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Viet, Lao PMs to pay last tributes to Cambodian ex-King Sihanouk

PHNOM PENH, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) — Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Laos Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong will visit Cambodia on Friday to pay their last respects to late King- Father Norodom Sihanouk, according to media statements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.

One statement said Nguyen Tan Dung will lead a high-level delegation to pay tribute to the King-Father on Friday afternoon at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, and the other statement said Thongsing Thammavong will also pay homage to late ex-King Sihanouk on Friday afternoon.

The most revered ex-King Norodom Sihanouk died of illness at the age of 90 in Beijing on Monday and his body was transported to Phnom Penh by an Air China jumbo jet on Wednesday afternoon. Hundreds of thousands of mourners tearfully welcomed the return of his body.

Cambodia announced a week of mourning from Oct. 17 to 23, and the body of the King-Father will be exhibited for at least 3 months at the Royal Palace before it is cremated.

Born on Oct. 31, 1922, Sihanouk reigned the country from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until his voluntary abdication on Oct. 7, 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni.

He was the king who led the country to gain independence from France in 1953. He was a presence through decades of political and social turmoil in Cambodia, despite long periods of exile overseas.

He suffered from various forms of cancer, diabetes and hypertension and had been treated by Chinese doctors in Beijing for years before his death.

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Written by Kham

18/10/2012 at 8:58 pm

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