Lon Nol

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Lon Nol (Khmer: លន់ នល់; ​November 13, 1913 – November 17, 1985) was a Cambodian politician and general who served as Prime Minister of Cambodia twice, as well as serving repeatedly as Defense Minister. He led a military coup against Prince Norodom Sihanouk and became self-proclaimed President of the newly-created Khmer Republic.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Nol was born in Prey Veng Province on November 13, 1913, to a family of mixed ChineseKhmer descent.[1][2] His father, Lon Hin, served as a district chief in Siem Reap and Kampong Thom, after making a name for himself 'pacifying' bandit groups in Prey Veng.[3] Nol was educated in the relatively privileged surroundings of the Lycée Chasseloup-Laubat in Saigon, followed by the Cambodian Royal Military Academy.

Employment in the colonial government

Nol found employment with the French colonial civil service in 1937. He became a magistrate, and soon proved himself as an efficient enforcer of French rule against a series of anti-colonial disturbances in 1939.[3] By 1946, he had risen to the post of Governor of Kratie Province. He became an associate of King Norodom Sihanouk, and by the late 1940s, when he set up a right-wing, monarchist, pro-independence political group, was becoming increasingly involved in the developing Cambodian political scene. Joining the army in 1952, he carried out military operations against the Viet Minh.

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