Lon Nol [key], 1913–85, Cambodian general and political leader. He became defense minister and army chief of staff in 1955 in Norodom Sihanouk's government. He served as premier (1966–67) under Sihanouk. In 1970, he led the coup that deposed Sihanouk, and assumed control of the government. He attempted unsuccessfully to suppress the Communist Khmer Rouge guerrillas, and his efforts plunged the country into civil war. After temporarily relinquishing power, he seized control in 1972 and suspended the constitution. Due to his inept leadership and anti-Communist fervor, he was forced to leave the country in 1975, when the Khmer Rouge advanced on the capital city. He settled in Hawaii.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Southeast Asia History: Biographies