By WASAMON AUDJARINT
FOREIGN MONARCHS, leaders and diplomats, as well as Thais from around the Kingdom, yesterday cordially expressed their congratulations to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun following his ascension to the Throne.
King Harald of Norway extended his congratulations in a statement to the new King on the occasion of His Majesty’s ascending the Throne.
Queen Margrethe of Denmark said in a message: “Please accept my sincere congratulations as well as my best wishes for yourself and for the people of Thailand.”
President Xi Jinping of China, in a congratulatory letter to the new King, hailed the new monarch’s efforts, and those of the Royal Thai Family, in promoting Sino-Thai relations.
“The Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership has been constantly deepened,” Xi said, adding, “I look forward to working with Your Majesty to further promote our bilateral relations to a higher level.”
Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam praised the new King as a source of solace and strength for Thais since the passing of his father, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and expressed his confidence in his reign’s guidance for the Kingdom.
He also invited His Majesty to visit Singapore at his earliest convenience.
German President Joachim Gauck, while extending wishes to HM the King, expressed confidence that relations between the two countries would continue to develop under his reign.
“I wish you much success and a sure hand as you promote the welfare of Thailand and its citizens,” he said.
The US State Department’s deputy spokesperson, Mark Toner, said the US sent the warmest congratulations to the new King on his ascension to the Throne.
“We offer our best wishes to His Majesty and all of the Thai people as he begins his reign as Rama X. His father, King Bhumibol, ruled Thailand with vision and compassion for 70 years and was a great friend of the US,” he said during a daily briefing in Washington.
In the Kingdom, US Ambassador to Thailand Glyn Davies, German Ambassador Peter Prugel, French Ambassador Gilles Garachon, Greek Ambassador Pericles Boutos, Portuguese Francisco Vaz Patto and the head of the Delegation of the European Union to Thailand, Jesus Miguel Sanz, also joined in extending congratulations to the new King, great success in his reign, and the continued development of relations between Thailand and their countries.
Meanwhile, sacred rituals took place across the country yesterday to bless HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
The Sangha Supreme Council had passed a resolution that monks at all temples sound gongs, drums and bells, and also prayed to bless the new King in line with traditions.
The Sheikhul Islam Office had announced that all provincial Islamic committees would inform all mosques in the Kingdom to perform Islamic religious functions to praise the new King after prayers yesterday.
Some 1,000 Muslims at a community at Ramkhamhaeng Soi 53, together with 30 Muslim police officers at a station nearby, sang the Royal Anthem in Arabic to praise and offer loyalty to the new King after prayers at a community mosque.
Phitsanulok Governor Supachai Iamsuwan led other government officials in joining the prayer ritual at a temple in his province, while Phichit Governor Weerasak Wichitsaengsri attended a similar ritual in his province.
Indeed, such rituals were held across Thailand yesterday with keen participation from government officials and members of the public.
Emotions were particularly intense at the Phra That Choeng Chum Worawihan in Sakon Nakhon province, as the new King had visited the temple during his monkhood.
The visit to this royal monastery took place on November 14, 1978, a historic occasion still fondly recalled by Sakon Nakhon residents.
In the northeastern provinces of Nakhon Ratchasima and Udon Thani, members of the public and government agencies started placing advance orders for framed pictures of the new monarch.
“They want to decorate the pictures at their places [of residence or work],” said Tanamart Noranartpanya, who runs a shop selling pictures and photo frames in Udon Thani.
She sells the framed pictures for between Bt100 and Bt6,000, depending on the size and type of frame.