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Cambodia Witnesses High-Level Royal Funeral of Chief Monk

PHNOM PENH, May 24, 2024 — Cambodia is witnessing one of the most high-level royal funerals ever organized for the late Great Supreme Patriarch Tep Vong, which will culminate in a grand cremation ceremony on June 3.

The body of the 93-year-old chief Buddhist monk of Cambodia has been kept at Phnom Penh's Ounalom Pagoda since his passing on February 26, for a 100-day memorial service.

According to respected monk Vong Yorn Seng Yeat, Cambodia last held a similar level of royal funeral for the prominent and most-remembered chief Buddhist monk, Chuon Nat, in 1969. Afterward, another chief Buddhist monk, Huot Tat, died during the Khmer Rouge period, and no proper funeral was arranged for him.

The organization of the royal funeral for Great Supreme Patriarch Tep Vong is divided into two main stages.

The first stage was the 7th-day memorial service, which saw Cambodia's top leaders and other high-profile guests paying their final respects to the chief monk.

The second stage involves keeping the body until the 100th day for Buddhist followers and other Cambodians to bid their final goodbyes.

Chhin Ketna, secretary-general of the National Committee for Organizing National and International Festivals, who is leading the grand funeral ceremony, said there will be a five-kilometer funeral procession before the cremation in June in Phnom Penh.

The procession will stop at the Preah Meru area in front of Wat Botum Vattey Reachvaram for the cremation ceremony. His Majesty Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia, will officially ignite the fire for the cremation.

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