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Cambodia: Independence Day

Cambodia celebrates its Independence Day on 9 November, the anniversary of the date in 1953 on which it seceded from French Indo-China.

The Khmer Empire established in the ninth century and based in Angkor had been in decline since the early 1400s, under increasing pressure from its more powerful Thai and Vietnamese neighbours to cede territory. In 1863 King Norodom invited the French to establish a protectorate; although he and his descendants remained on the throne, in effect Cambodia became a French colony.

After the Second World War, Norodom’s half-great-great-nephew Sihanouk (who had become King in 1941) successfully negotiated an end to French rule.

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