Norodom Sihanouk

  Male      Cambodian      Royalty

  Born : Oct 31, 1922  -
  Died : Oct 15, 2012

About Author

Norodom Sihanouk (31 October 1922 – 15 October 2012) was the King of Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 to 2004. Also affectionately known as Samdech Euv (Khmer: សម្តេចឪ) to the Cambodian people, Sihanouk ascended to the throne in 1941. After the Second World War, he campaigned for the independence of Cambodia from French rule. Cambodia subsequently became an independent state in 1953. In 1955, Sihanouk abdicated the throne in favour of his father Norodom Suramarit, and went on to form the Sangkum, a political organisation. Sihanouk led the Sangkum to win the 1955 general elections, and became the Prime Minister of Cambodia. When Suramarit died in 1960, Sihanouk introduced a constitutional amendment which made him the Head of State of Cambodia, a position which he held until his overthrow in 1970 by Lon Nol and Sisowath Sirik Matak. A new government, the Khmer Republic, was instituted after Sihanouk's ouster as the Head of State.

Sihanouk fled to China and North Korea and went on to form a government in exile, known as the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea (GRUNK) as well as a resistance movement, the National United Front of Kampuchea. As the leader of GRUNK, Sihanouk lent his support to the Khmer Rouge which led to their victory against the Khmer Republic in April 1975. Sihanouk subsequently returned to Cambodia and became the figurehead Head of State of Democratic Kampuchea by the Khmer Rouge. In 1976, Sihanouk resigned from his position which led to him being placed under house arrest until 1979 when Vietnamese forces overthrew the Khmer Rouge. Sihanouk went into exile again, and in 1981 he formed FUNCINPEC, a resistance front. The following year in 1982, the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK) was formed which brought together the three anti-Vietnamese resistance factions consisting of FUNCINPEC, Khmer Rouge and Khmer People's National Liberation Front (KPNLF), and Sihanouk was appointed as the President of the CGDK...

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