Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Norodom Ranariddh returns to the land of his ancestors

Cambodge Soir


Pardoned by the King a few days ago, the Prince ended his exile in order to return to Cambodia on the day of Pchum Ben.

Sunday 28 September around 10.30am, Norodom Ranariddh expressed his gratitude towards the Buddhas at one of Siem Reap’s most popular places, visited by believers who want their wishes to become true.

Two hours after his return, on the day of the Festival of the Death, the Prince’s gesture has a high symbolic value after his return from voluntary exile. Norodom Ranariddh’s procession stopped at the Preah in front of the Royal Residence of Siem Reap. The Prince was with his wife and son and prayed for a moment before distributing offerings to monks and mingling with the people around him. Several of his family members, of which the former governor of Chap Nhalyvoud town, and some supporters came for the occasion. The Prince was surrounded by a few private bodyguards, while some policemen were in charge of security.

Interviewed by Cambodge Soir Hebdo on his return to the city of Angkor instead of the capital, the Prince answered: “I came to Siem Reap in the fist place because this is the land of my ancestors”. Norodom Ranariddh doesn’t have a precise schedule for the following days, he just specified: “Next Thursday I’ll go to Phnom Penh to visit my brother, King Norodom Sihamoni, before meeting with my party committee”. On Sunday afternoon he plans to pray before other Buddhas next to Angkor Wat.

Coming from Kuala Lumpur on an Air Asia flight, he was welcomed by a small delegation of relatives and friends, before continuing to his house in Siem Reap a few kilometres out of town.

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