Another seven-day mourning period for the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk will be held next month to coincide with his cremation, a government document released yesterday says.
The mourning period, which will begin on the first day of his four-day funeral on February 1, was one of many details announced in a circular signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
A six-kilometre funeral procession expected to draw a million people onto the streets of the capital will begin proceedings and feature thousands marching from the Royal Palace, along major boulevards and back to the custom-built crematorium near the National Museum.
“Mourners will have to pay strong attention and listen to the instructions of the funeral organisers,” the document states, before calling on the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior and the Phnom Penh Municipality to keep security tight.
To ease congestion, 14 two by three metre television screens will be installed in public parks and open spaces such as Olympic Stadium, Freedom Park and the Night Market.
All television and radio stations in the country will broadcast the procession and funeral of the revered former monarch and leader, who passed away in China on October 15 at age 89.
Cambodian mourners have been asked to pin black ribbons to their shirts, while civil servants will have two days off, on February 1 and 4, when the King Father is cremated.
A flurry of blank bullets will be fired when Sihanouk’s body is taken from the palace, when it arrives at the cremation site and on the final day, while Buddhist monks will pray and strike drums during the procession.
Prince Sisowath Thomico, former adviser to Sihanouk, said about 100 members of the royal family and palace officials would attend the funeral in monastic robes to mourn and pay their respects.
“On behalf of the royal family, I am grateful to the government for organising this funeral for the King Father so well,” he said.
All public institutions and private businesses along the funeral’s path will be closed on February 1.
To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at [email protected]