Feb. 4 - Thousands of mourners pay their final respects to former King Norodom Sihanouk on the day of his cremation in Cambodia. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) Mourners from all over Cambodia gathered in the capital on Monday (February 4) to pay their last respects to their former king Norodom Sihanouk. Sihanouk's body will remain in a purpose built crematorium in Phnom Penh until the cremation ceremony later on Monday at 1800pm (1100GMT). People were allowed to enter the crematorium to pay their final respects in the morning. Others prayed in front of the Royal Palace. Sihanouk, once an absolute ruler who freed Cambodia from colonialism before becoming a tragic pawn through decades of turmoil, died in October in a Beijing hospital. He was 89. Despite his political flip-flopping, diminished influence and latter years in exile, Sihanouk will be remembered with fondness, as a man groomed to be a puppet of France who defied his colonial masters and tried to prevent a repeat of Cambodia 's bloodstained past. Sihanouk's portrait is commonplace in homes and buildings across the Southeast Asian nation of 14 million people.