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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid