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  #21  
Old 10-14-2004, 03:00 PM
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It's Official...There will be a new king in Cambodia! Hopefully there will be some neat pictures of the coronation ceremony that is to be held next month.

Here's an article about it from BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3741652.stm
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  #22  
Old 10-14-2004, 07:31 PM
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Thank you all for the information. I hope you don't mind if I post the article that Lyle left the link for above!
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3741652.stm



Cambodia chooses new monarch


Norodom Sihamoni has kept out of politics until now

Norodom Sihamoni has been named as Cambodia's new king, a week after his father Sihanouk's abdication.

A nine-member throne council voted in favour of the former ballet dancer, whose only previous public role was as Cambodia's ambassador to Unesco.

A statement issued by the council said Sihamoni should be referred to as king with immediate effect. He is due to be crowned later this month.

The hunt for a new monarch was sparked by Sihanouk's abdication last week.

There was no legal provision in the event of a monarch's abdication, and laws had to be rushed through Cambodia's parliament to enable a throne council to convene and choose a successor.

CAMBODIAN SUCCESSION
Nine-member throne council approved nomination
Laws for deciding succession had to be rushed through
King Sihamoni was former king's preferred candidate
Elder half-brother Ranariddh said he did not want the post



Profile of King Sihamoni
Your views

Prime Minister Hun Sen, acting head of state Chea Sim, two top Buddhist monks and other senior political figures - usually loyal to Hun Sen - made up the nine-member throne council.

Earlier this week Hun Sen publicly stated his support for King Sihamoni's appointment, as did Sihanouk, so Thursday's announcement has come as no surprise.

But nevertheless this is a remarkably smooth transition in a country better known for its political upheavals.

The first task of the new king will be to come home. He is currently in the Chinese capital, Beijing, with his father, who is receiving medical treatment.

Both men are expected to return to Cambodia next week, and a coronation ceremony has been planned for later this month.



Apolitical successor

When Sihanouk announced his abdication last Wednesday, politicians initially hoped he would change his mind.

Prince Ranariddh - another of Sihanouk's children and head of the National Assembly - even went to China to try to persuade his father to stay on.

King Sihamoni is due back in Cambodia next week

But once it became obvious that Sihanouk would not reverse his decision, speculation mounted that King Sihamoni would be chosen to succeed him.

Prince Ranarridh - by far the best known of Sihanouk's 14 children - has often said he would rather stay in politics than be crowned king.

Both Ranarridh and Sihanouk publicly stated that King Sihamoni was their preferred choice of successor.

Prime Minister Hun Sen also backed King Sihamoni - a man he hopes will stay out of Cambodia's day-to-day politics, unlike his father who often interfered in political decisions.

While the reigning monarch used to have great authority in Cambodia, the position is now largely symbolic and wields no real power.

But it remains an important position because of the reverence Cambodian people give to the royal family.

For the ailing Sihanouk, King Sihamoni's appointment will bring huge comfort.

The 81-year-old former monarch ruled Cambodia for more than half a century, and had been troubled by the prospect that the Khmer royal line would die with him.

He was also concerned that - even if the monarchy continued - there could well have been a succession battle after his death. Cambodia's monarchy is hereditary, but any descendent of the past three kings can be chosen, and there were dozens of potential candidates to chose from. "My abdication allows me to give our country, our nation and our people a serious opportunity to avoid mortal turmoil the day after my death," Sihanouk wrote recently on his website.

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  #23  
Old 10-14-2004, 08:21 PM
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U.N. congratulates new Cambodia king

United Nations, United States, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Thursday congratulated King Norodom Sihamoni for his election as Cambodia's new king and head of state.

The Secretary-General welcomed the Royal Throne Council's unanimous election of King Sihamoni and offered his best wishes to the new monarch, said an associate spokeswoman at U.N. World Headquarters in New York, Denise Cook. "He wishes him every success in this important role."

Annan also paid tribute to King Norodom Sihanouk for the "outstanding public service" rendered to his country the last 50 years. He also praised the former king's indispensable role during the peace process that led to the Cambodia's first democratic elections in 1993.

