For centuries the old Khmer kingdom was called Cambodia, a derivation of "Kambuja." After Cambodia won its independence from the French in 1953, it was called the Kingdom of Cambodia. Later, in 1970, Lon Nol took control and renamed the Kingdom of Cambodia to the Khmer Republic. Then, when Pol Pot seized power in 1975, he outlawed the name "Cambodia" because it had been used by the French and called the country "Democratic Kampuchea." The Vietnamese-installed government called Cambodia the "People's Republic of Kampuchea." This lasted until 1989 when it was renamed the State of Cambodia. After the elections of May 1993 and the crowning of Sihanouk in September of 1993, the country's name once again became the Kingdom of Cambodia. In the Khmer language, Cambodian's pronounce their country's name as "Kampuchea." For many foreigners, however, this becomes confused with Democratic Kampuchea and therefore, most international organizations refer to the country as Cambodia.

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