News / USA

Cambodian-Americans Mourn Death of Former King Sihanouk

Cambodian-Americans Mourn Death of Former King Sihanouki
|| 0:00:00
X
Jeff Swicord
October 16, 2012 1:03 AM
Cambodian Americans are mourning the death of former King Norodom Sihanouk, the country's effective ruler from 1953, at Cambodia's independence from France, to 1970, years of tumult. He survived the brutal Khmer Rouge takeover of the mid-1970s as well as years of exile. VOA’s Jeff Swicord visited a temple of the Cambodian Buddhist Society in Silver Spring, Maryland, near Washington.

Cambodian-Americans Mourn Death of Former King Sihanouk

Jeff Swicord
Cambodian Americans are mourning the death of former King Norodom Sihanouk, the country's effective ruler from 1953, at Cambodia's independence from France, to 1970, years of tumult. He survived the brutal Khmer Rouge takeover of the mid-1970s as well as years of exile.
 
Buddhist monks say a prayer for the soul of the late Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk.
 
Mourners in the Washington area have been stopping by a Cambodian Buddhist temple to pay respects since his death was announced Sunday evening.
 
Chief Monk Chanhan Ouk Abbot says King Sihanouk will be remembered as a unifying force.   
 
“What we can remember about him is the independence in 1953.  Cambodia had peace and harmony for almost 20 years after that.  We could travel anywhere without fear.  The standard of living was high.  This is what the people will remember about the king," he said. 
 
King Sihanouk took the throne in 1941.  Most Cambodians remember him as the man who advocated the end of French rule in the 1950s.  
 
During the war in neighboring Vietnam, he struggled to maintain Cambodia’s neutrality. He was deposed in a U.S.-backed coup in 1970.  
 
Later, he backed, then essentially became a hostage of the brutal Khmer Rouge government until it was ousted in 1979. He returned to the throne in the 1990’s but age and ill-health led him to abdicate in 2004.
 
Today, young Cambodians remember him for an era of peace and economic growth. Dalis Srey came to pay her respects.
 
“I remember him as someone who saved us from the Khmer Rouge genocide.  Someone who brought prosperity to the country.  He is very well respected for all his work and dedication to the country," she said. 
 
Others, like Shanley Kuch, expressed distaste for the former king's early support for the Khmer Rouge.
 
“It is evidently documented that he was the one who called the Cambodian people into the countryside and run into the jungles to become members of the Khmer Rouge movement," he said. 
 
But for most gathered here, the death of the man known as the “King Father” was a shock. They call it a loss for Cambodia and the world.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sokha from: Phnom Penh
October 21, 2012 11:05 AM
For me, I'm not hesitate to suport the king father Sihanouk even king father fail to protect his contry from neutrality, but at last he tried to bring all parties to become one Cambodia, now Cambodian live in peace. I am Cambodian, pray king father May his soul rest in peace.


by: setho from: richardson, tx
October 17, 2012 8:59 AM
I have mix feeling for this guy,,,,but, i'm not here to judges....he will pay in the after-life.


by: Lao from: Laos
October 16, 2012 1:45 AM
Your king have a good luck, he finishing his life as human being. Our Lao king have a bad luck, he and his family was killed by the communist N. Vietnam and laoDeang. The pathet lao has a cool blood, they could kill they own wife, dad, mom, kid and king too.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid