• Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn yesterday presides over a merit-making religious rite at the Grand Palace for his father HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away on October 13. The ceremony, performed on the seventh day, is considered important a

Global leaders to pay respects in person to departed King

national October 21, 2016 10:10

By THE NATION

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Asean heads among many foreign dignitaries arriving in capital to honour monarch.



A NUMBER of foreign leaders will fly to Bangkok to pay respects to His Majesty the King, who passed away on October 13.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife were scheduled to arrive in the capital yesterday, and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is to arrive tomorrow to join in the mourning of the King’s demise. 

Singapore’s Prime Minister Office said in a statement that Lee would visit Bangkok from yesterday to today to pay respects to the late King.

Lee, accompanied by his wife, will also meet Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha to express his condolences. 

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is tentatively scheduled to arrive tomorrow. He has already signed a book of condolences at the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh.

Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith is expected to come to Bangkok on Monday, while Malaysia’s king, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, is due to arrive next Friday.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei, and Joko Widodo, president of Indonesia, will also travel to Thailand to pay their respects to His Majesty the King.

Three days after the monarch passed away, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan came to pay personal respects to the King.

Bahraini Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa paid his respects on Tuesday.

On Monday, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, signed a message of condolence at the Thai Embassy in London, while Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe signed the book of condolences at the Thai Embassy in Colombo.

Meanwhile, PM’s Office Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvadhana, as secretary of a command centre to monitor the situation, chaired a meeting at Government House.

He said the meeting found the situation in general picture was fine with security and intelligence authorities operating at their maximum levels.

The command centre cooperated with agencies involved in taking care of accommodations, food and healthcare for mourners.

Prayut has emphasised the importance of public information about public transport and increasing available means to travel to the Grand Palace. 

Suwaphan said leaders from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Zambia, the United States, South Korea, the Maldives and Japan were scheduled to come to pay respects to the late King. Meanwhile, Culture Minister Veera Rojanarat said the National Library of Thailand had been assigned to ask members of its foreign network if they had publications or photos reporting the death of King Rama IX. 

If they do, the library would ask them to provide copies of the material, he said, adding that it would compile them for its archives.

The National Library belongs to a network of 62 libraries in 50 countries, half of them in Asia. 

They include the National Library of China, China’s Library at Northwest University, the National Library of Bhutan, Japan’s National Diet Library and the National Library of Laos.

Others are the National Library of Australia, Denmark’s Royal Library, the National Library of France, the German National Library, the British Library and the Russian State Library. 

The copies of reports will be compiled in the national archives as they are historic documents that will be important for future research.

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