Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ex-PM Sovann cremated in capital

Ex-PM Sovann cremated in capital

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The coffin of former prime minister Pen Sovann sits in a crematorium yesterday in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district during his funeral ceremony. Hong Menea

Ex-PM Sovann cremated in capital

The body of former prime minister Pen Sovann was cremated at Wat Russei Sanh on Phnom Penh’s southwestern outskirts yesterday, with family, friends and opposition officials gathering in white to bid farewell to the 80-year-old in a half-hour ceremony.

Sovann, who was Cambodia’s first prime minister after the fall of the Khmer Rouge, passed away at his home in Takeo province’s Donkeo town on October 29, and had been lying in wake at the Wat Than pagoda in the capital’s Chamkarmon district since Wednesday.

The ceremony was held after a procession from Wat Than to Wat Russei Sanh.

“We all already know that Pen Sovann persistently strived and struggled in his life and in politics since he was a child to serve his nation and his people,” said Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang in his eulogy. “Even when his body was sick, he was fearless in serving his nation.”

“The death of Pen Sovann is a tremendous loss for his family,” he continued, calling Sovann “a brave man, endowed with deeply patriotic ideals for his nation, and for his entire family”.

Sovann was premier for six months in 1981 until Vietnam removed him from the post and jailed him in Hanoi for a decade, reportedly for opposing Vietnam’s continued influence in Cambodia after its overthrow of the Khmer Rouge in 1979.

The CNRP – for whom Sovann served as a lawmaker since 2013 – had sought to hold the cremation at the central Wat Botum park, yet backed down last week and agreed to hold it on the outskirts. Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Sok Eysan had said that Sovann had forfeited any special honours after choosing to become an opposition lawmaker.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the

  • Soaring global fuel prices: an opportunity for Cambodia?

    Cambodia is feeling the squeeze from the soaring global coal and oil prices. Electricity du Cambodge (EDC)would certainly be hurting from this reality, and most likely re-assessing its plans to add more coal power stations. EDC buys half of Cambodia’s electricity from plants

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when