Religious ceremonies organized to appease the Hindu god Indra helped spare Cambodia from the underwater quake and resulting tsunamis that devastated neighboring countries, retired King Norodom Sihanouk wrote in a message posted on his Web site Friday.
An unnamed woman warned Queen Norodom Monineath several weeks before the deadly Dec 26 quake that, “according to Preah Indra,” a disaster would hit Cambodia if “appropriate ceremonies were not organized in a certain number of sacred places,” Norodom Sihanouk wrote.
Given such warning, Norodom Sihanouk said he and Queen Monineath decided to spend a few thousand dollars to organize ceremonies to protect Cambodia from the disaster.
“[T]aking count of the aforementioned ceremonies, Preah Indra and other Celestial Powers had the great goodness to spare Cambodia and its People,” Norodom Sihanouk wrote.
He wrote that he, King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Monineath offered their condolences to the families of victims, as well as “a very humble and extremely modest” contribution of $15,000 to each country affected—Thailand, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka.
Prime Minister Hun Sen last week offered $40,000 to help victims in those countries.
In a separate message, King Sihamoni expressed his sympathy to Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose grandson Poom Jensen, 21, died after the tsunami struck the southern region of Thailand where he was vacationing.
“[W]e would like to extend to Your Majesty, the Royal Family and the People of the Kingdom of Thailand our heartfelt condolences. May He rest in peace,” King Sihamoni wrote in a letter dated Dec 27.