Vietnam announces state funeral for former President Le Duc Anh

By Hoang Thuy   April 27, 2019 | 05:24 am PT
Vietnam announces state funeral for former President Le Duc Anh
Former President and General Le Duc Anh. Photo acquired by VnExpress
Vietnam has declared two days of official mourning and a state funeral for former President, General Le Duc Anh, on May 3-4.

Party chief and President Nguyen Phu Trong will head the State funeral organizing committee.

Anh passed away last Monday after undergoing treatment for many months at the 108 Military Hospital in Hanoi.

During the two-day official mourning and state funeral, governmental offices and public places will fly the national flag at half-mast, and no public entertainment events will be held.

Anh’s body will lie in state at the National Funeral Home at 5 Tran Thanh Tong Street, Hanoi, where mourners can pay respects from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 3.

A memorial service will be held from 11 a.m. and he will be buried at the Martyrs’ Cemetery in Ho Chi Minh City at 5 p.m. the same day.

Another memorial service will be held at the same time at the Independence Palace in Ho Chi Minh City and his hometown in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

His son Le Manh Ha said the family’s wish is to organize a simple state mourning and funeral. Therefore, the state mourning will last two days in accordance with Vietnam’s regulations, but the funeral rites will take place in one day.

The family also wishes that other social activities take place normally, without delay, Ha said.

"The family has suggested that the memorial ceremony of General Le Duc Anh be held in Hanoi to reduce travel costs of leaders at all levels, representatives of agencies and organizations so as to save the state budget," Ha said.

The family has also proposed that the coffin of General Le Duc Anh be taken to Ho Chi Minh City by passenger plane, not special aircraft.

Family members will buy airline tickets like other passengers to accompany the body on the flight. The family had earlier asked the Ministry of Defense to use a military transport aircraft, but these are no longer in operation.

Born 1920 in Phu Loc District, Thua Thien-Hue Province in central Vietnam, Le Duc Anh joined the revolution in 1937 and became a member of Vietnam's Communist Party a year later.

He participated in the fight against the French for 10 years between 1945 and 1954, and later, in the Vietnam War against the U.S. for 12 years, starting in 1964.

After the August Revolution was launched by the Viet Minh (League for the Independence of Vietnam) against French colonial rule in Vietnam, he worked as platoon leader, went on to become a political officer in a battalion and then a regiment.

From October 1948 to 1950, he was Chief of Staff of Military Region No. 7 and 8 that fought in the southeast of Vietnam.

From 1951 to 1954, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff and acting Chief of Staff of Cochinchina. From August 1963, he served as Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army.

Le Duc Anh was the Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the People's Liberation Armed Force in South Vietnam from February 1964 to 1974.

He was promoted from colonel to lieutenant general in June 1974, before becoming deputy commander of the Ho Chi Minh campaign, a large-scale offensive launched by Vietnam that contributed significantly to ending the Vietnam War in 1975.

In May 1976, Anh was appointed commander of Military Region No. 9, which is tasked with organizing, building, managing and commanding armed forces to defend the Mekong Delta. From June 1978 to 1981, he was commander and political commissar of the Military Region No. 7 in Ho Chi Minh City.

He became a colonel-general in 1980.

In 1981, he was appointed Deputy Minister of National Defense and Head of the Political Department in the Ministry of Defense.

The same year, he became commander of the Vietnamese army in Cambodia, where Vietnamese troops helped remove the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime from power.

In 1984, Anh was made General of the Vietnam People’s Army.

Between 1982 and 2001 he was also a member of the Politburo, the main decision making unit of the Vietnam' Communist Party.

He served as Minister of National Defense from 1987 to 1991 and in September, 1992, was elected the President of Vietnam, a position he retained until 1997.

Anh was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party and advisor to the Party's Central Committee from 1997 until 2001.

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