My dear Kacvey,

You certainly recall this French book by Sihanouk: “Prisonnier des Khmers rouges” (ISBN:978-2010121845) published in 1986.

Hope your students remember and make connection between:
1) Sihanouk’s birthday and Halloween: 31 October, and
2) the following two reporting by Radio Free Asia and Sihanouk’s book title:
– ឧត្ដមទីប្រឹក្សាផ្ទាល់នៃព្រះមហាក្សត្រ ថ្លែងថា ព្រះរាជាបច្ចុប្បន្ន ដូចជាប់ឃុំក្នុងវាំង ព្រោះស្ថាប័នរដ្ឋាភិបាល
https://www.rfa.org/khmer/news/politics/a-king-advisor-blames-the-government-for-weakening-the-monarchy-10212020041531.html
រដ្ឋាភិបាលមិនបានគាំទ្រព្រះមហាក្សត្របំពេញព្រះរាជ តួនាទីពេញលេញតាមរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញ
https://www.rfa.org/khmer/news/politics/watchdogs-criticize-Hunsen-govt-for-abusing-King-roles-and-responsibilities-10302020050748.html

There currently are so many innocent people who get arrested and jailed by the police and justice that are in the autocratic hands of the weak strongman. They are arrested and jailed for the peaceful and non-violent exercise of their freedom of political expression. Isn’t then there a commonality between the suzerain and the people: suzerain and subjects being prisoners of the same and one regime?

If the quote attributed to Jayavarman VII: “The suffering of my people is my suffering” is true, shouldn’t the suzerain and the people join hands to free themselves from the prison? How and what would and could the suzerain do to elevate the above quote to be: “The suffering of the suzerain is the people’s suffering”?

Or would Desiderius Erasmus have foreseen the fate of Cambodia when he said: “In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”?

Kacvey, can this passage from Exodus 3:7 “And the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows” help your students to ponder on this miserable matter in the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk?

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P.S.
1. A glimpse at the Sultan of Malaysia (pour mémoire)
Bloomberg: Malaysia’s Once-Peripheral King Emerges as Major Political Force

2. South China Morning Post, 29 November 2020
Why Cambodia’s royals need close China ties that are separate from Hun Sen’s government

3. SEA GLOBE, 5 January 2021
‘Be a leader’: Sochua calls on king to intervene to ensure her return

4. Asia Times, 11 January 2021
Does Cambodia have a ‘puppet king’?

5. RFA, 12 January 2021
Cambodian Court Charges Acting Opposition Chief Sam Rainsy Under Lèse-majesté Law