Stage Set for King Sihamoni To Be Crowned

As many as 50,000 people are expected to attend King Noro­dom Sihamoni’s first national address at the end of his three-day coronation Saturday, which will also include speeches from Prime Minister Hun Sen, Senate President Chea Sim and National Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

About 200 representatives of foreign embassies and NGOs will be invited to sit in front row seats to be set up for the ceremony, while the public will stand for the hourlong proceedings, scheduled to begin 9 am Saturday, said Min Khin, vice chairman of the National and International Cere­mony Organizing Commit­tee.

To amplify the newly-crowned King’s first words to the nation, 50 loudspeakers, stretching from the National Museum to the National Assembly, were being connected by approximately 1,500 meters of cable to lamp posts on Wednes­day.

Wiring a speaker to a lamp-post in front of the palace on the Sis­owath Quay Wednesday morning, Chou Phearea, 40, an em­ployee with National Radio of Cam­bodia employee, said 15 people were working with him on the installation of the massive sound system.

Billboard portraits of King Si­hamoni were also being put in place to ring the park in front of the Royal Palace where workers have been stringing up flags and lights in preparation for this coronation festivities which begin today. Long flag banners were be­ing hung from lamp posts and smaller flags were strung be­tween posts above the streets.

Approximately 1,500 of the smaller flags will fly over Russian Boulevard, Norodom Boulevard and along Sisowath Quay to the Royal Palace, said Pheng Ouk, 47, who was supervising a team of eight men who were placing the flags at the palace.

Topping off the coronation decorations, Nhem Valy, vice director of the National and Inter­na­tional Ceremony Organ­izing Com­mittee, said 40,000 posters of King Sihamoni will be printed specially for this week’s celebration.


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