Cambodia

Throngs Pour Into Streets for Former King’s Funeral Procession

His body will lie in state at the Royal Palace for three months, before a cremation ceremony is held.

Thousands of mourners pray at the gates of the Royal Palace after the coffin of former king Norodom Sihanouk entered in Phnom Penh October 17, 2012. Tens of thousands poured into Cambodia's capital to witness the procession on Wednesday.Thousands of mourners pray at the gates of the Royal Palace after the coffin of former king Norodom Sihanouk entered in Phnom Penh October 17, 2012. Tens of thousands poured into Cambodia's capital to witness the procession on Wednesday.
x
Thousands of mourners pray at the gates of the Royal Palace after the coffin of former king Norodom Sihanouk entered in Phnom Penh October 17, 2012. Tens of thousands poured into Cambodia's capital to witness the procession on Wednesday.
Thousands of mourners pray at the gates of the Royal Palace after the coffin of former king Norodom Sihanouk entered in Phnom Penh October 17, 2012. Tens of thousands poured into Cambodia's capital to witness the procession on Wednesday.
ReportersVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH, WASHINGTON DC  - The body of former king Norodom Sihanouk was returned to Cambodia Wednesday, guided through the streets of the capital in a funeral procession as throngs of onlookers and mourners crowded the streets.

Sihanouk’s body, interred in a flowered, golden coffin, was carried on the back of a golden swan from Phnom Penh International Airport to the Royal Palace, protected by a motorcade and watched over by praying monks in saffron robes and a funeral detail in crisp white uniform.

His body will lie in state at the Royal Palace for three months, before a cremation ceremony is held.

Young and old gathered along the sides of the road, some weeping, others snapping pictures. Some cradled photos of Sihanouk to their chests, and some clasped lotus blossoms in hand.

“We can’t see him, only his body,” said Se Mon, who came from Kandal province and sobbed as the procession reached the palace. “He used to speak a lot on TV, and we could watch him as we wanted. Now we’ll not see him anymore. He left only his photograph.”

Sihanouk, who died following a heart attack in Beijing early Monday, was remembered both locally and internationally for his leadership of Cambodia through some of its best and worst history, from the early days of independence and a “golden age” into civil war, strife and the terrifying rule of the Khmer Rouge.

Sam Rainsy, the opposition leader in exile, said Sihanouk’s passing was a chance for Cambodians to remember to strive for national unity and sovereignty.

“If we all remember and follow the royal advice of the king father, then our country may not face any crises,” he told VOA Khmer via Skype from France. “Now that he has passed away, I have some concern that people in the coming days will forget the king’s advice…that Cambodians must unite.”

Kem Sokha, leader of the Human Rights Party, said Sihanouk had set out a good example for the country during his rule, which kept Cambodia undivided.

“If we split, foreigners will penetrate our country,” he said. “Then we won’t have political development.”

Lao Monghay, an independent analyst, said the former king has provided a kind of stability to the country, which does not have strong institutions. “That’s why this issue is not conducive to national unity at all,” he said. Cambodia remains in a region of Asia where conflicts can and do happen, and that the country’s leaders would do well to follow Sihanouk’s examples.

Cheam Yiep, a lawmaker for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, said the passing of the former king was an occasion to strive for “political reconciliation” in the country.
Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Seeking Stronger Ties as Cambodia’s Political Reforms Move Forward​i
X
28 August 2014
A senior US diplomat says the country is looking to strengthen ties with Cambodia, now that the opposition has ended a boycott of the National Assembly. “We want to have a good relationship with the nation of Cambodia, the people of Cambodia,” Scot Marciel, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia and Pacific Bureau, told VOA Khmer in an exclusive interview. “We have an interest in a Cambodia that is successful, democratic, more prosperous, enjoying good health, and good education. Again, this is mostly up to the Cambodian people but we want to be supportive because it’s in our interest for Cambodia to be successful.” The US has made a recent diplomatic resurgence in Asia, where China’s influence continues to grow.​ Marciel, who is visiting the country, said Wednesday that Cambodia’s moves toward electoral reforms are encouraging. “I think what we’re looking to see, like the Cambodian people, the people here have made it clear that they would like to see some more reforms some progress on some of the challenges that the Cambodia faces, and we feel the same way,” he said. “We are hopeful that the government and the parliament as it is now seated can move ahead on some of the reforms that people here have called for. We think that would be a positive step.” (Sok Khemara, Washington)

English with Mani & Mori

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Doze Off (Movie: Hairspray)i
X
25 August 2014
You can say, "I don't know why, but every time I eat 'prahok' (Cambodian anchovy) I find myself 'dozing off' all the time." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to facebook.com/voakhmer or www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video Doze Off (Movie: Hairspray)

You can say, "I don't know why, but every time I eat 'prahok' (Cambodian anchovy) I find myself 'dozing off' all the time." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to facebook.com/voakhmer or youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.
Video

Video Scratch Someone's Back (Movie: Batman Begins)

You can say, "Yeah sure, I can get you a job at CNN easily. Now, if 'YOU SCRATCH MY BACK, I'LL SCRATCH YOURS'." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video Wild Goose Chase (Movie: Inside Man)

You can say, "The policeman was sent on a 'wild goose chase' to find the killer. All the clues that were given to him turned out to be false." What does it mean? Watch here.
Video

Video Let Bygones Be Bygones (Movie: The Social Network)

You can say, "I know he hurt you, he gave up on you, and that broke your heart. But that's the past, you have to 'let bygones be bygones." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
See more >>>