King Father Norodom Sihanouk has asked that after his death, his ashes be placed inside a shrine in the Royal Palace, following a Buddhist ceremony, said a message from him released on Saturday.
Palace officials were quick to note, however, that the rare message from the former king who celebrated his 90th birthday last October 31 not be interpreted as a signal of declining health.
Prince Sisowath Thomico, personal assistant to Norodom Sihanouk, told the Post yesterday that “the Royal message was not intended to shock”. The prince explained that the former king, who led Cambodia’s independence from France, was simply preparing those who loved him for his eventual passing away.
The King Father’s health was normal and doctors were on call should he become ill, the prince said.
When Norodom Sihanouk returned from China to celebrate his 90th birthday, he said he would reside permanently in Cambodia.
He said he had “absolutely decided not to leave Cambodia” again, and that doctors would be sent from China to treat him here.