Home > Cambodia King, Local News > Cambodian ex-king returns from China

Cambodian ex-king returns from China

PHNOM PENH — Cambodia’s ailing former king Norodom Sihanouk returned
home on Wednesday from Beijing where he spent nine months receiving
medical treatment, officials said.

Cambodia’s former king Norodom Sihanouk (left)
and his wife former queen Norodom Monineath wave from their car upon
their arrival at Phnom Penh international airport. — PHOTO: AFP

Sihanouk and his wife were
given a red-carpet welcome by family members, Prime Minister Hun Sen
and other senior government officials upon arrival at Phnom Penh
airport.
A smiling Sihanouk, 88, pressed his hands together and
kissed them in a traditional greeting to well-wishers before getting
into a car that whisked him off to the royal palace.
One of
Asia’s longest-serving monarchs, the revered king abruptly quit the
throne in October 2004 in favour of his son, citing old age and health
problems.
Prince Sisowath Chivan Monirak, deputy president of the
Cambodian senate, told reporters Sihanouk had kept his promise “to come
back for Khmer New Year” and that the ex-monarch’s doctors “had no
problem” with his return to Cambodia.
The new year festivities, which start on April 14 and last for three days, are a popular time for families to get together.
Sihanouk has suffered from a number of ailments, including cancer, diabetes and hypertension.
He
has received the bulk of his treatment in China and several Chinese
doctors have accompanied him back to Phnom Penh, according to Sisowath
Chivan Monirak.
The prince said he did not know how long Sihanouk planned to stay in the country this time.
“For the Cambodian people, the longer he stays, the better,” he said.
Despite
abdicating, Sihanouk remains a prominent figure in Cambodia and
regularly uses his website to comment on matters of state.
Sihanouk
said in 2009 that he had lived too long and wished to die as soon as
possible, according to a personal handwritten note on his website.
“Lengthy longevity bears on me like an unbearable weight,” he said.
Source: AFP
Categories: Cambodia King, Local News
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