Sunday May 19, 2024

30 foreign guests to join Ahtisaari´s funeral

Published : 09 Nov 2023, 02:07

  DF Report
Late former President Martti Ahtisaari. Photo: Finnish Defence Forces.

About 800 guests including 30 international dignitaries are expected to attend the funeral of former President Martti Ahtisaari scheduled to be held in Helsinki on Friday, said a government press release on Wednesday.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani, President of Namibia Hage Geingob and former president of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete are among others to be present at funeral.

Former president of Ireland and Chair of The Elders Mary Robinson will also attend Ahtisaari’s funeral.

The guests were invited in accordance with state protocol and the wishes of Ahtisaari’s family.

The highest state leaders of Finland will honour the memory of Ahtisaari with their presence on Friday.

The state funeral of Ahtisaari will begin with the funeral service at Helsinki Cathedral at 13.00. Serving generals and admirals will act as the pallbearers at the Cathedral.

After the service, the funeral cortege will leave Helsinki Cathedral at about 14.45. The cortege will be led by the mounted police and will proceed as a motorcade from Helsinki Cathedral to Hietaniemi Cemetery, stopping outside the Presidential Palace for one minute.

People are welcome to watch the cortege as it proceeds along Unioninkatu, Aleksanterinkatu (towards Meritullintori, around the Main Guard building), Pohjoisesplanadi, Unioninkatu (around the Presidential Palace), Aleksanterinkatu, Mannerheimintie, Arkadiankatu, Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu, Mechelininkatu and across Hietaniemi Cemetery from the gate to the New Chapel along the main promenade.

Ahtisaari will be buried at Hietaniemi Cemetery in the same area as Presidents Mauno Koivisto, Urho Kekkonen and Risto Ryti.

The pallbearers at Hietaniemi Cemetery will be former president Ahtisaari’s son Marko Ahtisaari and Ahtisaari’s former Aides-de-Camp.

The burial will begin at about 15.45 and will last half an hour. The burial will be attended by Ahtisaari’s next of kin and the highest state leadership.

After the burial, a memorial ceremony for Ahtisaari will be held in the Government Banquet Hall for around 300 invited guests.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo will deliver words of tribute at the ceremony, which will begin at 16.30.

Ahtisaari passed away on Monday 16 October in Helsinki. He was 86 years old. Ahtisaari was President of the Republic of Finland from 1994 to 2000.

Former President Martti Ahtisaari passed away in Helsinki on Monday morning at 6:40 after a long illness, said a press release issued by the office of the Finnish President. He was 86.

Finnish and international leaders on Monday expressed shock at the death of former President and Nobel laureate Martti Ahtisaari.

The government on October 18, decided that the state funeral of former President Martti Ahtisaari will take place in Helsinki on St Martin’s Day, November 10.

Thousands of citizens and communities have expressed their empathy in the books of condolence for late former President Martti Ahtisaari at the Presidential Palace and online.