PHNOM PENH – Cambodia’s king and prime minister along with officials and foreign dignitaries were among the thousands who turned out in Phnom Penh on Friday to celebrate the country’s 65th Independence Day.
The late King Norodom Sihanouk declared independence from France in 1953.
Many well-wishers in the crowds carried photos of King Sihanouk and some students held big bunches of balloons, which were later released at the Royal Palace.
There was a heavy presence of police and armed forces numbering in the hundreds, with many soldiers holding assault rifles.
King Norodom Sihamoni presided over a torch-lighting ceremony at Independence Monument before speaking at the Royal Palace, praising his father King Sihanouk for his contributions to the country, and congratulating the government on keeping peace and continuing development.
Prime Minister Hun Sen then spoke about building the nation based on freedom, justice, democracy and human rights as well as protecting national independence and achievements. He expressed zero tolerance for any “color revolution” or international interference in national politics.
The anniversary is a public holiday which many spend with family and friends.