The Latest: Thais grieve for late king as a beloved father

AP News
Posted: Oct 14, 2016 10:20 AM
The Latest: Thais grieve for late king as a beloved father

BANGKOK (AP) — The Latest on the mourning for Thailand's King Bhumibol (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

Thais are grieving for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej as a beloved father.

Thousands lined the streets Friday to watch the royal convoy carrying the king's body travel to the Grand Palace complex. People began arriving on the procession route not long after the king's death was announced Thursday.

Bhumibol reigned for 70 years and most Thais have known no other monarch in their lifetimes.

Mourner Nantiya Thaiboonrueng, 52, said: "I feel like it was a good chance for me to see him for the final time. I won't ever forget this, I feel like all Thais would feel the same way as me. The King was like a father, it feels like my father has passed away. I can't really explain it. But it is from my heart. Nonetheless, I had to be here to send him off."

Kijima Mualim, 20, said, "I am happy that I was born in a generation of his rule. I love the King."


7:15 p.m.

Thailand's crown prince has presided over the bathing of his father's body, a traditional Buddhist funeral rite.

The body of King Bhumibol Adulyadej will lie at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, or Wat Phra Kaew, inside the Grand Palace complex for people to pay their respects.

Crowds of Thais, most wearing black clothes and many openly sobbing, lined the roads traveled by the funeral procession Friday. Those who could not reach the palace complex in Bangkok's historic district watched the somber event on television.

The king died Thursday at age 88 after years of ill health.


7 p.m.

The head of the largest bloc of Muslim countries has expressed "heartfelt condolences" at the passing of Thailand's king.

Iyad Ameen Madani, head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said in a statement Friday that "the world had lost a great leader" and Thailand had lost a symbol of unity.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej died Thursday at 88 after years of ill health.

Thailand is an observer state in the 57-nation OIC. Buddhism is the nation's main religion, but its three southernmost provinces are majority Muslim.


6:45 p.m.

The Norwegian monarch has offered condolences to Queen Sirikit after the death of her husband, King Bhumibol of Thailand.

King Harald's condolences message on the palace's website said: "I was saddened to hear about the passing away of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX, of Thailand. On behalf of myself and of the people of Norway, I extend my condolences to Your Majesty and to your family, and ask that my deepest sympathy is conveyed to the people of Thailand."


6 p.m.

A convoy carrying the body of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej has arrived at the Grand Palace.

Monks accompanied the casket on the route from the hospital where the monarch died Thursday after suffering age-related illnesses.

His body will lie at a temple in the Grand Palace complex for people to pay their respects. No date has been set for the cremation under Buddhist rites.

Thousands of people lined both sides of the road Friday, sobbing openly in a display of their devotion and love for the monarch who reigned for 70 years.


4:45 p.m.

A van carrying the body of King Bhumibol Adulyadej is leading a procession of royals from the hospital where he died to the Grand Palace in the center of Bangkok's historic district.

Monks are sitting with the casket in the blue-and-white Mercedes van, which is followed by a yellow van carrying Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and his consort Lt. Gen. Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhaya. The convoy will go across the majestic Chao Phraya river.

Bhumibol died on Thursday at 88 after battling various illnesses for the best part of a decade. His body will lie at a temple in the Grand Palace complex for people to pay their respects. No date has been set for the cremation under Buddhist rites.

Thousands of people lined both sides of the road Friday, sobbing openly in a display of their devotion and love for the monarch who reigned for 70 years.

This item has been updated to CORRECT identification of a passenger in the second van.


4 p.m.

Thailand's crown prince has arrived at Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital to receive the body of his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej and accompany it in a procession to the Grand Palace.

Thousands of people have lined the streets on the route of the procession that will cross the Chao Phraya river Friday and end at a temple in the Grand Palace complex.

Bhumibol died Thursday from a variety of age-related illnesses. He was 88.


3:30 p.m.

The Dalai Lama has sent a condolence letter to Queen Sirikit and the people of Thailand expressing sadness at King Bhumibol's passing.

The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader called the late Thai king a source of hope and inspiration to his people for seven decades, according to his official website.

In the letter sent from Zurich, the Dalai Lama recalled meeting the late king during his first visit to the Buddhist nation in 1967 — and his first trip abroad after fleeing into exile in the Indian town of Dharamsala. The text of the letter was not released.

The head of the Tibetan government-in-exile released a similar statement lauding the king as a "beacon of hope and grace" for Thais.

"During his 70-year reign, he led the country to economic and spiritual prosperity by demonstrating a tireless commitment to peace and development," Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay said. His statement said Tibet shared a spiritual affinity with Thailand.


