Fri 1 Feb 2013

Funeral of former King of Cambodia takes place

  • By Yafit Lazar
  • Last Update: 4 years ago
  • Democratic Cambodia

The funeral of the former King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk, takes place. His body was flown back to Cambodia for a traditional royal funeral at the royal palace in Phnom Penh.

The King died at a hospital in Beijing after suffering a heart attack.

The ceremony is expected to draw approximately one million mourners. The remains of the popular leader are to be cremated on a pyre to be built near the royal residence.

Sihanouk had had a history of medical problems with various forms of cancer, diabetes and hypertension which since 2004 had brought him to China in search for medical treatment. In the same year, Sihanouk abdicated in favour of his son, King Norodom Sihamoni.

For many years, Sihanouk had been involved in the political scene of Cambodia, through the country's independence from France and the Cold War. His role was increasingly one of mediator between Cambodia's political factions. However, once the country slowly worked its way towards political stability, Sihanouk's health steadily worsened, leaving his son in power.

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