The 81-year-old, and frail, Sihanouk abdicated, citing poor health.
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  #24  
Old 10-16-2004, 11:15 PM
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Ballet dancer as the new figure head king! well, well- I am sure prince Ranarridh is so much capable and well-trained as a future king than Shihamoni but because the rivalry between Hun Sen and he would put the country in turmoil again so this smiley, flamboyant bachelor brother with a great taste of art would be more fitting-he probably does not care about politics at all-I guess what is considered good quality in one person is all depended on the situation of the time.
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  #25  
Old 10-16-2004, 11:31 PM
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he has so may wives...! and he is not muslim, buddist? apparently shihamoni is his 6th wife`s son
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  #26  
Old 10-17-2004, 11:31 AM
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Cambodian king choice to be unanimous
Thu 14 October, 2004 05:40





PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Prince Norodom Sihamoni will be the unanimous choice to succeed his father to the Cambodian throne today, his half-brother Norodom Ranariddh says.

"All nine members of the Royal Throne Council support Sihamoni as the new king," Ranariddh told reporters on his return from Beijing, where he failed to persuade their father, Norodom Sihanouk, to withdraw his shock abdication.

Sihamoni would accompany Sihanouk back from Beijing on October 20 and be crowned on Oct 29., Ranariddh said.

The council was due to meet later on Thursday to choose a new monarch and Sihamoni, a 51-year-old Prague-educated dance teacher who until recently was Cambodia's ambassador to UNESCO in Paris, appears to be the only candidate.

Ranariddh, deep into politics like most of Sihanouk's other children who survived the Khmer Rouge "Killing Fields" years of the 1970s, helped persuade the reluctant Sihamoni to take the throne.

Sihanouk said Sihamoni, who has spent much of his life outside Cambodia, would be his ideal successor because he was not involved in politics and Prime Minister Hun Sen, a member of the Royal Throne Council, backed his choice.

Sihanouk, who turns 82 on October 31 and has been having medical treatment in Beijing for months, announced a week ago that he was too old, sick and tired to carry on and rebuffed all attempts to get him to change his mind.

He made plain in a message to the Cambodian people on Tuesday that he wanted the succession determined before he died, even though the constitution says the monarch rules for life, because he feared another bloodbath if it was not.

"My abdication allows me to give our country, our nation and our people a serious opportunity to avoid mortal turmoil the day after my death," Sihanouk wrote.

Cambodian politics were so factionalised that an all-out battle for power could erupt if there were no monarch to keep the lid on, he said.

"Cambodian republicans are irredeemably divided into antagonistic, well organised clans, even armies, capable of falling on each other in tragic and bloody fashion," he said.

Cambodia's two houses of parliament rushed through legislation allowing Sihanouk to retire when it became clear he would not change his mind about abdicating, a move he had threatened many times in frustration at political chaos.

Sihamoni has none of the vast experience of his father, who led his country to independence from France, tried to keep it out of the Vietnam War and survived the Khmer Rouge, although more than a dozen of his children and grandchildren did not.

However, diplomats said the polyglot bachelor, who has never held any political office, might not be the pushover many expect.

"He's very much an unknown quantity, but he's certainly no fool," said one Western diplomat who met Sihamoni at UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organisation.
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  #27  
Old 10-17-2004, 11:55 AM
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Cambodians Are Ready to Crown His Majesty the Ballet Dancer

By SETH MYDANS Published: October 15, 2004
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, Oct. 14 - Prince Norodom Sihamoni, 51, a dancer and choreographer, is to be crowned king this month, carrying out the wishes of his father in the first change in the monarchy most Cambodians have known.

Both men were in Beijing, where the father, 81, has been receiving medical treatment and where he issued a statement of abdication a week ago that took his country by surprise.

Under the constitution, a special Throne Council had seven days to name his successor, and the former king made it clear that Prince Sihamoni was his choice. Although he is a constitutional monarch with no real power, his words carry moral force here, and the country's political leaders quickly agreed. Low-key and businesslike in the grand, gilded, central hall of the royal palace, the Throne Council made the choice official on Thursday. One by one, the council members - seven of them in white uniforms and two in the orange robes of senior monks - slipped ballots into a large transparent box in a unanimous vote.

