THAILAND will propose the posthumous title of “Bhumibol the Great” for the kingdom’s late monarch after the conclusion of the royal funeral rites, reports say.
Local dailies quoted Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha as saying that this had always been the government’s plan, and that the matter will have to be forwarded to the Royal Household Bureau first for endorsement.
According to The Nation, the federal Cabinet has also approved activities for next Tuesday to express loyalty to the late Bhumibol Adulyadej on the occasion of his 89th birthday on Dec 5.
The government also said that it would retain holidays relating to Bhumibol in the Thai calendar but this would later be adjusted after the new reign commences.
The Royal Household Bureau, however, will take care of the finer details.
Bangkok Post’s report on the matter said major events relating to the late king include Coronation Day on May 5 and his birthday, which had previously been annual celebrations for the kingdom.
Prayuth was quoted as expressing gratitude at having been able to work as both soldier and prime minister during Bhumibol’s 70-year rule. He also said he was impressed by how much the late monarch had done for the country.
In The Nation, the prime minister was quoted as saying that he plans on following in the late king’s footsteps and that his administration will apply the king’s policies in its rule.
This, he reportedly said, includes ceasing rice paddy cultivation in unsuitable areas to enable farmers to shift their crops and not become a burden to the government.
The daily quoted Athisit Chainuwat, deputy government spokesman, as saying that for Tuesday’s activities, the federal Cabinet has approved physical, verbal and mental activities.
These include cleaning temples, visiting sick people, reading to the blind, taking an oath of loyalty, performing good deeds, singing the royal anthem before the King’s portrait, as well as meditating and praying.
The main oath taking event will be led by Prayuth at the Government House while others will go on at Bangkok schools at 8am next Tuesday, as well as at public plazas in the various provinces across the kingdom.
Bhumibol, who is Thailand’s longest reigning monarch, died on Oct 13 after battling a multitude of illnesses. The king’s death cast a pall over the Southeast Asian nation, whose people regarded their beloved ruler as a demi-God and a symbol of unity throughout decades of unrest.
Since his death, hordes of people have been descending on the Grand Palace to pay their respects. The military junta government has announced a one-month moratorium on state events and one year of mourning for the Thai people.
Many businesses in the booming tourist destination has also toned down on its entertainment events, out of respect for the late king. Tourists have been advised to behave and dress appropriately whilst holidaying in the kingdom.