Kingdom of Cambodia
National anthem of Cambodia
(Royal Kingdom) is the national anthem of Cambodia. After the royalist party FUNCINPEC defeated the former communists (Cambodian People's Party) in the 1993 elections, the royalist anthem was restored as well. Based on a Cambodian folk tune and written by Chuon Nath, the anthem was originally adopted in 1941 and reconfirmed in 1947, around the time of independence from France. In 1970, the monarchy was abolished, thereby replacing the anthem as well. After the communist victory in 1975, former royalist symbols, including "Nokoreach", were reinstated for a short while. The Khmer Rouge then replaced it with Dap Prampi Mesa Chokchey or Glorious Seventeenth of April
. After the royalist forces defeated the communists in 1993, putting an end to their long civil war, the royalist anthem was also restored to Cambodia once more. The title of the anthem is derived from the name of an ancient Khmer kingdom.
Words by: Chuon Nat
Music by: F. Perruchot and J. Jekyll, based on a Cambodian folk tune
Adopted: 1941, replaced 1970, restored 1975, replaced 1976, restored 1993
more information on Nokoreach
Map of Cambodia
Basic information on Cambodia
Most Cambodians consider themselves to be Khmers, descendants of the Angkor Empire that extended over much of Southeast Asia and reached its zenith between the 10th and 13th centuries. Attacks by the Thai and Cham (from present-day Vietnam) weakened the empire, ushering in a long period of decline. The king placed the country under French protection in 1863 and it became part of French Indochina in 1887. Following Japanese occupation in World War II, Cambodia gained full independence from France in 1953. In April 1975, after a five-year struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh and evacuated all cities and towns. At least 1.5 million Cambodians died from execution, forced hardships, or starvation during the Khmer Rouge regime under POL POT. A December 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside, began a 10-year Vietnamese occupation, and touched off almost 13 years of civil war. The 1991 Paris Peace Accords mandated democratic elections and a ceasefire, which was not fully respected by the Khmer Rouge. UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of normalcy under a coalition government. Factional fighting in 1997 ended the first coalition government, but a second round of national elections in 1998 led to the formation of another coalition government and renewed political stability. The remaining elements of the Khmer Rouge surrendered in early 1999. Some of the remaining Khmer Rouge leaders are awaiting trial by a UN-sponsored tribunal for crimes against humanity. Elections in July 2003 were relatively peaceful, but it took one year of negotiations between contending political parties before a coalition government was formed. In October 2004, King SIHANOUK abdicated the throne due to illness and his son, Prince Norodom SIHAMONI, was selected to succeed him. Local elections were held in Cambodia in April 2007, and there was little in the way of pre-election violence that preceded prior elections. National elections are scheduled for July 2008.
||Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos
note: estimates for this country take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
||three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (double width), and blue with a white three-towered temple representing Angkor Wat outlined in black in the center of the red band
note: only national flag to incorporate an actual building in its design