As each vote was read out, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is a member of the council, marked them on a large white board in the televised procedure.

Both the past and future kings are scheduled to return from Beijing next week, and the coronation is to be held on Oct. 29, according to Norodom Ranariddh, another royal son, who is speaker of the National Assembly and a member of the council.

Perhaps because the former king remains alive and because he is expected to remain a reassuring presence here, the reaction to his abdication seemed sad but understated. "I just follow His Majesty's decisions," said Somnol Som Hen, 64, who said her great uncle was a chauffeur for the departing king's father. "I feel a little sad, but everything depends on his decisions. You cannot oppose them or object to them." Chip Born, 43, a tailor, said: "When I heard that the king would not be the king any more, my heart just dropped, right down to the bottom. But you know the saying, you cannot stop the rain."

When he was asked his feelings about the real power in the country, Mr. Hun Sen, he said: "I don't want to comment on our prime minister because I don't know in detail what he has done well and not well, and I don't want to have any comment on that. I am just a tailor."

Just across a park from the palace, on the banks of the Tonle Sap River, strollers seemed to pay no attention to the moment of transition that was taking place behind its high, yellow walls.

"What? I didn't know anything about that," said Nheat Davy, 35, a snack-seller, as she sat over a basket of fried crickets, silk worms and beetles. "Of course we would like the king to be our king forever and bring us peace. But we are his children. We don't decide what to do."
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  #28  
Old 10-20-2004, 12:57 PM
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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA: Cambodia's abdicated king Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk wave to the crowd during a welcome ceremony at Phnom Penh airport, 20 October 2004. Thousands of Cambodians were preparing to welcome home their first new monarch in more than 60 years, King Sihamoni Norodom, who was appointed last week while in Bejing with his retired father
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  #29  
Old 10-20-2004, 12:59 PM
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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA: Cambodia's new king, Norodom Sihamoni greets Cambodian people during a welcome ceremony at Phnom Penh airport, 20 October 2004. Thousands of Cambodians were preparing to welcome home their first new monarch in more than 60 years, King Sihamoni Norodom, who was appointed last week while in Bejing with his retired father
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  #30  
Old 10-21-2004, 02:14 AM
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a very good looking man, I must say. Too bad I heard that he is gay. But still a charming man.
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  #31  
Old 10-21-2004, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julial
a very good looking man, I must say.
Yes, I second that. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by julial
Too bad I heard that he is gay. But still a charming man.
Is he really? Do the Cambodian people know that? I think that's a concept foreign to many in the Eastern Hemisphere.
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  #32  
Old 10-21-2004, 07:53 AM
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His dad King Sihanouk stated that he approved of gay marriage, man to man, woman to woman. King Sihamoni is whispered to be not interested in women. Perhaps the reason for his bachelorhood. What a pity!
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Old 10-21-2004, 10:42 AM
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Thanks! So presumably the monarchy will end with King Norodom or will some distant relative usurp the power? I saw him on bbc but was not very attentive as to what was being said.
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  #34  
Old 10-23-2004, 04:27 AM
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Other princes`son to be considered for the next next king...
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  #35  
Old 10-24-2004, 07:50 AM
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Cambodian princess weds '97 alumnus
One fateful night in a New York dance club, Marc Coumeri ran into the woman of his dreams
By Ishai Mooreville
September 06, 2002
The majority of Hopkins graduates plan to get married at some point in their lives. And eventually they do, whether they meet their spouse in college, graduate school, the office, or maybe a chance meeting in the street. For Marc Coumeri, a 1997 graduate of the Whiting School of Engineering, things happened a little bit differently. Little did he know that the woman he started dancing with one night at a Manhattan club would end up being both a Princess of Cambodia and his future wife.



It all began around Thanksgiving of 2000, late one night at 4 a.m. in the Twilo dance club in New York, where Mr. Coumeri, who works for American Express in the Risk Management Department, was hanging out with fellow Hopkins graduate and friend Noel Thomas (Eng '97).

"I was not up to going to a club that night, but my friend Noel really wanted to, so I went with him anyway," said Coumeri over a telephone interview from New York.

