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Calming his politics

P rince Norodom Ranariddh had his head and eyebrows shaved in a ceremony at the

Royal Palace Dec 12, marking his formal entry into the monkhood for one week.

Ranariddh - following a royal family tradition by briefly serving as monk - was received

by King Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Monineath at the palace after the ceremony and

later prayed at the Silver Pagoda, a temple with a solid silver floor.

In a statement from his Cabinet, Ranariddh said: "I became a monk to learn the

teachings of Buddhism and to clear my mind in order to have good character and show

gratitude to my parents and compatriots."

Earlier Ranariddh said he hoped entering the monkhood would also "calm his politics",

an apparent reference to recent tensions with his coalition partner, co-Premier Hun

Sen.

During his stint as a monk, Ranariddh also made a one day trip to India where he

visited a temple at Buddh Gaya in Bihar state, where Buddha is said to have achieved

enlightenment.

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