ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopians on Saturday paid tribute to their late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi during a candle- lit memorial service at Meskel Square in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia.
The Prime Minister passed away on Aug. 20 while receiving treatment at a hospital abroad. His funeral has been scheduled for Sept. 2, 2012, in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopians across the country have been grieving and expressing bitter sorrow over the passing away of PM Meles.
They have been flooding to the grand palace to mourn the late leader and pay tribute to him.
The two-day memorial services at Meskel Square included among others, songs about commendable deeds of the late Prime Minister, poem recitation, and performances by march bands of the Federal Police Commission, and the National Defense Forces.
Ethiopians residing in the capital city from different walks of life were entering the square chanting slogans with the portraits of the late Prime Minister.
The slogans are on heroic and committed activities of Meles to ensure sustainable development in the country and the fight against poverty.
Xinhua approached some of the people who came to the square to mourn and tribute the late Prime Minister. They said they are sorrowed as it is a great loss to the country.
Maeraf Seyoum, from Kazanchis area in Addis Ababa, told Xinhua that she is very saddened with the situation. "This is not just a death of a man, it is a devastating thing for the whole country; it is a great loss," said Maeraf.
Another resident of the capital named Elias Tekleab said he is very shocked by the untimely death of the Prime Minister. He said he has been deeply mourning him since the time he heard the very bad news.
Ethiopians throughout the country have been mourning and grieving on the untimely death of the Prime Minister. Temporary tents have been set in various villages here in Addis Ababa, where residents pay tribute and respect to the late Prime Minister as well as sign books of condolences.
People outside Addis Ababa have been reported on the state TV to have expressed their bitter sorrow and mourn the late Prime Minister.