News / Asia

Cambodians Mourn Revered ex-King Sihanouk

Mourners gather to pay respects to the late former Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk in front of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, October 16, 2012.
Mourners gather to pay respects to the late former Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk in front of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, October 16, 2012.
VOA News
Cambodians entered a second day of mourning Tuesday for their revered former king Norodom Sihanouk, as preparations were made to return his body from China.

Tearful mourners placed a small wreath outside the royal palace in the Cambodian capital and offered prayers for the man they called "King-Father."

Thirty-two-year-old monk Try Piseth said Kmer the former king's death is a major blow. “What he did was purely for the nation and religion, and I am so deeply sorry to lose him.  I am so speechless and cannot do much but to wish him rest in peace,” said Piseth.

Phnom Penh resident Chhun Chenda said all she can do now is mourn as she waits for the kings body to come back. “I love my king. I want him to continue to reign," said Chenda. "I want him to stay in our country forever.”

A man holds a portrait of former King Norodom Sihanouk as he and other workers try to hang it on the facade of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as part of preparations for his funeral, October 16, 2012.A man holds a portrait of former King Norodom Sihanouk as he and other workers try to hang it on the facade of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as part of preparations for his funeral, October 16, 2012.
x
A man holds a portrait of former King Norodom Sihanouk as he and other workers try to hang it on the facade of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as part of preparations for his funeral, October 16, 2012.
A man holds a portrait of former King Norodom Sihanouk as he and other workers try to hang it on the facade of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as part of preparations for his funeral, October 16, 2012.
Norodom Sihanouk died of a heart attack in Beijing Monday at age 89 following a long battle with cancer. His son, King Norodom Sihamoni, and Prime Minister Hun Sen are in Beijing and are scheduled to escort the former king's body back to Cambodia Wednesday.

Even in death, the "King-Father" gets royal treatment. Sihanouk's body will be transported in a gold coffin and, once back, he will lie in state at the royal palace for three months before being cremated at a traditional Buddhist ceremony.

In a letter to the former king's widow, Monineath Sihanouk, and the current king, Prime Minister Hun Sen called the former king an “incomparable eminent figure.” The premier also tried to reassure Cambodians, saying he would remain dedicated to Cambodia’s “independence, integrity and…national unification.”

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was among those who paid respects to Sihanouk Tuesday, calling him an "old friend of the Chinese people."

Other condolence messages continued to pour in from around the world. The United States, which helped topple Sihanouk in a Washington-backed 1970 coup, offered condolences in a brief State Department memo.

North Korea, whose founder Kim Il Sung was close with Sihanouk, on Tuesday praised the former leader's "unprecedented" friendship with Pyongyang.

Sihanouk came to the throne in 1941 and went on to rule Cambodia off and on for more than 60 years.

He was heralded for bringing his ancient kingdom through independence from France, war and genocide to form a fragile democracy. But Sihanouk's name is also still soiled from his association with the Khmer Rouge movement, blamed for the deaths of some 1.7 million Cambodians.

Sihanouk abdicated the throne to his son, Norodom Sihamoni, in 2004 citing old age and health concerns.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
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 Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
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.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid