Like me, Thais from all over the world woke up Thursday to the most devastating and heartbreaking news — the loss of our King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The nation is in its greatest sorrow after losing Thailand’s valuable and beloved king, who also was the world’s longest-reigning monarch at age 88, after a long illness.
His Majesty’s name means “strength of the land, incomparable power,” and I and many other Thais felt he had truly lived up to his name for the past 70 years. His legacy will prevail, and Thais can only hope that the new king can live up to such standards.
Thais throughout the world expressed their sorrow on social media.
Pattaraporn Salirathavibhaga, a student at Pepperdine University, and former intern at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, wrote a much shared post on Facebook about how he felt about the king.
“Today is one of the most dreaded days of my life,” Salirathavibhaga said. “His Majesty Bhumibol just seemed so invincible, partly because I — and I’m sure the majority of us – did take him for granted.”
Adarsh Narang, Thai-Indian student at Mahidol University in Thailand, also reflected on the king’s legacy.
“Words cannot encapsulate the positive impact that HRH King Bhumibol Adulyadej had on his subjects,” Narang said. “His Majesty’s legacy will forever live through his teachings and in our blood.”
The King is so beloved because of his loyal dedication to the people. He personally worked on over 3,000 projects and did not pawn off his work to others.
Despite being in such a high position with such authority, he would spend his days in fields and mountains, looking for ways in which he could help Thailand be better. He came up with innovative ideas to transform areas of Thailand the King was deeply rooted in helping our nation. In return, he earned our respect as well as our love.
While the Thai flag represents our nation — Thailand — but a photo of the King represents us, the people, and that’s what he believed in, and that’s why we will always love and remember him.
The King’s life-long dedication and his utmost passion to help our nation is not something we are going to forget or let slip away.
Student at Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School from Bangkok, Thailand, Nut Chiwchayapak says, “I can clearly see how many people [are] aiming to take over the throne, but no one or any government will take my heart and loyalty away from my true King.”
King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the ninth monarch of Thailand from the Chakri Dynasty as Rama IX. For decades now, the king monarch has acted as a buffer between the country’s political movements. His reign has not only given hope, happiness, and benefit to Thailand but he provided security, protection, and courage to his people even during uncertain times, such as the military coup in 2014.
For many Thai people, the king was the only one who held the country together. Now that he is gone, people fear the wave of political disturbances could potentially increase — and this time, there will be no buffer.
Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha announced on Thursday evening that following tradition, there would be a new king, the king’s only son Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.
But shortly after the initial announcement, Chan-o-cha announced that Prince Vajiralongkorn asked for “delay in proclaiming him king so he can mourn with rest of nation,” according to BreakingNews.com.
Thailand is an important ally to the U.S. and will hopefully remain a major player in the global economy. But since the 2014 military coup, the United States’ alliance with Thailand has been under a great deal of strain. It’s been uncertain what Thailand’s plans are to restore political and social relationships.
Only time will tell how the king’s death will affect the country.
Thais fear that the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej could lead to instability in the country and the military rulers causing distress not only in Thailand but all over the world.
However, this is one of the moments where all Thais stand together in unity for His Majesty.