Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni (C) inspects the guard of honor during the Independence Day celebration in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Nov. 9, 2020. Cambodia on Monday commemorated the 67th anniversary of the declaration of Independence Day from the French colonial rule. (Photo by Sovannara/Xinhua)
PHNOM PENH, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Monday commemorated the 67th anniversary of the declaration of Independence Day from the French colonial rule.
Nation's King Norodom Sihamoni, accompanied by Senate President Samdech Say Chhum and National Assembly President Samdech Heng Samrin, laid a wreath and lit the ceremonial victory fire inside the Independence Monument in capital Phnom Penh which symbolizes the country's independence.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen was absent at the event because he has been undergoing a 14-day self-quarantine at home since Nov. 4, a day after meeting with COVID-19-infected Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto.
Hun Sen wrote on his official Facebook page on Monday that Nov. 9 reminded the people of a noble mission conducted by late Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk to demand independence from the French colonial rule.
"The king had sacrificed both physical and mental energies in his royal crusade to gain the full independence for Cambodia," he said.
The celebration was attended by thousands of people including leaders, senior officials, foreign diplomats, armed forces, civil servants, residents and students. All of them were wearing face masks to guard against the COVID-19.
At the end of the event, pigeons and balloons were released as a sign of independence and freedom.
The Southeast Asian nation won its independence from France on Nov. 9, 1953.
France had ruled Cambodia for 90 years from 1863 to 1953.