World Bulletin / News Desk
World leaders expressed their condolences to Thailand on Thursday following the death of the country’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch.
The 88-year-old king, whose 70-year reign was the longest of any Thai monarch and one of the most prestigious, passed away at Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital, where hundreds of Thais had gathered to pray since Sunday following a royal palace statement saying Bhumibol had undergone dialysis.
In an announcement broadcast on all Thai television channels Thursday evening, the Royal Household Bureau said the monarch died at 3 p.m. (0800GMT) in Siriraj Hospital, where he had been almost continuously hospitalized since 2009.
United States President Barack Obama lauded Bhumibol as "a tireless champion" of his country and said that he "demonstrated unflagging devotion to improving the standard of living of the Thai people”.
"With a creative spirit and a drive for innovation, he pioneered new technologies that have rightfully received worldwide acclaim," Obama said in a statement. "His Majesty leaves a legacy of care for the Thai people that will be cherished by future generations."
Condolences poured in from other countries, including Malaysia whose Prime Minister Najib Razak said, “I wish to express our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family, Government, and people of Thailand.”
On a post on his Facebook page, he described King Bhumibol as “a towering presence whose contribution to Thailand, and the rest of the region, is beyond words”.
In Japan, Kyodo news agency reported that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe released a statement expressing "truly deep sorrow" at the monarch’s passing.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s ministry of foreign affairs issued a statement saying the city-state’s government “is deeply saddened to learn of the passing” of Bhumibol -- “an outstanding and deeply revered monarch".
The late king’s only son Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, 64, is expected to ascend the throne to become the tenth monarch of the Chakri dynasty.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha declared in a televised announcement Thursday night that the country's new monarch had long been selected. He also declared that flags would fly at half-mast for 30 days and a one-year mourning period would be observed.
Following the death of Bhumibol, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has become the world’s longest reigning living monarch.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Ekim 2016, 21:28