HM the King passes away

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away at Siriraj Hospital at 3.52pm on Thursday, the Royal Household Bureau announced. His Majesty passed away peacefully at Chalermphrakiet Building of Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok it was announced in a national broadcast.

All royal family members were in attendance at the time.

kingHis Majesty was 88 and would have turned 89 on Dec 5 this year.

The ninth King of the Chakri Dynasty ascended to the throne on June 9, 1946 and was the world’s longest-reigning monarch. People across the country celebrated the 70th year of his accession to the throne this year.

Well-wishers in pink and yellow had been flocking to the hospital to pray for him since the RHB announced on Sunday night that the King’s condition was “unstable”.

The bureau said in another statement on Monday that His Majesty’s general condition was still not stabilised and royal doctors were giving him medication.

An even larger crowd began gathering at Siriraj Hospital on Tuesday, and rapidly grew over the next two days.

The crowd gave alms to monks and prayed continuously for the King’s good health. Government offices throughout the nation opened their doors for similar activities on Thursday, and people in all provinces began streaming in to pray and sign their names and best wishes for His Majesty’s recovery. – Bangkok Post

OK, let’s let that sink in for a minute.

This guy’s been king since 1946! And he is revered in Thailand. So much so that I wonder what happens next to this country that has been under military rule for two years and hopes to go back to elected government in 2017.

And what does that mean for my tenure here? My recent research forays into Vietnam and Cambodia seem prescient.

Most Thais are easy-going, the “go along-to-get-along” type. When the military took over in 2014, ostensibly to quell rebellion related to the then-democracy (I’m not that up on the whole coup), it promised a constitutional, democratic government would be formed. A constitution has been ratified by popular vote, although it is heavy on procedures benefitting those currently in power.

It is my belief that for many Thais, their kindredship with their King kept them going along to get along. It would be a disgrace for them to object to the military rule if their King didn’t object. For whatever reasons, he never did.

That barrier no longer exists.

Thailand will most assuredly go into national mourning for the next week. What happens after that is the question, and the concern.

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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