Former President Thomas Remengesau, Sr.

Palau’s fourth president Thomas Remengesau, Sr., passed away at the age of 89 in his residence in Medalaii, Koror at around 3:30pm on August 3.

The presidential office, in a statement, said that the former president passed away peacefully surrounded by his family and relatives.

In a statement sent to the Times, the Office of the President said that plans for the funeral are still to be tackled by the former president’s family and that a presidential proclamation will soon be issued to honor the passing of the former statesman.

Palau’s incumbent President Tommy Remengesau, Jr., son of the late former president, expressed his “sincere gratitude for the love and support expressed for his father and his family,” the presidential press statement read.

Citizens took it to the social media to express their condolences to the bereaved family while members of the diplomatic corps also extended their messages to honor the death of Palau’s former state leader.

The United States Embassy in Koror had released a short video clip showing photos of Remengesau, Sr. during his stint as Palau District Minister in 1971 back when the island nation was still administered by the US under the United Nations Trust Territory.

The Japan Embassy, in a statement, also said that former President Remengesau, Sr. had participated in various Japan-related events and that they offer their “deepest sympathy” on his passing.

“May our warm thoughts and prayers sustain you and your family in your days ahead,” Japan Ambassador to Palau Akira Karasawa said in a letter addressed to the incumbent President.

Meanwhile, Taiwan Ambassador to Palau Wallace Chow also extended his sympathies to the bereaved family.

“I am deeply saddened to learn the passing of the beloved former President Thomas Remengesau, Sr. His demise was a great loss not only to the family but also to the whole nation. His unswerving dedication to promoting people’s welfare will certainly be long remembered,” Ambassador Chow said.

Remengesau, Sr. served as Palau’s Vice President from 1985 to 1988 but had to assume the presidential post after the tragic deaths of the country’s previous two presidents.

Meanwhile, Republic of Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine, during a joint press conference with United States Secretary Michael Pompeo and the leaders of the Freely Associated States (FAS) in the Federated States of Micronesia, had also taken the time to expressed her condolences to the Remengesau family and the people of Palau over the news of the former President’s passing. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)