Vietnam’s highest decision-making bodies have decided to hold the funeral of former President Le Duc Anh with the national mourning etiquette next week, and the Communist Party of Vietnam’s General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong will take charge of it.
Former president Le Duc Anh. Photo: local media
A board of 39 senior officials led by Nguyen Phu Trong will take charge of the funeral, which will take place in Hanoi on May 3-4.
A foreign ministry spokesperson said on Thursday that Mr. Trong fell sick due to a heavy workload and changing weather, and will be "back to office soon." Trong visited the southern province of Kien Giang on his 75th birthday in mid-April and has not been seen since then.
During the national funeral, all state agencies raise flags at half mast and all entertainment activities at public places will not be held.
Meanwhile, the former president’s family wants the funeral to be simple within one day including a burial ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City to save state budget.
VnExpress quoted Anh's only son Le Manh Ha as saying his family doesn’t want a charter aircraft to bring the former president's body from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City for burial and his family’s members would buy tickets for commercial flights like other passengers.
Anh, who was an army general, took part in the four wars against foreign invaders namely French, the US, Pol Pot-led Khmer Rouge, and Chinese.
Born in 1920 in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, Le Duc Anh served as Vietnamese president in 1992-1997, minister of National Defense in 1987-1991.
He was a key figure in the normalization of the Vietnam-US relations. In 1995, he became the country’s first head of state to visit the US since the Vietnam War when he attended the UN’s 50th anniversary in New York.
He initiated honorable title “Heroic Vietnamese Mother”, proposed land policies for soldiers and created jobs to demobilized soldiers, the Thanh Nien newspaper reported.