Ready for the End

H.M. King Father Preah Norodom Sihanouk announces that he has little wish to live longer, but is not about to take his own life. (Translation below.)

Beijing, PRC, October 2, 2009.

My father, H.M. King Preah Suramarit, died at the age of 64 (diabetes). 1960.

His father-in-law, H.M. King Preah Monivong, had died at the age of 64 (died of grief in 1941—the grief of having lost Battambang, etc…—unjustly annexed by Thailand with the help of Japan).

My maternal great-grandfather, H.M. Preah Sisowath had the reputation of having lived a very long life; he died at the age of 83 (died of “old age”).

But I, who sincerely want to die as near in the future as possible, have “lived too long”: on October 31, 2009, I will be 87 years old.

This overly long longevity weighs on me like an unbearable weight.

Unaware of my mentality, an incalculable number of compatriots are wishing for me to live beyond 100 years. Some of these well-loved compatriots have gone so far as to wish me to live 300 years!!!

More out of courtesy and affection than out of hypocrisy, I thank these compatriots. But to be frank and stripped of hypocrisy, I would like to for all to know (Khmers and foreigners) that they bring me no pleasure when they wish me a long life. What I want is to die as soon as possible, without infringing on the teaching of the Noble Buddha which forbids suicide.


This story also appeared last week in Cambodge Soir and in the Straits Times.