Sihanouk Postpones Return To Treat Cancer

Retired King Norodom Si­ha­nouk has announced that his re­turn to Cambodia will be postponed because his battle with cancer has forced him to remain in Bei­jing for treatment.

Doctors at Beijing Hos­pi­tal exam­ined the former King on Sun­day and found that the cancer “is relapsing and in a serious situation,” Norodom Sihanouk wrote in a message posted on his Web site and dated May 1.

“They…asked me to prolong [my] stay in Beijing for a while so that the Chinese doctors can use other ways to treat and check the de­velopment of this disease every day,” he wrote.

According to a statement from Bei­­jing Hospital, which was posted on his Web site on Sunday, No­ro­dom Sihanouk suffered from pel­vic lymphoma in 1993 and was treated with chemotherapy.

Last year, doctors discovered “a gastric lymphoma and relevant therapy was instituted,” the hospital’s statement read. “Resent [sic] follow up showed progression of the tumor. Consultation with spe­cial­ists was held and another course of chemotherapy suggested.”

Norodom Sihanouk, 82, was scheduled to return to Phnom Penh on Sunday to head a new seven-member Supreme National Council aiming to reclaim territory along Cambodia’s borders lost to its neighbors.

Norodom Sihanouk has now asked Royal Palace Min­is­ter Kong Som Ol to invite the other six border council members for an all-expenses paid visit to Bei­jing, according to a separate statement posted on his Web site.

In the letter, he also asks Var Kim­ong, head of the government’s existing border committee, Long Visalo, secretary of state for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and Sean Pengse, chairman of a Cam­bo­dian border committee based in France, “to come work with me for 2 or 3 days.”

“They must bring available maps: From the 1960s, maps used now, maps ‘that were born’ be­tween 1979 and 1989 and between 1990 and 2004/2005,” Norodom Sihanouk wrote.

Last week, Norodom Sihanouk had stated that his health was im­proving. (Additional reporting by Wen­cy Leung)


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