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​Thousands say farewell to late Vietnamese premier Phan Van Khai

Thursday, March 22, 2018, 11:59 GMT+7
​Thousands say farewell to late Vietnamese premier Phan Van Khai
The coffin of late Prime Minister Phan Van Khai is brought out of the main hall of the Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City on March 22, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Following a two-day state funeral, the celebration of life for the former Vietnamese leader commenced at 7:30 am on Thursday when his body was carried back to his home in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City.

According to the funeral committee, more than 2,000 delegations representing groups from across the nation attended the formal ceremony on Tuesday and Wednesday.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong read a glowing eulogy praising Khai’s achievements to thousands gathering at the Reunification Palace.

Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong reads the eulogy at the celebration of life of late PM Phan Van Khai.
Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong reads the eulogy at the celebration of life of late PM Phan Van Khai. Photo: Tuoi Tre

“Phan Van Khai was an excellent leader of the Vietnamese Party, state, and people. He dedicated his whole life to the country’s independence, freedom, and happiness,” General Secretary Trong remarked.

“He displayed absolute loyalty and was an example of integrity, impartiality, and morality. He was dearly loved by the Vietnamese people and cherished by international friends,” the Party chief continued.

Vietnamese leaders attend the celebration of life.
Vietnamese leaders attend the celebration of life. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Outside the entrance of the Reunification Palace, a large crowd assembled to watch the event and offer their farewells to the late leader.

“I attend this celebration of life because of my love and admiration for the late premier,” Giang Thi Hong, a District 1 resident, said as she wiped tears from her face.

Many people also lined up resolutely along the procession route to witness PM Khai’s body and say the final goodbye to the late leader.

Thousands of people gather at the Reunification Palace to attend the ceremony.
Thousands of people gather at the Reunification Palace to attend the ceremony. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The funeral procession traveled on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia (District 1), Le Duan, Pasteur, Vo Thi Sau, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Nguyen Van Troi, Phan Thuc Duyen, Tran Quoc Hoan, Cong Hoa, Truong Chinh, National Highway 22, Le Minh Nhut, Street No. 54, and finally down Street No. 51 in Tan Thong Hoi Commune, Cu Chi District.

Along the routes leading to Tan Thong Hoi Commune, local residents set up countless altars adorned with photos of PM Khai and incense, flowers, and fruit to show their respect.

Students holding white roses line up at the entrance of the Reunification Palace.
Students holding white roses line up at the entrance of the Reunification Palace. Photo: Tuoi Tre

“We owe him a lot, and love him so. Many improvements have been made to our neighborhood thanks to him. Today, we stop all of our daily work just to bring him home,” Nguyen Thi Nho, a local resident, said.

The burial ritual began at 11:00 am on Thursday, when PM Khai was laid to rest next to his late wife at his home in Tan Thong Hoi Commune, Cu Chi District.

At the venue, thousands of local residents, officials, and elementary students arrived early in the morning to witness the celebration of life through two large monitors.

The body of PM Phan Van Khai is taken out of the Reunification Palace.
The body of PM Phan Van Khai is taken out of the Reunification Palace. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The funeral procession travels on Phan Thuc Duyen Street.
The funeral procession travels on Phan Thuc Duyen Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Local residents stand along Phan Thuyc Duyen Street to bid farewell to the late premier.
Local residents stand along Phan Thuyc Duyen Street to bid farewell to the late premier. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Local residents stand along the street near the Cong Hoa-Hoang Hoa Tham flyover.
Local residents stand along the street near the Cong Hoa-Hoang Hoa Tham flyover. Photo: Tuoi Tre
People in Cu Chi District set up altars to pay respect for the late leader.
People in Cu Chi District set up altars to pay respects to the late leader. Photo: Tuoi Tre
People in Cu Chi District set up altars to pay respect for the late leader.
People in Cu Chi District set up altars to pay respects to the late leader. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A woman bows to the photo of PM Phan Van Khai displayed on the altar.
A woman bows to the photo of PM Phan Van Khai displayed on an altar. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Students of the Tan Thong Elementary School gather at the house of PM Khai to witness the celebration of life.
Students of the Tan Thong Elementary School gather at the house of PM Khai to witness the celebration of life. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Final preparations are carried out for the burial ritual at PM Phan Van Khai’s home.
Final preparations are carried out for the burial ritual at PM Phan Van Khai’s home. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Duy Khang / Tuoi Tre News

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