Body of Cambodian former King set to return home
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia is preparing for the return of the body of former King Norodom Sihanouk, who died in China on Monday.
His body is due to arrive in Phnom Penh later on Wednesday, marking the start of a week of official mourning, the (BBC) reported.
As many as 100,000 people are expected to line the route the coffin will take from the airport to the royal palace.
Grieving Cambodians wore black ribbons and flags flew at half-mast after news broke that the 89-year-old had died of a heart attack in Beijing.
In Phnom Penh, students wearing white shirts with black ribbons pinned on them sang songs before offering flowers at the royal palace.
The government has ordered all radio and television stations to refrain from broadcasting any programmes that may be deemed inappropriate during the mourning period.
Sihanouk's body will remain at the palace for three months for people to pay their respects before an elaborate funeral and cremation, said the government.
Sihanouk became king in 1941 while still a teenager, and led Cambodia to independence from France in 1953. (QNA)