Holiday Marks Interring Of King Father’s Ashes

The government on Tuesday proclaimed a one-off public holiday on Friday, July 11, to mark the interring of late King Father Norodom Sihanouk’s ashes, according to a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and released Tuesday.

The revered former monarch died in October 2012 and his ashes have resided at the Royal Palace since he was cremated in February 2013.

“Civil servants, and other employees and workers will get one day off on July 11 in order to pay respects to the late King and join the march carrying the late King’s urn,” the directive says.

A three-day ceremony will begin the day before with religious blessings, while the parade on Friday will carry the ashes to the Silver Pagoda in the Royal Palace compound, where they will be interred on Saturday.

The directive says that all shops along Norodom, Sihanouk and Sothearos boulevards and Street 184 “must stop work and selling on Friday, July 11, 2014 to clear traffic.”

Radio and TV stations, as well as entertainment venues, are also ordered to observe a national tone of mourning.

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