Vietnam holds state funeral for former Party Chief Do Muoi

By Staff reporters   October 6, 2018 | 08:51 am GMT+7
Vietnam holds state funeral for former Party Chief Do Muoi
Soldiers perform a ritual to fly the national flag at half mast at Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi to start two-day state mourning for former Party chief Do Muoi on Saturday morning. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

The state funeral for Vietnam's former Party General Secretary received top officials, veterans and residents in Hanoi Saturday.

The funeral is held at the National Funeral Home at 5 Tran Thanh Tong Street from 7 a.m., one hour after the country officially entered two-day state mourning by flying flags at half mast at all government buildings and public places.

Vietnam's Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attend the funeral with other former and current top government officials. The funeral also received delegations led by National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Acting President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh.

Top former and current officials attend Do Muois funeral in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

Top former and current officials attend Do Muoi's funeral in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

The deceased leader will lie in state at the funeral house for mourners to pay their respects until 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

Among honored guests are Nguyen Thi Binh, 91, who served as Vietnam's Vice President between 1992 and 2002, and veterans who spent time at Hoa Lo Prison in Hanoi with Do Muoi. In 1941, at age 24, Muoi was arrested by the French colonialists and sentenced to 10 years at the prison, but he broke out four years later and continued active participation in revolutionary campaigns.

The funeral also received delegations from Cambodia, Cuba, Japan and Singapore.

Some residents came all emotional. Nguyen Xuan Hung, a 90-year-old grey hair man from Hanoi, cried as he came to pay his respect on Saturday.

Hung said his family helped shelter revoluntionaries during the colonial war in 1940s and he, as a 10-year-old boy, brought meals to Do Muoi every day. "He was an extremely nice and honest soldier," Hung said of the late leader.

Nguyen Xuan Hung (L, 4th) cries as he comes to Do Muois funeral in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

Nguyen Xuan Hung (L, 4th) cries as he comes to Do Muoi's funeral in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

Memorial ceremonies are held at the same time at the Independence Palace in Ho Chi Minh City.

A memorial service will be held at 9 a.m. Sunday and Do Muoi will be buried in his hometown in Hanoi's Thanh Tri District at 1 p.m. the same day.

For his state funeral, several major streets near the funeral home will be closed on Saturday and Sunday.

The former Party chief passed away at the 108 Military Hospital on Monday night, after battling ill health for a long time. He was 101.

Born Nguyen Duy Cong in Hanoi, Do Muoi was a key figure in Vietnam's revolutionary struggles and its opening up era. He became an active revolutionary at an early age, joining the French Popular Front at 19 and leading campaigns against French colonialists in Hanoi and across northern Vietnam.

He served as Vietnam's Party General Secretary from 1991 to 1997, during the country’s transition to a market economy.

He is remembered as "an excellent and prestigious leader," "a resilient revolutionary," Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong and his predecessor Le Kha Phieu wrote in the condolence book.

 
 
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