Skip to main content

King Norodom Sihanouk cremated

King Norodom Sihanouk
(Image source Wikimedia Commons)
The remains of Cambodia’s highly revered King Father, Norodom Sihanouk, was finally cremated in the kingdom’s capital, Phnom Penh. Thousands of crowd joined the Royal Family and high government officials for the ceremony to bid adieu to the man whose assuring presence helped Cambodia recover from the strife, turmoil and violence which nearly destroyed the country for almost five decades.

The international community also paid their final respect to one of the world’s most iconic leaders. French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and Prince Akishino of Japan attended the cremation, while Buddhist monks offered prayers for the late king before the artillery gave their gun salute before fireworks display.
Dowager Queen Monique and King Norodom Sihamoni, who assumed the throne about Sihanouk abdicated in 2004, lit the memorial bonfire which was placed at the 15-storey-high purpose-built crematorium.

“Some of the former king's ashes will be scattered at the confluence of three rivers and the remainder stored in an urn in the royal palace,” reports BBC Correspondent Jonathan Head.

A report by the Associated Press describes the huge crowd that swarmed the capital: 
"The huge crowds who had been filing past the cremation site all day were kept away as the pyre was lit, and TV cameras were covered so the moment was private."
Assessing his acts when he was still king, Head writes:

"Sihanouk proved to be a masterful tactician as he confounded their expectations and drove a successful campaign for Cambodian independence in 1955."

Abdicating his post in favor of his father, he served as Cambodia’s prime minister before assuming the post as Chief of State. Although he did his best to modernized a society that reeled behind tradition and antiquity, Head however saw him as a rather "impractical" leader, who never "properly implemented" his plans.

"He tolerated no opposition and harshly repressed anti-government movements, until being ousted by a coup in 1970. He always believed he was indispensible, and some believe this led to his fateful decision to ally himself with the Khmer Rouge, in the early 1970s and in the 1980s."
The kin’s character was so hard to understand and it was so full of ambiguities. Thus, Philip Short was apt when he summed up the King’s legacy:

"An improbable mixture of rage and self-pity, acid and honey, brutality and sarcasm, passion and wit."

King Sihanouk died at the age of 89 in Beijing. Read a short but comprehensive detail about the life, reign and death of King Norodoum Sihanouk, which I wrote last year.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

A Day in the Life of The Queen: How Queen Elizabeth II Spends Her Day

Queen Elizabeth II is a stickler for order, and so routine is a part of Her Majesty’s day-to-day life. She rises at around 8.30 am and would be greeted by a piper who plays at 9am on the terrace beneath her apartment at Buckingham Palace. When longtime attendant and confidante Margaret MacDonald was still in service, Don Coolican noted that  Bobo, as The Queen affectionately called MacDonald, would awaken her, “bringing in a cup of tea and a plate of biscuits handed over by the footman.” The Queen’s corgis are the first creatures to grace The Queen , who would also beg to be given biscuits, Coolican writes.

10 Interesting Facts About Princess Margaret of United Kingdom, Countess of Snowdon

Princess Margaret Rose was one of the most popular, albeit controversial, royals during her lifetime. She was a rather sad figure, a victim of love at an early age and a person who constantly sought affection and attention as she went on to looked for the real meaning of her life. Might as well want to learn about the colorful life of Queen Elizabeth II's younger sister? Here are 10 interesting facts about her.

1. Born on August 30, 1930, in Glamis, the family seat of her mother's family, Princess Margaret was the first member of the British Royal Family to be born in Scotland for over 300 years.

2. Her parents, the then Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) wanted to call her Anne, but her grandfather, King George V, vetoed, so they named her Margaret Rose, instead.

3. In 1936, the princess' relatively peaceful life was altered considerably when his uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated to marry the woman he loved, the two-time American divorce…

King Edward VIII’s Financial Settlement: How Much Money Did He Get After The Abdication?

King Edward VIII leaped into financial uncertainty the moment he signed the Instrument of Abdication on December 10, 1936. That same day, Edward, now known as Duke of Windsor, entered into an agreement with his younger brother and successor, King George VI, that secured him £25,000 annually for the rest of his life. However, the King later renounced this agreement and instead offered him a smaller amount which would cease upon the King's death. The condition is that Edward should never step into British soil unless invited by government.