Cremation of Cambodia´s King Father Norodon Sihanouk attended by one Million Cambodians
Christof Lehmann ( nsnbc) The earthly remains of Cambodia´s King Norodon Sihanouk, who passed away on 15 October 2012 in Beijing, have been cremated in Cambodia´s capital Phnom Phen today. Cambodians have traveled to the capital from all parts of the country. King Norodon Sihanouk, whom Cambodians lovingly called “The King Father” who had witnessed and survived the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge regime of Pol Pot, has been Cambodia´s King Father for more than five decades and seen many of the changes and modernizations of Cambodian politics, society and of the monarchy and its role in Cambodia.
The funeral rite, with participation of ninety Buddhist monks, began during the early morning hours. An estimated one million Cambodians took part in the procession and ceremonies. The rite culminated after sunset, when Norodon Sihanouk´s widow, the Queen Mother Norodom Monineath and the late King Fathers son, King Norodom Sihamoni ignited the funeral pyre inside the 15 story high crematorium.
The remaining ashes and relics of the King Father will according to traditions, be carefully sifted and collected in a caring ritual tomorrow. The ashes and relics will then be brought to the Chaktomuk river in a possession and placed opposite the Royal palace.
The Cambodian military fired a 101 Howizer salute in honor of the late King Father. The salute lit up the sky of Phom Phen.
After the cremation, Cambodia´s King Sihamoni delivered gifts to 400 prisoners whom he had previously pardoned. The pardoning of prisoners is considered to be a good deed, which is performed with the intention to do good, and to create good merit and good karma for his father, the late King Father Sihanouk, who according to King Sihamon ” is now in heaven, near the Lord Buddha forever“.
The funeral ceremony was attended by thirteen foreign leaders, including the Prime Ministers of France, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam and many other foreign dignitaries. King Sihamoni took office as the King of Cambodia when his father abdicated in 2004.