PHNOM PENH, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Tuesday marked the first anniversary of the death of the nation's most revered King Father Norodom Sihanouk by paying homage to his newly-built statue and an elaborate Buddhist ceremony.
First Vice-President of the Senate Say Chhum led senators to pay tribute to the late King at the statue site, followed by President of Parliament Heng Samrin and other MPs, and Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Cabinet members, as well as other dignitaries.
The event was live televised on all local TV channels.
After paying respects, they proceeded to the Royal Palace for an elaborate Buddhist ceremony with the current King Norodom Sihamoni and his mother Queen Mother Norodom Monineath.
Sihanouk died of illness at the age of 90 in Beijing on Oct. 15, 2012. He suffered from various forms of cancer, diabetes and hypertension and had been treated by Chinese doctors in Beijing, China, for years before his death.
He reigned the country from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until his voluntary abdication in 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni.
Sihanouk was the king who led the country to gain independence from France in 1953.
Last Friday, the country inaugurated a huge bronze statue commemorating him.
The 4.5-meter-tall statue, housed under a 27-meter-tall memorial stupa, is situated in a public park across Prime Minister Hun Sen's house and just east of the Independence Monument.
The larger-than-life statue depicted the King Father wearing a dark business suit. Deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister Sok An said construction of the statue took eight months to be completed, costing 1.2 million U.S. dollars.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said during the statue inauguration that the statue was to express gratitude and to commemorate late King Norodom Sihanouk, the father of independence, territorial integrity and national unity.
He said the statue would be the venue for Cambodian people and foreign guests to pay homage.