Cambodia

Sihanouk’s Golden Urn Returned to Royal Palace

Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni (L) and Queen mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk sit on the royal float as they transport urns with some of the cremains of former late King Norodom Sihanouk from a crematorium to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh February 7, 2013. Some of Sihanouk's ashes were scattered near the confluence of the four rivers in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, while others were put in three urns, which, according to his wishes, will be placed on the grounds of the royal palace, media reported.Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni (L) and Queen mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk sit on the royal float as they transport urns with some of the cremains of former late King Norodom Sihanouk from a crematorium to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh February 7, 2013. Some of Sihanouk's ashes were scattered near the confluence of the four rivers in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, while others were put in three urns, which, according to his wishes, will be placed on the grounds of the royal palace, media reported.
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Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni (L) and Queen mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk sit on the royal float as they transport urns with some of the cremains of former late King Norodom Sihanouk from a crematorium to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh February 7, 2013. Some of Sihanouk's ashes were scattered near the confluence of the four rivers in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, while others were put in three urns, which, according to his wishes, will be placed on the grounds of the royal palace, media reported.
Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni (L) and Queen mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk sit on the royal float as they transport urns with some of the cremains of former late King Norodom Sihanouk from a crematorium to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh February 7, 2013. Some of Sihanouk's ashes were scattered near the confluence of the four rivers in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, while others were put in three urns, which, according to his wishes, will be placed on the grounds of the royal palace, media reported.
Say Mony
— The urn containing the late king Norodom Sihanouk’s remains was moved out of its crematorium on Thursday and into the Royal Palace, its final place of rest, on the last day of a weeklong funeral rite for the former monarch.

A portion of Sihanouk’s remains were cast into the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers on Tuesday. A golden urn containing the other portion was moved from the Preah Meru field, where Sihanouk’s cremation took place on Monday, to the palace, in a procession limited to members of the royal family and key dignitaries.

The golden urn will sit permanently inside one of the stupas of the Royal Palace, near the remains of his deceased daughter, Kunthea Buppha, who died at age three.

The procession was not open to the public, but tens of thousands of Cambodians have come to Phnom Penh to mourn the October death of the former king, who was beloved and revered by many Cambodians.

Thei Kun, a 68-year-old from Svay Rieng province, made her way to the Royal Palace just as the procession was ending.

“I pray for His Majesty to rest in peace and help protect the people all over the country, so that we are not looked down on by any neighboring countries,” she told VOA Khmer.

Ouk Mony, who came with her friends to witness the last of the weeklong ceremonies surrounding Sihanouk’s funeral, called Sihanouk “a national pillar and an outstanding hero.”

“Since his death, it seems we have no one else we can trust,” she said.

Despite his one-time alliance with the Khmer Rouge, following his ouster in a US-backed coup in 1970, Sihanouk is greatly respected among most Cambodians. His passing has made him an icon even for many too young to remember his rule. A musician and filmmaker, Sihanouk’s works are still widely viewed by Cambodians, especially in his passing.

Ouk Mony said the late king should be seen as a model for Cambodia’s leaders.

“I would like [Prime Minister] Hun Sen to follow in His Majesty’s footsteps, by leading the country as well as the king did,” she said.

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Yearlong Political Deadlock Endsi
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22 July 2014
Cambodia’s political deadlock has ended. For nearly a year, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has refused to join the government, calling for electoral reforms in a system it says was deeply flawed. Following nearly five hours of meetings between top opposition officials and Prime Minister Hun Sen, that deadlock has ended. The two sides finally reached agreement on a formula for selecting the National Election Committee, which the Rescue Party has said was biased toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Hun Sen and Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy emerged from talks Tuesday smiling and shaking hands. “Victory,” Hun Sen told reporters after the meeting. “You can all applaud.” (Heng Reaksmey, Phnom Penh)

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