The procession of the late King-Father Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk’s ashes to Preah Keo Morakot Pagoda(Silver Pagoda) in the Royal Palace kicked off this morning with sadness of the whole Cambodian people, royal families and leaders.
The ceremony was attended by His Majesty the King Norodom Sihamoni and Her Majesty the Queen-Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, Cambodian top leaders, including National Assembly Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin and Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, government officials and foreign diplomats.
The King-Father’s royal urns were marched from Prasat Tevea Vinichay, Royal Palace, towards Preah Norodom Blvd. by passing through the National Museum, then continue to the Independence Monument and the King-Father’s Royal Statues where 90 Buddhist monks were waiting to chant and pray for the soul of the King-Father at each stopover, before coming back to the Royal Palace.
The procession was composed of four groups with a total participants of over 4,000. The first group was the Victory Group with 492 participants showing the potential of the armed forces and the youth; while the second was the Group of Civil Servants, Judicial Body, Legislative Body, and Buddhism with 339 participants; the third was the Group of Government officials and Brahmanism with 289 participants; and the fourth was for the Royal Urns with 852 participants. In addition, the four groups were followed by a parade of a total 2,220 participants.
The ceremony also started with the first 101 rounds of 105 mm-artillery firing.
This is the second day of the three-day royal urns procession and interment ceremony. According to the schedule, the third day (July 12) is called the Royal Interring of the late King-Father Norodom Sihanouk’s Urns. It will begin early in the morning, and from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, people are allowed to pay their tributes to the late King-Father at the Silver Pagoda.
The three-day ceremony will finish at around 8:00 pm following the religious rituals in front of the Royal Palace.