Mourning The President Tran Dai Quang

(No.5, Vol.8,Oct-Nov Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

On 21 September, residents throughout the country had a shocking day as the news that President Tran Dai Quang passed away at the age of 62 was broadcast on air and online newswires.
The National Commission of Health Services for Officials announced that President Tran Dai Quang died of a serious illness. His official term was due to end in 2021.
The president was born in a rural commune in Ninh Binh Province, about 100km south of Hanoi, in 1956. He is described as a tough person by people in his hometown. One of his childhood friends said President Tran Dai Quang was born into a poor family and his father died early, but he fought strongly to grow up.
At the age of 16, he enrolled in the People’s Police Academy and later worked as a career policeman. He served as Deputy Minister of Public Security from 2006 to 2011, and Minister from 2011 to 2016.
He assumed office as the country’s President in  2016. The president was also a professor in security science.
As he was holding high-ranking positions, locals in his hometown said the president was still as a simple person as he had always been in their eyes. To staff in the president office, President Tran Dai Quang was a tough and confident person, said Tran Viet Thai, vice director of the Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies.
The president signed a letter to Vietnamese children on the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival, which was in late September. He later went into a coma at around 5 p.m. in a hospital in the same day and never woke up.
Many foreign leaders, officials and international friends shared in the grief of the Vietnamese people over the passing of the president. They also expressed their respect for the leader and appraised the role of President Tran Dai Quang in the country’s external affairs, advancing Vietnam’s position and prestige.
Michael Croft, Chief Representative of the UNESCO Office in Vietnam noted President Tran Dai Quang had persistently backed the popularisation of Vietnamese culture to the world. Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the country said President Tran Dai Quang had strongly backed multilateralism.
Leaders of other countries also sent letters and messages of condolence over the passing of President Tran Dai Quang.
Lao PDR announced two days of national mourning for the president on September 24. Hundreds of Buddhist monks, nuns and followers, as well as Vietnamese nationals in Laos previously  attended a requiem in commemoration of President Tran Dai Quang in Vientiane City.
Republic of Cuba announced a day of State funeral on 22 September, prior to the two-day State funeral for President Tran Dai Quang in Vietnam.
A burial service for the late president was held at his hometown in Ninh Binh, following the funeral at the National Funeral Hall in Hanoi.

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