PHNOM PENH (XINHUA) – The body of Cambodian Prince Norodom Ranariddh arrived in Cambodia from France yesterday for a traditional funeral, a spokesman said.
Ranariddh, who was president of Funcinpec Party and chairman of the Supreme Privy Advisory Council to the King, died of illness in France on Novemver 28 at the age of 77. The charter flight carrying the prince’s body has touched down at the Phnom Penh International Airport, according to Funcinpec Party’s spokesman Nhoeun Raden.
As the prince’s coffin, covered with a national flag, was brought out of the plane, Buddhist monks were invited to chant prayers. The coffin was later driven from the airport to his former residence on Samdech Pan Street in the capital’s Daun Penh district for a royal funeral.
“The prince’s funeral will be held for four days, and his body will be cremated on December 8 at a park in front of the Botum Vatey Pagoda in Phnom Penh,” Raden told Xinhua. Ranariddh was former first prime minister from 1993 to 1997 and ex-president of the National Assembly from 1998 to 2006.
He was the second son of late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and a half-brother of current King Norodom Sihamoni.
Cambodia has announced December 8 as the national day of mourning for Ranariddh’s death, when national flags will be flown at half-mast and all radio and television stations must refrain from broadcasting inappropriately lighthearted music or programmes that might disrespect the prince.