Thousands of students and government officials gathered at Phnom Penh’s Independence monument yesterday to mark the 64th anniversary of Cambodia’s independence from France.
King Norodom Sihamoni was greeted by throngs of flag-waving supporters as he made his way to Independence Monument at 8am.
At the monument, the King welcomed officials and lit a ceremonial fire and then shook hands with students, civil servants and armed forces while flanked by Defence Minister Tea Banh and RCAF commander-in-chief Pol Saroeun before heading back to the Royal Palace two hours later.
At the monument, Prime Minister Hun Sen, Interior Minister Sar Kheng, National Assembly President Heng Samrin, and Senate President Say Chhum also greeted the King, whose father, the late king Norodom Sihanouk, secured Cambodia’s independence from France on November 9, 1953.
“November 9 is the day that brought independence, land sovereignty, peace and development to Cambodia,” said Mr Hun Sen.
“I think that Independence Day is very important for all Cambodian people,” said Chheang Vun, spokesman of CPP lawmakers at the National Assembly.
“When we join the ceremony, it means that we respect and love the achievements of the late King and we love peace forever.”
Sok Pheakna, a Grade 11 student at Chea Sim Boeng Kengkang High School in Phnom Penh, said she was glad to join the ceremony, which was important. “I think that all young Cambodian people must study our history a lot, so we clearly know about our past,” she said.
Sieng Seytith, 57, from Daun Penh district’s Chaktomuk commune, said he considered the country’s sovereignty to be the most important political issue.
“I believe in the current government and in the Cambodian People’s Party, because they can protect peace for our country,” he said.
Source : Khmer Times