„There are two injustices which revolt Me! First, that which makes the people believe that those responsible for the [Franco-Khmer] treaty and who continue to have dealings with the French are traitors. Secondly, that which holds that… all who do not openly insult and struggle against the French are traitors… For Myself, I refuse [this logic]… If I am a traitor, let the Crown Council permit Me to abdicate!… I can no longer stand by and watch My country drown and My people die… Over these last few months we have no longer dared look each other in the face. In our offices and schools, everywhere people are discussing politics- suspecting each other; hatching plots; promoting this person, bringing down that one, pushing the third aside; doing no constructive work while, in the country at large, killing, banditry and murder hold sway. Chaos reigns, the established order has ceased to exist… The military and the police… no longer know where their duty lies. The Issaraks are told that they are dying for Cambodia, and so are our soldiers dying in battle against them… Each day threatens [to engulf us in] a veritable civil war… This is how things now stand gentlemen. The time has come for the Nation to make clear whether it desires to follow [the way of the rebels], or to continue in the path that I have traced.“
— Norodom Sihanouk
Speech to the Council of the Throne (June 4, 1952), as quoted in Philip Short (2004) Pol Pot: The History of a Nightmare, page 76.