After they sat down and had a few drinks at the bar, Coumeri recounted, Thomas put his drink down and said "Follow me" as he made his way onto the dance floor.

As they walked across the dance floor, Coumeri's future wife Princess Pekina Norodom and her friend Divina Kwok happened to be walking right by them.

"While we passed them, my friend randomly grabbed Divina's hand and started dancing with her. That left me stranded there with Pekina so we started dancing too," said Coumeri.

They danced way into the late morning when the club finally closed. Afterwards they all went out for Dim Sum in Chinatown, where the chemistry between Coumeri and Norodom was already starting to emerge.

A full 24 hours after they had first met, Norodom called up her future husband and asked him out on their first date. However, it was hardly the romantic candlelight dinner one might imagine. Coumeri was actually invited to accompany Norodom to an Ikea Furniture store, where she said she was looking for some furniture. Later, Norodom would reveal to Coumeri that she just wanted to spend some time with him in a public place where they could get to know each other better. The date ended up a success, though it wasn't until much later that she eventually revealed her royal origins.

A few weeks passed and one day Norodom finally told her husband-to-be over the phone that she was the granddaughter of the King of Cambodia. She asked Coumeri if he recognized her last name. "I said, 偡o, should I?'" Coumeri was taken aback at first, but knew she was telling the truth.

"After she told me, the first person I called was my best friend Noel. I told him 偝it down, you're not going to believe this one. My girlfriend is kind of the princess of Cambodia.'"

Norodom is a granddaughter of King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia, who was forced into exile by a coup in 1970 that opened the door to the Khmer Rouge. Her family settled in Beijing, where she was born in that year. When she was 10, her family moved to Connecticut. Today, she works as a product manager at Timex.

Before Coumeri proposed to his bride-to-be, he formally called up her parents and out of courtesy, asked them for their daughter's hand in marriage.

"I didn't realize it at the time, but when you ask for permission in Cambodian culture, it's supposed to be accompanied by a big ceremony," said Coumeri. "I just asked for permission over the phone and they said 偊es, we accept you as our son.'"

The couple were married in a Buddhist ceremony at Phnom Penh's royal palace in Cambodia on May 30 of this year. "It was definitely the most extraordinary event of my life," said Coumeri. The wedding was a whole day affair that began at 8 a.m. and was conducted in Cambodian, which was translated to Coumeri by his wife.

"The fact that she is a princess doesn't affect our relationship. She has a very normal lifestyle here, no servants or anything like that."

Looking back on the whole thing, Coumeri is still a little surprised how quickly it all transpired.

"I wasn't really looking for someone at the time, I was just enjoying myself and it just sort of happened. So if your friend suggests doing something, go even if you don't want to." The marriage will be profiled on The Learning Channel show A Wedding Story. The episode premieres on Monday, October 14 at 2:30 p.m., and will be repeated on Tuesday, December 24.
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  #36  
Old 10-28-2004, 08:37 PM
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October 28, 2004, Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni prays with royal family members during the opening ceremonies of his coronation in front of the Royal Palace throne room Phnom Penh. Cambodia began three days of celebrations Thursday as its new king, former ballet dancer Norodom Sihamoni, prepared to take over the throne from his father, Norodom Sihanouk, adored by his people for more than 60 years.

4) King Norodom Sihamoni prays holding a ceremonial candle in the Royal Palace throne room Phnom Penh

5-6) King Nordomon Sihamoni prays in front of the nation's throne

7-8) King Nordomon Sihamoni receives blessings from his sister Princess Bopha Devi and other family members

9-10) King Nordomon Sihamoni receives blessings from Buddist monks
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Old 10-28-2004, 08:39 PM
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Some more pics....beautiful ceremony and very respecful and handsome King..
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Old 10-28-2004, 08:44 PM
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Some pics of the preparations for the coronation around Cambodia.
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  #39  
Old 10-28-2004, 08:50 PM
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I found a neat article in 'Phnom Phen Post' explaining the Cambodian coronation. It also explains the three days of rituals and celebrations that comprise the coronation.

