Cambodia celebrates King’s 81st birthday!

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锟斤拷锟斤拷PHNOM PENH, Oct. 30 (Xinhuanet) — Cambodia on Thursday kicks off grand celebrations in honor of King Norodom Sihanouk on the occasion of his 81st birthday on Friday with well-wishings from the whole country.

锟斤拷锟斤拷Phnom Penh’s main streets and public parks have been decked outwith lights for the birthday celebration. About 40 portraits of the King have been erected around the city, featuring images of the King and Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk in various periods of their life.

锟斤拷锟斤拷Newspapers carried front page photos of the revered monarch andfull page blessings and admirings to wish him a long life, though the King requested earlier this month that admirers not send him birthday greetings.

锟斤拷锟斤拷Moreover, television channels have been airing the King’s filmstwice a week since early October. And from Thursday to Saturday, state-run television station TVK will air five of the King’s films,alongside blessings and documentaries about the King.

锟斤拷锟斤拷The King’s birthday coincides with elaborate preparations for the 50th anniversary of Cambodia’s Independence on Nov. 9. It alsoserves as an informal lead-in to the Water Festival, which runs from Nov. 7 to Nov. 9.

锟斤拷锟斤拷Sihanouk, who was reinstated as the constitutional monarch in 1993, remains “a unifying symbol” for Cambodia.

锟斤拷锟斤拷Though the current political stalemate on forming a new government overshadows the King’s birthday, people believe that the King would solve the deadlock before long. “The King will not let this country collapse,” many people said.

锟斤拷锟斤拷The King has already invited the country’s three main politicalparties to attend the Nov. 5 meeting in Royal Palace aimed at resolving the deadlock which gripped the country for three months.

锟斤拷锟斤拷The three parties — the Cambodian People’s Party, the royalistFUNCINPEC party and the opposition Sam Rainsy Party — all accepted the King’s invitation. Enditem