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)