Prime News, International, Bangkok, October 26:- Thousands of people turned out in Bangkok to watch the funeral procession of Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Thursday, with buildings draped in yellow marigolds and mourners lining the streets on the eve of his cremation.
Mourners dressed in black slept overnight on thin plastic mats on pavements near the Grand Palace in the Thai capital in order to secure a good view of the procession, which began at 7 am (Thailand time).
The king’s cremation will feature ancient rites and a series of processions winding from the Grand Palace in Bangkok’s historic quarter to the 50m high Royal Crematorium that has been erected in a square near the palace. His body will be pulled from the Grand Palace to the cremation site on a golden chariot. A sum of US$90 million has been set aside for the funeral, the likes of which has never been seen in Thailand, officials in preparations have said.
King Bhumibol, also known as King Rama IX, died last October aged 88 after ruling for seven decades. He played a pivotal role in maintaining stability during years of political upheaval and rapid development.
Piyamat Potsopho, 38, said she had been waiting for the king’s funeral procession since Wednesday night.
“I was very fortunate to have been born under the reign of King Rama IX,” she said. Analysts say the king’s death has left a large vacuum in the Thai psyche.
The songs urge Thais to follow in “father’s footsteps.”
King Bhumibol is often referred to as “father” by Thais and is credited with reviving the popularity of the monarchy in Thailand.
-(NGB, Inputs: Agencies)