PHP Code:
   A Royal Cambodian Coronation

By Julio A
Jeldres

The Royal coronation of a Cambodian monarch can take place several days
months or even years after the election of the sovereignIn effectthe King assumes functions immediately after his election by the Crown Council and the coronation is essentially a religious and symbolic ceremony designed to bring divine blessings upon the elected monarch.

The coronation of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Baromneath Norodom Sihamoni will be simplevery much like that of his august fatherHis Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk Varmanheld on September 231993. Howeverthe spirit and unique character of the old sumptuous coronations of previous kings of Cambodia will not be missing from the traditional ceremony to be held on October 292004.

In the past
following the election of the new kingthe court astrologers were requested to determine the most appropriate date for the ceremony of the coronationIn accordance with the Kram Preah Reachea Prapdaphisek (Law on the Coronation of Kingspromulgated in the second half of the 18th centurythe appropriate date was chosen and the preparations for the event began.

The Appisek, or Ceremonial Bath
Following seven days of rites 
and ceremonies performed by the Bakus of the courtduring which the fire is blessed and water to be used for the ceremony purifiedthe sovereign was solemnly presented to the people in the Throne HallA specialwhitebathing pavilion has been prepared in front of the Throne Hallthe sovereign took off his ceremonial robes and exchanged them for a lightwhitebathing robe.

The Chiefs of the Buddhist Orders then proceeded to drop on the sovereign's head the water previously purified and consecrated. A light shower was then released from a canopy above through the petals of a golden lotus, giving celestial significance to the shower.

While the ceremonial bath was in progress the Bakus play their ceremonial music.

The sovereign then dressed in his ceremonial robes and addressed the Buddhist monks present to whom he declared that he is the servant and protector of Buddhism and that he will always be loyal to Buddhism.

The Buddhist ritual having come to an end, the Buddhist monks withdrew to allow a Brahmanic ceremony to take place.

The Brahmanic Consecration
Three Bakus led the sovereign to the audience hall within the Throne Hall and asked him to sit on the elevated throne, a symbolic representation of Mount Meru. The King turned to each of the eight principal directions of the living space, represented by a Brahman priest and then drank from a sea shell, washed his face with the remainder of the water and trumpeted the shell. 

The sovereign then welcomed in his arms a statue of Shiva and one of Vishnu and swore in front of the Brahmanic idols kept in the palace to maintain the ancient national traditions. The King then received his Kingdom: earth, waters, mountains and forests which the Chief Baku presented to him on behalf of his people.

The Chief Baku then placed on the sovereign'
s head the crownthe Mokot, and the King then adjusted a pair of golden slippers and took possession of the other items of his regalia by touching them.

The last part of the Brahmanic ritual ended with the Sovereign coming down from the elevated throne and sitting on the ordinary throne and receiving the unction with sacred oil from the Chief Baku.

The Pradakshina, or Procession of the Nobles
The last part of the Coronation ceremony is the Pradakshina
The Ladies of the Courtthe princes and princessesthe mandarins and nobles with lit candles circulated around the throne three times in such a way that their right shoulder was always presented to the new sovereign.

Just before the end of the ceremonythe mandarins and other senior Court officials laid down in front of the throne the insignia of their functions which the master of the kingdom would return the following morningthus giving them a new mandate to continue in their functions.

The ceremony ended with the King travelling by a Royal Cortege along the principal avenues of the capitalwhere the people have their first contact with their new sovereign.

The consecration of the Queen used to be held in private. Normally it took place in the presence only of the ladies of the Court and with their assistantsAfter three days of prayers by Buddhist monksthe Queen received the lustral water and sacred oil from the King.

In 1993the ceremony was held in public and with minimum fanfare in accordance with the wishes of the King and Queen
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:25 PM
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October 29, 2004, 2nd day of rituals:

1) King Norodom Sihamoni greets his parents, former King Sihanouk and Queen Norodom Monineath

2) King Norodom Sihamoni sits in a royal pavillion during a religious ceremony

3) being attended by two supreme monks

4) Cambodian supreme monks pour water as part of a religious ceremony

5) former King Norodom Sihanouk pour water over his son

6) being kissed by his mother, Queen Norodom Monineath

7) being led down the stairs by priests
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