Overhead cables are to be cut, pavements cleared and storefront awnings rolled back this morning as a show of respect for a golden urn said to contain the ashes of the Buddha as it makes its way through central Phnom Penh on its way home to Oudong Mountain in Kandal.
The urn, which was brought to Cambodia from Sri Lanka by the Late King Father Norodom Sihanouk in 1957, was among several golden relics stolen from the temple at Oudong in December 2013, triggering outrage and protests.
According to an announcement by the Ministry of Cults and Religion, the procession, timed to coincide with the Buddhist Visak Bochea festival, will begin at 4:30am at the Royal Palace.
From there, 148 monks, civil servants from every ministry, soldiers, police officers and 1,000 students will accompany the urn along a route designed to avoid the urn passing underneath overhead cables or anything that might be construed as being disrespectful towards the ashes.
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