King lights Victory Flame to mark 68th Independence Day


To mark the 68th-anniversary celebration of Cambodia’s Independence Day, King Norodom Sihamoni yesterday lighted the “Victory Flame” at the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh that will keep burning for three days.

The “Victory Flame” will be extinguished on November 11 by Senate president Say Chhum, on behalf of the King who will leave the Kingdom to attend the 41st General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in celebration of its 75th Anniversary today.

Accompanying the King yesterday were Prime Minister Hun Sen, National Assembly president  Heng Samrin, Chhum, Interior Minister Sar Kheng, General Defence Minister Tea Banh, Minister of Royal Palace Kong Sam Ol, ministers, and top government officials.

Phnom Penh Department of Education Youth Office chief  Nget Chansok, who handed white pigeons to students to release to mark the occasion, told Khmer Times that 200 students from  Wat Phnom, Wat Koh, Preah Yukunthor, Toek La’ak, and Preah Sisowath high schools saluted, sang the national anthem with the Royal Cambodia Armed Forces and performed the victory recital.

“I am happy that the celebration was held as how it was before the pandemic but with stringent Covid-19 preventive measures put in place,” said  Chansok, adding that all those who attended the ceremony were vaccinated and that is why they could sing the National Anthem song joyously.

“Today’s event reminded everyone of how the nation attained its independence and the hard work put in by the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk who demanded independence from the French Protectorate and France gave us back our nation in November  1953,” Chansok said.

Chea Sokun, deputy chief of the information office of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC), yesterday told Khmer Times that he led 45 youths to join the celebration, although that is less than before the pandemic. He said it is an important day for the Khmer people as the nation now enjoys its independence with peace, unity and harmony, thanks to the ruling government and its leaders and it’s a story to be passed on to future generations.

Other participants from UYFC, Pheng  Yoychesda, and Mom Phirak, said this is the first time they participated in an Independence Day celebration and were so excited to see the King and the leaders in person.

King Norodom Sihamoni lights the ‘Victory Flame’ to mark the 68th anniversary of Cambodia’s Independence Day
at the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Hun Sen on his Facebook page said that the 68th anniversary of the National Independence Day (November 9, 1953 – November 9, 2021), is when Cambodia gained independence from French colonialism, which also coincided with the 68th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

“His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk, the Father of National Independence, who sacrificed his strength and wisdom most fervently, struggled in the crusade to demand true independence for Cambodia. The Father of National Independence is in Khmer people’s hearts,” the Premier said.

Antony J. Blinken, secretary of state of the US Department of State, yesterday congratulated Cambodian people on Cambodia’s National Independence Day and said:  “We will continue to stand with the Cambodian people as they pursue a more prosperous, democratic, and independent future and as they celebrate the values both Cambodians and Americans share.  The United States also looks forward to working closely with you to build back better from this pandemic”.