Since 1970 Cambodia has experienced a coup d'état, civil war, saturation bombing, revolution, genocide, invasion, occupation, and famine. This spring is the tenth anniversary of the Communist revolutions that swept Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos in 1975. For Cambodians, and anyone concerned with that much-punished country, it is an opportunity to reflect—and mourn.
No name is more closely tied with Cambodia's postwar history than that of Prince Norodom Sihanouk. Placed on the throne by French colonial authorities in 1941 at the age of nineteen, Sihanouk gained international fame during his Croisade Royale pour l' Independence, which reached fruition with the Geneva Accords of 1954. Abdicating shortly thereafter, Sihanouk formed a political party that swept the first National Assembly elections. He ruled without interruption until 1970.