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Revered Monk Was Given 'Samdech' Title

Revered monk Maha Ghosananda, who worked to rebuild Cambodian Buddhism after the Khmer Rouge, was bestowed a special status in 1992, as he led peace marches through Cambodia.

Then King Norodom Sihanouk gave Ghosananda, who died in the US last month, 'Samdech' status—the highest honor available to Cambodian civic leaders—as the monk led peace marches around Cambodia and in other countries, met with world leaders such as the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and Pope John Paul II.

Ghosananda's body is lying in state in Massachusetts. He died March 12. The monk earned a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for his efforts.