Over 300 pay respects to Thai king
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
SOME 324 people have called upon the Thai embassy in Bunut over the past three days to pay their respects to King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away on Thursday aged 88.
Members of the diplomatic corps, senior Bruneian officials and Thai citizens have flocked to the embassy to offer their sympathies and sign the condolences book set up by the embassy.
The Thai government has declared a year of mourning to mark the passing of the king, who reigned for seven decades and was deeply revered by the Thai people as the father figure of the nation.
Among those paying their respects yesterday were representatives from the foreign missions of Australia, Pakistan, South Korea, India, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.
Also signing the condolence book yesterday was Commander of Royal Brunei Land Force Brigadier General Pengiran Dato Seri Pahlawan Aminan Pg Haji Mahmud and Commander of Royal Brunei Air Force Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Shahril Anwar Hj Ma’awiah.
Royal funerals usually last seven days in Thailand, and are held months or even years after the death so the state can prepare a lavish farewell.
Thai Ambassador Biravji Suwanpradhes explained that the king’s body will lie inside the palace complex for an undisclosed duration, to allow people to pay their respects.
No date has been set for the cremation.
Thais have been wearing dark colours, websites have turned black and white, and television channels have been switched to royal broadcasts since the death of King Bhumibol, who although held no political role, was seen as a unifying figure on the nation’s fractious political scene.
The palace did not give a cause of death but the king had been sick in hospital with various ailments for much of the past year.
His son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, is expected to become Thailand’s new king.
The Brunei Times