Cambodia's 'last true king' | Bangkok Post: news

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Cambodian monarchy fading into history

  • Published: | Viewed: 4,726 | Comments: 7
  • Online news: Asia
  • Writer: By Denis D. Gray, The Associated Press
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PHNOM PENH — When the flames at the cremation ground are quenched and Norodom Sihanouk's ashes scattered on Phnom Penh's riverfront, the Mekong River may well carry away Cambodia's last true king, a towering figure in a procession of more than 100 monarchs stretching back 2,000 years. 

Thousands of mourners wait in line at the Royal Palace to pay their respects to the late former King Norodom Sihanouk in Phnom Penh on Saturday. (AP Photo)

Today, Cambodia has a new king, but he holds little of the power that Sihanouk once wielded. Instead, a poor farmer's son and onetime communist commander, strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen, now occupies the dominant position that Sihanouk represented for years.

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