October 8, 2004

Oh man! Colossal news for Cambodiaphiles like myself!

“Tired, frustrated and sick, King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia said yesterday that he would give up the throne he has held, off and on, for more than half a century, throwing his nation into confusion and doubt.
“…King Sihanouk, 81, has repeatedly expressed anguish over the poverty and political turmoil that continue to torment what he recently called his ‘Kafkaesque kingdom.’
“…The king has indicated a preference for Prince Norodom Sihamoni, 51, a dancer and diplomat who lives in Paris. The prince is one of the king’s two children by Queen Norodom Monineath, his fifth wife.
“…’I express my gratitude to the people who would like to allow me, in waiting for my death, a tranquil life, in serenity, which I have not had since 1940,’ he wrote.”
The NYTimes says there’s a personal message from the King on his website, Norodom Sihanouk dot info. My second-favorite thing about Sihanouk (after his saxophone playing) is that he actually maintains a website.
Good Lord, I want to get over there and write about this…huge changes…Cambodia is so delicate…I’m frightened and thrilled…