King Norodom Sihamoni visited Preah Khan temple in Preah Vihear province on Tuesday to deliver food and supplies to more than 800 families and pray to Cambodia’s late kings for peace and reconciliation in the country.
Arriving in the morning via helicopter at the 12th century Angkorian temple in Sangkum Thmei district, King Sihamoni donated food and supplies to 840 of the commune’s poorest families, which included 50 kg of rice, tins of fish paste, 100,000 riel (about $25), a T-shirt, mosquito nets and kramas.
King Sihamoni also prayed for an end to the ongoing political dispute between Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling CPP and the opposition CNRP, according to Oum Daravuth, chief of the Royal Cabinet.
“The King prayed to wish Cambodia is met with peace,” Mr. Daravuth said. “[The King] wants reconciliation between both parties and reconciliation as a nation forever, so other countries don’t look down [on Cambodia].”
In January, state-owned Agence Kampuchea Presse reported that the Royal Cabinet issued a statement calling on political parties and others to refrain from using the names of King Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath in reference to politics.
Mr. Daravuth said at the time that King Sihamoni had already done his part to break the political impasse by calling leaders of the CPP and CNRP together at the Royal Palace on September 15.
On September 23, the King convened the opening of Mr. Hun Sen’s one-party CPP National Assembly despite a boycott by the 55 elected CNRP lawmakers, which is now in its fifth month.
Khoy Bunthan, deputy governor of Preah Vihear province, said he hoped that King Sihamoni’s prayers for peace—amidst a post-election dispute that has seen seven people killed by state security forces—would come true.
“The King prayed to ask for happiness and peace for Cambodia and its people,” Mr. Bunthan said. “I want Khmers to love Khmers and for there to be no disputes.”
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