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Singapore bids farewell to Lee Kuan Yew in elaborate funeral

/ 10:56 AM March 29, 2015
A man bows to pay his respects to the late Lee Kuan Yew at a community club where members of the public can gather to express their condolences, Monday, March 23, 2015, in Singapore. Singaporeans wept and world leaders paid tribute Monday as the Southeast Asian city-state mourned the death of its founding father Lee Kuan Yew. The government announced that Lee, 91, "passed away peacefully" several hours before dawn at Singapore General Hospital. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

A man bows to pay his respects to the late Lee Kuan Yew at a community club where members of the public can gather to express their condolences, Monday, March 23, 2015, in Singapore. Singaporeans have begun lining the 15-kilometer route of the late leader’s funeral procession Sunday afternoon, March 29, 2015. AP

SINGAPORE — Singaporeans are lining a 15 kilometer (9 mile) route through the city-state to witness an elaborate funeral procession for longtime leader Lee Kuan Yew.

During a week of national mourning that began Monday after Lee’s death at age 91, some 450,000 people queued for hours for a glimpse of Lee’s coffin at Parliament House. A million people visited tribute sites at community centers across the island.

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People began arriving along the cortege route not long after dawn for the procession which begins early Sunday afternoon.

Leaders and dignitaries from more than two dozen countries are attending the state funeral.

Lee was Singapore’s prime minister for more than three decades, ruling with an iron grip until 1990 and is regarded by Singaporeans as the architect of their island’s prosperity.

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TAGS: benevolent dictator, dictator, Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore
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