Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ouk Phalla is part of the Sisowath royal family line

Ouk Phalla (front row) featured as the star of the movie Rajaburi. A film financed and produced by Prince Ranariddh.

27 March 2006
Rasmey Kampuchea newspaper

Translated from Khmer by KI-Media

Phnom Penh: Sisowath Prasat Voraleak changed his name to Ouk Khan for his safety during the upheaval political situation (takeover by the Khmer Rouge regime in 1975), however, the prince could not escape death during the Pol Pot regime and left Det, his widow and 6 children including princess Phalla among them.

The family name change of Sisowath Prasat Voraleak is not a unique case [during that period], there were a lot of Cambodians who have also adopted this approach during the upheaval political period where revenge killing was practiced.

Our reporter had met with another Sisowath offspring who currently holds the US citizenship, however, he does not want to reminisce about his father’s Sisowath family name because he is no longer in contact with the royal family and his mother does not know all the details of his father’s side either.

Ouk Phalla, the former Apsara dancer turned into a news sensation item, is the daughter of Ouk Khan alias Sisowath Prasat Voraleak. Since princess Phalla already left for France with Prince Norodom Ranariddh, we were not able to contact her, but we tried to contact Mrs. Sok Sidet, princess Phalla’s mother.

We went to her home near Tuol Sanker. The neighbors were trying to hide from us the exact location of the house of the “mother-in-law of Samdech Krom Preah”. Finally, one neighbor pointed us to a house which he said belonged to Mrs. “Det.” Nevertheless, Mrs. Det was not at her home, and nobody could tell us where she was. It could be that she went to the house of one of her other children.

Mr. Ouk Virakcheat, the 3rd deputy governor of the province of Koh Kong and older brother of princess Phalla, had for original name Sisowath Borakcheat. He declined providing any comment on the affair of his younger sister to us, and he also declined to talk about his family’s Sisowath last name.

A lady by the name of Mrs. Leakh whose husband was working at the ministry of tourism and recently demoted from his position as deputy director of the ministry of tourism to a simple clerk, recognized that “her (Phalla’s) family lived in Phnom Penh since ever and her family is really related to the Sisowath royal family line”.

The revelation of the family line of princess Phalla was first printed in the Pracheaprey (Popular) magazine in its latest number – Popular magazine is the most famous and popular magazine in Phnom Penh.

What interested the public is not the fact that princess Phalla is related to the Sisowath family, but that this is a news scoop.

Rasmey Kampuchea obtained the confirmation of the Sisowath family line by princess Phalla from at least two sources: one from a teacher at the University of Fine Arts, and the second source from a princess close to Prince Ranariddh.

Mrs. Sok Sidet (Phalla’s mother) lives with her second husband and has two children with him. In total, Phalla has 8 siblings (including herself) with 6 of them being the children of Mr. Ouk Khan or Sisowath Prasat Voraleak, and the remaining 2 being the children of Mrs. Sok Sidet with her second husband.

A royal family member contacted by Rasmey Kampuchea told us that he cannot remember the name Sisowath Prasat Voraleak. Another royal member claimed that: “the Sisowath line includes many offsprings, I know mainly the Norodom line.” There is one prince who knew the father of Sisowath Prasat Voraleak – the grandfather of princess Phalla – however he refused to talk about him because of the misfortune of princess Phalla.

In any case, the search for the real family name of Mrs. Phalla cannot erase the “triangular love affair” involving prince Norodom Ranariddh and princess Marie Ranariddh. We were only trying to understand the origin of a woman involved in the life of a top Cambodian politician.

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