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Thais Waiting for Word on King's Health Pray, Offer Flowers

  • VOA News

Well-wishers weep as they pray for Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Siriraj hospital where he is residing in Bangkok, Thailand, Oct. 13, 2016.

Well-wishers weep as they pray for Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Siriraj hospital where he is residing in Bangkok, Thailand, Oct. 13, 2016.

Hundreds of tearful Thais continue to offer flowers and chant prayers for King Bhumibol Adulyadej outside the Bangkok hospital where the world's longest-reigning monarch is being treated for multiple health problems.

Thais wearing pink and yellow shirts in the king's honor have gathered outside Siriraj Hospital since Sunday, when the royal palace described his health as “unstable.” The palace said in a statement late Wednesday that the king's blood pressure had dropped, his liver and kidneys were not working properly and he remained on a ventilator.

Saranya Chungsuvanich came to the hospital Thursday after hearing about the king's condition. She said she is praying for the king not to be in pain and to get better.

Bhumibol, the world's longest-reigning monarch, has not been seen by the public for nearly a year as he battles a series of illnesses in a Bangkok hospital.

Bhumibol, a constitutional monarch with no formal political role, is widely regarded as Thailand's unifying figure.

In Washington, Daniel Russel, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, described U.S. born Bhumibol as “a true friend of the United States.''

A woman prays for Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Siriraj Hospital where the king is being treated in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.

A woman prays for Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Siriraj Hospital where the king is being treated in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.

His son, the crown prince, Vajiralongkorn, 64, who lives mostly in Germany, has yet to attain his father's widespread popularity.

Privately many business leaders, both domestic and foreign, have expressed fear the king's demise could lead to economic instability, especially as there is no official discussion on how the country will handle his passing.

Some material for this report came from the Associated Press.

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