The cremation ceremony for Cambodian King Father Norodom Sihanouk took place at the Veal Preah Meru Square, Phnom Penh on February 4.

The event was attended by King Norodom Sihamoni, Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, President of the Senate Chea Sim, President of the National Assembly Heng Samrin, Prime Minister Hun Sen, among other royal family members and senior officials.

Many regional and international leaders were also present, including Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Chairman Jia Qinglin, Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, and French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

Following the ceremony, King Sihamoni granted amnesty to 405 prisoners, including 30 foreigners from Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Greece and Nigeria.

According to the organisers, since the King Father’s body was moved from the Royal Palace to the crematorium on February 1, about 2 million people arrived in Phnom Penh to pay last tribute to the King Father.

Born on December 31, 1922 , Sihanouk came to the throne for the first time in 1941, and the second time in 1993. In 2004, he abdicated in favour of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni.

He died of a heart attack in Beijing on October 15, 2012.-VNA