Cambodia's retired King Norodom Sihanouk says he will fly five Buddhist monks to join him in China for blessings on his birthday later this month.
Sihanouk, who turns 84 on Oct. 31, and his wife, former Queen Monineath, left Cambodia in early September to undergo medical examinations in China. The former monarch _ succeeded by his son Norodom Sihamoni in 2004 _ spends much of his time in the Chinese capital, Beijing.
Sihanouk, in a message seen on his official Web site Friday, said a small group of Cambodian clergymen and five Buddhist monks "will arrive from Cambodia at my expense" to take part in prayers and a Buddhist religious ceremony to be held at his Beijing residence.
His message also said he wanted no fanfare for the occasion and "strongly" urged foreign and Cambodian dignitaries not to send him any birthday correspondence.
"I request my beloved fellow countrymen and women not to organize religious ceremonies in my favor," he said in the message dated Sept. 25. It was not clear why it was posted Friday.
Sihanouk has suffered from a number of ailments, including colon cancer, diabetes, hypertension and two strokes. He travels regularly for medical checkups to China, which granted him a comfortable exile after he was ousted from power in a 1970 coup.
Sihanouk has said he will not return home until next year.
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