Abu Dhabi: The death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88, on Thursday left the Thai community in the UAE sad and bewildered. Komate Kamalanavin, Thai Ambassador to the UAE, told Gulf News: “It is a very very sad news for us. We, Thai people, always looked towards him, as he was the centre of our nation. I don’t have words to describe him and about this loss…” the envoy said.
He said he was meeting with the senior officials on Thursday evening to mourn the death of the king and to discuss arranging the opportunity for the community and friends to offer condolences to the departed soul.
An official mourning has been declared for 30 days by the Royal Thai Government from Friday. The Royal Thai Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate-General in Dubai will lower Thai national flag and ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) flag for 30 days as part of the mourning starting from Friday. The embassy and consulate officials will wear black for one year as per the Government guideline, the embassy officials said.
Unnop Buranasate, Thai Consul-General, said Thai people owed to the king for what he did to the nation in his whole life. “His contribution was invaluable. He never stopped working for the nation. We are very sad…I am unable to say anything more about him at this moment,” Buranasate said.
Panot Punyahotra, a Thai resident in Dubai, said: “It is bog loss for Thai people. We are very sad and it is confusing time for us. We are losing our guiding light. He has been there for seventy years to guide us. We don’t know what do to at the moment,” Punyahotra said.
More than 10,000 Thai citizens are living in the UAE. Most of them are labourers and rest of them are professionals, including engineers, while some others work in spas and the rest are wives of foreign citizens in the UAE, according to the embassy.