Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - State funeral to be held for Vietnam president



State funeral to be held for Vietnam president

State funeral to be held for Vietnam president

Vietnam on Sunday announced a state funeral and two days of national mourning for President Tran Dai Quang, who died on Friday aged 61.

Flags will be flown at half-mast and entertainment venues shut for two days starting on Wednesday, when Quang’s body will lie in state in Hanoi before being buried in his home town in Ninh Binh province the next day.

“His passing away is a great loss for our party, state and people,” the Communist Party of Vietnam said in a statement Sunday, adding that the funeral would be broadcast live.

Condolences have poured in from across geopolitical divides, with Cuba announcing its own mourning period and US President Donald Trump calling him a “great friend of the United States” in a statement Friday.

The leaders of Cambodia and China also sent tributes, even though Quang’s time in office since 2016 was marked by tensions with Beijing over disputed waterways in the South China Sea.

The cause of death was identified in state media as a “rare virus” though no further details were provided.

Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh will take over as head of state – the first female in the position – until a replacement is decided by lawmakers at an unspecified date.

Quang, a former police chief and communist party stalwart, spent more than four decades as an intelligence official and most recently threw his weight behind a crackdown on dissent and corruption which critics say was aimed at rivals.

Though he was a member of the powerful politburo, his role was largely ceremonial, hosting world leaders and diplomatic summits and functions intended to boost Vietnam’s profile on the international stage.

Analysts do not expect his death to shake up politics in the one-party state and rights groups said his legacy was one of repression.

But some in his home town of Quang Thien Commune remembered him fondly.

Reverend Thich Minh Tong, at Dong Duc Pagoda in Ninh Binh’s Kim Son district, on Sunday said the president had visited and was “very friendly to everyone”.

“The country has had many presidents in the past, but President Quang is the only one from our province Ninh Binh. And when he met all the monks, he shook hands with all of them,” he recalled. “When we heard the news of him passing away, everybody feels emotional. We feel sorry and miss him.”

Buddhist prayer ceremonies were held over the weekend, including a gathering of hundreds of monks who bowed before a portrait of Quang in a Ho Chi Minh City pagoda on Sunday.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (

  • Governor: Covid subsides in capital

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said the Covid-19 situation in the capital’s 14 districts has eased, with only two districts still recording a high number of infections. “Transmission cases in all districts are dropping, though they are relatively higher Meanchey and Por Sen Chey.