Hundreds of students carrying balloons and posters of King Norodom Sihanouk attended a ceremony Friday to inaugurate the newly renovated park in front of the Royal Palace.
Queen Norodom Monineath, Prime Minister Hun Sen, his wife Bun Rany, and Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng were among the dignitaries who attended the ceremony.
The Queen cut the red ribbon to officially open the park to the public and, along with Hun Sen and other officials, helped plant several trees surrounding the park.
“This park is a great decoration to enhance the beauty of Phnom Penh…,” the Queen said.
The park has new grass, lampposts, flowers and hedges. Stone walkways were also added.
Phnom Penh’s first deputy governor, Chea Sophara, decided to renovate the park in front of the palace in time for the King’s birthday, which is Sunday. It took $100,000 and three months to refurbish the park.
“The real meaning of the inauguration is to offer best wishes to His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk, who is the father of national reconciliation,” Chea Sophara said during the ceremony.
He said the park located in the heart of the city also represents peace, friendship and brotherhood, which replaces the anger and conflict that caused chaos and ruin in Cambodia during three decades of conflict.
The Queen presented Chea Sophara with an award to thank him for renovating the park.
“It’s a great opportunity for all of us to rehabilitate and develop our country after the war has faded,” she said. “I hope the municipality would continue its best effort to help build the country.”