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New book honours King Father

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A man looks at the new book Norodom Sihanouk: Immortal Figure, which was released yesterday by a group of six journalists. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post

A day before King Father Norodom Sihanouk’s funeral procession, the first book about him to be published since his death was released.

Titled “Norodom Sihanouk: Immortal Figure”, the 185-page collection of photos, documents, and essays charts the events of the past 100 days, including royal sub-decrees, condolences from foreign dignitaries, and a wrap-up of obituaries published around the world.

A group of five journalists, including Pierre Gillette, the former editor-in-chief of the now-defunct Cambodge Soir newspaper, spent months compiling the book.

“We created this book for the public to keep a record of his achievements,” said Leang Delux, a correspondent for Radio France International and one of the book’s six contributors.

“There were so many people supporting him when the royal body was sent from China and so many world leaders also sent condolence notes, so we decided to compile the documents.”

An initial run of 5,000 copies will be sold at newsstands across Phnom Penh for $4 each.

The book also pulls from speeches given by several leaders since Sihanouk’s death, including that of Chinese President Hu Jintao, who lauded the late King Father as “a great friend of China’s”.

Journalism trainer Pen Bona, Thmei Thmei editor-in-chief Oung Chamreoun, and RFA reporter Ky Soklim also worked on the book, along with Ang Kem Eang, the director of Great Angkor Tour agency.

“This book shows the interest of world leaders who focus on the late King Father, along with all classes of Cambodian people who deeply love him. All these elements convinced us it was worth compiling this... book to remind [people] of his achievements,” said Delux.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at titthara.may@phnompenhpost.com

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