Tips and Tricks from Cambodia

October 18, 2012

The Complex Legacy of Norodom Sihanouk



" October 31, 1922 - Born in Phnom Penh to King Norodom Suramarit and Queen Sisowath Kossamak

April 23, 1841 - Crowned King of Cambodia by then-colonial ruler France

March 1945 - Japan gains de facto control of Indochina through the acquiescence of the Vichny government in France. Months later, control returns to France with Japan's defeat

1952 - Marries surviving wife Paule Monique Izzi, later HM Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, the final of seven marriages

November 9, 1953 - Presides over Cambodia's formal independence from France, the culmination of a vigorous campaign dubbed his "Royal Crusade"

March 2, 1955 - Abdicates the throne in favour of his father in order to enter politics

September 1955 - Elected prime minister.

August 31, 1959 - Survives a failed assassination attempt against him by South Vietnamese politician Ngo Dinh Nhu.

1960 - Wins nations's first independent election with his People's Socialist Community, becomes head of state.

1963 - Then-King Father Norodom Suramarit dies; Prince Norodom decrees himself head of state for life.

1965 - Strikes agreement with PRC and North Vietnam to facilitate Ho Chi Minh trail supply route

August 1966 - Feature film Apsara is released, the first of 19 feature-length films he would direct

1967 - Policy of collecting rice harvest in a bit to stop the illegal rice trade leads to a peasant revolt dubbed the Samlaut Uprising, which is violently quelled

March 1970 - Prime Minister Lon Nol leads National Assembly in deposing Sihanouk while he is out of the country. From China, Sihanouk calls on Cambodians to support the Khmer Rouge against Lon Nol.

April 1975 - Khmer Rouge take over Cambodia; Sihanouk is installed as puppet head of state.

1975-1979 - Five of the king's children are killed during the reign of the Khmer Rouge.

April 1976 - Sihanouk removed from office, imprisoned in the Royal Palace

1978 - King freed before occupation by invading Vietnamese forces, gives six-hour press conference after fleeing to New York

1979 - Publicly supports Khmer Rouge in opposition to Vietnamese occupation

1981 - Founds political party Funipec

1982 - Attempts unsuccessful political marriage between Khieu Samphan and Son Sann

1991 - Paris Conference leads to Sihanouk's reinstatement once again as head of state. He is later made King.

1993 - Influences son Prince Norodom Ranariddh to accept co-prime minister position with Hun Sen after Ranariddh wins first post-war democratic election

2004 - Abdicates throne in favour of son, Prince Sihamoni. Moves to Pyongyang and later, Beijing

October 15, 2012 - Dies of a heart attack in Beijing "

by Phnom Penh Post, dated October 18, 2012

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