language. He was darker-complexioned and smaller, more equable in temperament and less swayed by the mood of the moment, but otherwise much in the same mold. He had his father’s fluency in French and had taught law in Lyon University before he took over the leadership of the royalist forces. When I inspected their training camp in northeast Thailand in the 1980s I noted that it was not well organized and lacked military spirit. It was the best Ranariddh could do because, like him, his generals and officers spent more time in Bangkok than in the camp. As we were supporting them with weapons and radio equipment, I felt disappointed. After the 1991 settlement, the big aid donors took over. Ranariddh became the first prime minister (with Hun Sen as second prime minister) when his party won the 1993 UN-organized election. When we met in Singapore that August, I warned him that the coalition was a precarious arrangement. The military, police, and administration belonged to Hun Sen. If he wanted to survive, Ranariddh had to win over a part of Hun Sen’s army and police officers and some of the provincial governors. Being called the first prime minister and having his man appointed dense minister were of little value when the officers and troops were loyal to Hun Sen. He probably did not take my words to heart. He might have believed that his royal blood would assure him the support of the people, that he would be irreplaceable. - by Lee Kuan Yew, Senior Minister of Singapore in his memoirs
    • Lee Kuan Yew (2000). From Third World to First: The Singapore Story, 1965-2000, Volume 2. Marshall Cavendish International Asia. ISBN 9812049843. , p. 367.
  • "Everyone knows that the only person in Funcinpec with the influence and popularity to work against the CPP is Prince Ranariddh. In Khmer society, only the monarchy can stand up to the CPP but it needs a nationalist movement behind it." - by Sisowath Thomico, President of the Sangkum Jatiniyum Front Party in November 2006
  • "He got what he deserved, He led the party to one defeat after another. He led in an autocratic way and indulged in corruption. He is a prince without principles." - by Sam Rainsy, President of Sam Rainsy Party in November 2006.
  • "Norodom Ranariddh is still Norodom Ranariddh; there were many times already that he has joined and then withdrawn–he is tricky." by Ou Chanrath, Secretary-General of the Human Rights Party in August 2008.
  • "He is the cheapest politician Cambodia has ever known." - by Sam Rainsy, President of the Cambodian National Rescue Party in January 2015

External links[edit]

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