Friday, April 6, 2012


The eventful life of that consumate political survivor King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia. He first came to the throne in 1941 and later declared the independence of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Years of peace and prosperity followed and Sihanouk grew in popularity to be almost worshipped by the Khmer people. However, Cold War entanglements did not spare his country. In 1970 he was deposed by General Lon Nol, the PM with US sympathies. With no other option Sihanouk joined the Khmer Rouge which eventually took over the country. The Khmer Rouge eventually turned against him as well, monarchy being at odds with their purist Marxist doctrine. Sihanouk spent most of his time in North Korea until the Vietnamese invasion destroyed the Khmer Rouge and the UN stepped in. Elections restored King Sihanouk in a constitutional monarchy though the former communist installed by the Vietnamese, Hun Sen, has remained in power as PM ever since. In 2004 he abdicated and his son became King Norodom Sihamoni with Sihanouk being given the title of "King-Father".