Wed, 19 Jan 2022

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- The body of Cambodia's Prince Norodom Ranariddh was cremated on Wednesday in an elaborate Buddhist ceremony at a park next to the Royal Palace in the capital of Phnom Penh.

Ranariddh, president of Funcinpec Party and chairman of the Supreme Privy Advisory Council to the King, died in France on Nov. 28 of illness at the age of 77 and his body was flown to Cambodia on Sunday for a traditional funeral.

On Wednesday, a coffin containing Ranariddh's body was driven in a 1.5-kilometer procession from his former residence on Samdech Pan Street to the crematorium at the park. National flags across the kingdom were flown at half-mast as mark of respect for him.

The funeral pyre was lit by King Norodom Sihamoni, his half-brother and the ceremony was attended by Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen and numerous dignitaries.

Hun Sen has said Ranariddh, who was former first prime minister from 1993 to 1997 and ex-president of the National Assembly from 1998 to 2006, had greatly contributed to the cause of the nation, religion and monarchy during his life time.

"The prince's death is the loss of a prominent royal figure, who had a strong affection for the nation, religion, and the king," he said in a condolence message.

Funcinpec Party's spokesman Nhoeun Raden said the late prince was one of the most outstanding members of the royal family, who sacrificed his entire life for the country.

"It's a great loss for our country because Prince Ranariddh was an outstanding patriot, who devoted his whole life to serving our nation," he told Xinhua. "He was a key contributor to the national unification, reconciliation and peace."

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