3 p.m.

European royals have sent messages of sympathy to the Thai queen after the death of Thailand's King Bhumibol.

The message from Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf said: "The Queen and I have learned with profound regret and sadness of the demise of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. We extend our sincere condolences to you and your family, and to the people of the Kingdom of Thailand. "

Denmark's Queen Margrethe, whos husband is Prince Henrik, said: "I was deeply saddened to learn about the demise of your beloved King, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The ties between our families have always been close and Prince Henrik joins me in conveying to you, the Royal family and the people of Thailand our most profound condolences."


1 p.m.

A public holiday was declared Friday morning after people had already gone to work. The stock market and banks remained open, as did Thai embassies worldwide. After plunging for days, the Thai stock market opened up, rising more than 4 percent in morning trading in a sign of renewed confidence in the economy. As well, the government has only urged people to refrain from organizing entertainment events for a month, apparently mindful of the need to ensure that the sputtering economy does not suffer.


9 a.m.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has credited King Bhumibol for his leadership as the "father of Thailand and its spiritual pillar" in offering her condolences to the people of Thailand and its royal family.

Park in a statement also expressed gratitude that Thailand during King Bhumibol's reign sent troops to fight with allied forces led by the United States during the 1950-1953 Korean War, which was triggered by North Korea's invasion of the South.

"On behalf of the government of the Republic of Korea and its people, I express deep condolences to the royal family and Thai people," Park said in a statement.


8:30 a.m.

China has credited King Bhumibol for his "remarkable contributions" to Thailand's development.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Bhumibol worked to strengthen ties between China and Thailand and "made an irreplaceable contribution to cementing the two people's friendship and expanding bilateral cooperation."

"China deeply mourns King Bhumibol's passing and expresses sincere condolences to the Thai people and government," the ministry said.


8 a.m.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said the men and women of the Department of Defense joined President Obama in offering their condolences to the Royal Family of the Kingdom of Thailand and the people of Thailand.

"As his majesty's legacy is being honored around the world, I want in particular to recognize his majesty's contributions to the longstanding alliance between our two nations," Carter said.


7:30 a.m.

Hong Kong's acting chief executive, Carrie Lam, has expressed profound sadness at the passing of the king.

"On behalf of the people and Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, it is with great sadness that I express our profound condolences on the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej," Lam said in a statement.

"We join the people of Thailand during this period of national mourning and reflection," Lam said.

7 a.m.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday described King Bhumibol as "a major figure in modern Asian history."

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of His Majesty and we offer our condolences to the Thai royal family and the people of Thailand," Turnbull told Radio 3AW.

"He is a major figure in modern Asian history. Under his reign, Thailand's population grew from just under 20 million to over 67 million and of course the strides in economic and social development have been enormous," Turnbull said.

"The Thai community in Australia, which is close to 50,000, will particularly feel the loss of His Majesty, a very, very revered figure," Turnbull said.


7 a.m.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says his thoughts are with the people of Thailand following the death of the king.

"King Bhumibol was the world's longest serving monarch and presided over a period of transformative growth and development that saw Thailand emerge as a regional leader and one of South East Asia's major economies," Key said.

He said that the king and Queen Sirikit visited New Zealand, and that more than 100,000 New Zealanders visit Thailand each year.

"I extend the New Zealand Government's sincerest condolences to Queen Sirikit, Thailand's Royal Family and all the people of Thailand," Key said.


6:45 a.m.

Indonesia is offering its deepest condolence to Thailand on the death of the country's king.

In a statement at the state palace, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said the king was a world leader who was close to his people and brought prosperity during his reign of 70 years.

"On behalf of the Indonesian government and people, I express deep condolences on the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej," Jokowi said. "The world has lost a leader who was close to the people, a carrier of peace and unity and prosperity for the people of Thailand."

He added that the Thai King's modesty and concerns for his people deserves to be emulated.


6:30 a.m.

Former President Bill Clinton and his wife Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton have offered their heartfelt condolences over the death of Thailand's king, calling him a kind, good leader.

"His Majesty deepened ties between the U.S. and Thailand, our first ally in Southeast Asia. He was a true servant leader, acting with wisdom, strength, humility, and genuine care for the welfare of all people," the former president said in a statement issued Thursday.

He added: "I was honored to visit Thailand as President on the 50th year of his reign when we celebrated our shared love of jazz music, and Hillary was grateful to have had the opportunity, with President Obama, to visit with His Majesty on her last trip to Thailand."


