11 March 2013

Cambodia: This Day in History

March 11th, 1970

Lon Nol
Prince Sirak Matak

Partially encouraged by Sihanouk's government agents and by real anger against the Vietnamese, tens-of-thousands of Cambodians including hundreds of soldiers wearing civilian clothing moved on the embassy of the South Vietnamese Provisional Revolutionary Government and then the embassy of North Vietnam.

 Both were wrecked by the mob as police and soldiers looked on. Over the next few days Vietnamese shops and Catholic churches in Phnom Phen were also attacked.

Sihanouk, despite his hand in the violent outbreaks, raged from afar (he was in Paris at the time) against the violence. Both Prime Minister Lon Nol and his deputy, Prince Siri Matak, had some cause to believe they would be made scapegoats by Sihanouk for the anti-Vietnamese incidents and thus the idea of conducting a coup became even more attractive.

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