1:30 a.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent his condolences over the death of Thailand's king, noting the country's achievements during his 70-year reign.

Putin said that King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died Thursday at age 88, has presided over successful economic development and contributed to the strengthening of Thailand's positions abroad. He said in his telegram that the king won "sincere love of his people and high respect abroad."

According to the Kremlin, Putin also noted in his letter that the king will be remembered in Russia for his support of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

Putin offered his support for the royal family, the government and the people of Thailand.


11:30 p.m.

The U.N. General Assembly and Security Council stood in silent tribute to Thailand's King Bhumibol, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called him "a unifying national leader" who is "highly respected internationally."

Assembly President Peter Thompson asked the assembly at the start of Thursday's meeting to stand for a moment of silence in tribute to the king, who died earlier in the day. Shortly after, Russia's deputy U.N. ambassador, Petr Iliichev, did the same at the start of a Security Council meeting.

The assembly, the council, and the secretary-general sent condolences to the royal family and the government and people of Thailand.

"At this time of sorrow and loss," Ban said, "I hope that Thailand will continue to honor King Bhumibol's legacy of commitment to universal values and respect for human rights."


11 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed her condolences on the death of Thailand's King Bhumibol, saying the monarch modernized and strengthened his country during his seven decades on the throne.

Merkel said in a statement Thursday that Bhumibol had "worked tirelessly for the welfare of the Thai people" and steered the country through "political and economic crises."

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Bhumibol had contributed significantly to the friendship between Thailand and Germany.


10:40 p.m.

Currency trading firm OANDA says it expects investors' nervousness to intensify over fears of political uncertainty following the death of Thailand's king, but it says economic losses will be limited.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died Thursday, was a stabilizing figure in the Southeast Asian nation, which went through tumultuous change during his 70-year reign.

OANDA said in a statement said that although the Thai baht and the stock exchange index will remain under pressure, much of the uncertainty premium is already built into the price of both, thus losses will be limited.

"We expect the Bank of Thailand will be ready to step in to smooth any disorderly currency moves," it said. It also forecast the military government would extend its tenure to ensure political stability, which "will give support to the SETi (Stock Exchange of Thailand index) once the initial knee-jerk moves have worked through the system."


10:30 p.m.

Dutch King Willem-Alexander has paid tribute to his Thai counterpart King Bhumibol Adulyadej, praising him for "emphasizing the values of harmony and peaceful cooperation in his country."

Willem-Alexander says in a statement that "my wife, my mother and I have warm memories of our meetings" with the king, who died Thursday at age 88.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, in Bangkok for a meeting of the European Union and Southeast Asian nations, called the late king "a symbol for unity" for the Thai population who played a stabilizing role in politically turbulent times in his country.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry adjusted its travel advice for Thailand to reflect the period of mourning for the king.

The ministry advises travelers to "respect the restrictions on social life" imposed by local authorities and says that "critical comments or discussions about the royal house must be avoided."


10:30 p.m.

The president of France has offered his condolences after the death of Thailand's king.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej died Thursday at age 88 after years of ill health.

In a statement, French President Francois Hollande hailed the king for his "exceptional human qualities. His profound sense of justice, his care for modernity and sustainable development that earned him the affection of the Thai people, as well as the world's esteem."

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10:15 p.m.

Thailand's prime minister says the crown prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has asked for a delay in proclaiming him king so that he can take time to mourn along with the people of Thailand.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters that he had an audience with the prince on Thursday, hours after the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

"He said at present, he is the heir apparent. But he would like to take some time to mourn, together with the people of Thailand," Prayuth said.

Vajiralongkorn was named the heir apparent in 1972 by the king, and according to the constitution should ascend the throne as the constitutional monarch after approval by the National Assembly, which is a formality under the constitution.


9:45 p.m.

Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States "stands with the people of Thailand at this difficult time" after the death of its king.

Kerry said in a statement Thursday, "Our thoughts and prayers are with you."

King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born in the U.S. Kerry said that a square named for Bhumibol at his birthplace in Cambridge, Massachusetts, "will remain an enduring memorial to the special bond he created between our peoples. He will be long remembered and will be deeply missed."

Massachusetts is Kerry's home state.

Although U.S.-Thai relations ties have been strained since a 2014 military coup in Thailand, the two nations are close allies and have diplomatic relations dating back more than 180 years. Bhumibol visited the U.S. twice in the 1960s and addressed Congress.


9:45 p.m.

European leaders are expressing sympathy following the death of Thailand's king on Thursday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May issued a statement expressing "my sincere personal condolences to the royal family and the people of Thailand on the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej."

"His Majesty guided the Kingdom of Thailand with dignity, dedication and vision throughout his life. He will be greatly missed," she said.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told Sweden's TT news agency, "My condolences to the royal family but also to the whole Thai people. King Bhumibol has meant a lot to the Thai people. That one can notice when in Thailand."

Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini tweeted: "I'm deeply saddened to receive the news about the passing of His Majesty the King; sincere condolences to the people of Thailand."


9:30 p.m.

The Philippines says it is mourning Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The king, who died Thursday, was "the guiding hand behind the emergence of Thailand as one of the most progressive countries in the whole of Asia," said presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella.

The statement issued on behalf of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and the Filipino people said they extended their deepest condolences to his family and those the king left behind.


9:15 p.m.

President Barack Obama is offering his condolences to Thailand on the death of its king.

Obama says King Bhumibol Adulyadej was a tireless champion of his country's development and also showed an "unflagging devotion" to improving the standard of living for the Thai people.

The king died Thursday at age 88 after his health declined.

Obama says the king was a close friend of the United States and a valued partner of many U.S. presidents. He recalled meeting the king during a 2012 visit to Thailand.

Obama says the king leaves behind a legacy of care for the Thai people that future generations will cherish.


9:15 p.m.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak offered his heartfelt condolences to the Thai royal family and the people of Thailand after the death of King Bhumibol on Thursday.

"King Bhumibol was a towering presence whose contribution to Thailand, and the rest of the region, is beyond words. We join the Thai people in mourning his loss," Najib wrote on his Facebook.


9 p.m.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he was in "deep sorrow" at the death of Thailand's King Bhumibol Aduyadej, and remembered him as a gentle person.

"On behalf of the government of Japan and its people, I express my sincerest condolences," Abe said in a message released following the king's death Thursday. "I remember King Bhumibol as a highly gifted and gentle person."

He praised the king for his contribution in lifting Thailand's economy.

"As a spiritual support for the people, His Majesty has led Thailand's remarkable development and advancement of the people's living standard," Abe said.

Japan's Emperor Akihito visited Thailand in 1991 in his first trip abroad after ascending to the throne.

"The king's great contribution in deepening friendship between Japan and Thailand will be remembered by all Japanese people," he said.


9 p.m.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a condolence message after the death Thursday of Thailand's king.

"People of India and I join the people of Thailand in grieving the loss of one of the tallest leaders of our times, King Bhumibol Adulyadej," he wrote.

Modi said his thoughts were with the king's family and others.


8:15 p.m.

Tears streamed down the faces of Thais upon the news that King Bhumibol Adulyadej had died.

Many people in the large crowd that had been holding a vigil outside Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok broke down with emotion Thursday evening. Many held pictures of the king and wore yellow or pink clothing in his honor.

In the Sukhumvit commercial district of the capital, humanitarian worker Gaewkarn Fuangtong was sobbing.

"I lost one of the most important people in my life. I feel like I haven't done enough for him. I should have done more. I will do good, do better for his sake."

Office worker Patcharatida Jamsrijun, said "My heart sank," upon hearing of the king's passing.


7:20 p.m.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha says Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will become the new monarch after the death of his father in accordance with the constitution.

He said the king had designated his successor on Dec. 28, 1972. "We the government must proceed with the next steps in accordance with the law," he said.

Prayuth did not name Vajiralongkorn specifically, but it has been officially proclaimed that he was named the successor by his father 44 years ago.

He said the government will notify the National Legislative Assembly, or parliament, of the king's successor, and they will act accordingly with the laws of succession in the constitution.

Prayuth added that the government will observe one year of mourning and flags will fly at half-staff for 30 days. No government events will be held for 30 days, he said.

This item has been updated to CORRECT the date the crown prince was named successor.


7:10 p.m.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has declared a one-year mourning period for the government following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

In a common broadcast carried by all Thai TV channels, Prayuth said the king's death Thursday is a tragedy for the people of Thailand.

"He was a king that was loved and adored by all. The reign of the king has ended and his kindness cannot be found anywhere else," Prayuth said.


7 p.m.

Thailand's Royal Palace says King Bhumibol, the world's longest-reigning monarch, has died at age 88.

The palace said the king passed away peacefully on Thursday at Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital.

"Even though the board of doctors has closely monitored and treated him to the best of its abilities, the king's condition never improved but deteriorated until Thursday," it said in a statement issued about three hours later.

TV stations announcers wore black clothes as they discussed his passing. The brief announcement mentioned his 70-year-reign and noted that he passed away peacefully.