Royal Ashes draw huge number of Thais to two royal monasteries

Royal Ashes draw huge number of Thais to two royal monasteries
PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

A HUGE NUMBER of Thais flocked yesterday to two royal monasteries in Bangkok where the Royal Ashes of the much-revered HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej are enshrined.

The royal cremated remains have been placed at Wat Bovoranives Vihara and Wat Rajabopidh since Sunday, the last day of the five-day Royal Cremation Ceremony.

At Wat Bovoranives Vihara, the royal remains sit beneath the base of Phra Buddha Chinnasi inside the ordination hall. Visitors can enter the hall and observe a picture featuring the late King and previous Supreme Patriarch.

The late monarch resided at Wat Bovoranives Vihara during his monkhood. Nanta Ampornmaha, 70, said she came to the temple out of her immense love for the late King. "He is like an angel," she said.

Pol Senior Sergeant Major Supaporn Tip-utai said she felt both sad and moved when prostrating herself before the Royal Ashes. "I love him because he worked tirelessly for and reached out to his people," she said.

At Wat Rajabopidh, the Royal Ashes were placed beneath the base of Phra Buddha Angkhirot, the main Buddha statue, inside the monastery's ordination hall.

Although visitors were not allowed to enter the hall yesterday, they could pay their respects from outside. The temple, which usually keeps its ordination hall off limits to visitors, has also erected a portrait of the late King near the door of the hall.

"I visited both Wat Rajabopidh and at Wat Bovoranives Vihara today out of my respect for the late King," Noppadon Seechomphu, a 65-year-old pensioner, said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday thanked Thai people at home and across the world for showing the greatest honour, reverence and respect for the late King during the Royal Cremation Ceremony that ended on Sunday.

More than 19.47 million people laid sandalwood flowers in homage to the late King last Thursday, the day of the Royal Cremation, at official venues. The prime minister made the statement in a special televised programme that was broadcast the day after five days of ceremonies ended.

The late King was cremated last Thursday in a grand ceremony watched by millions of people across the country.

Prayut said the government and the ceremonial committee were also grateful to HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who gave valuable guidance and recommendations and helped resolve many obstacles concerning the ceremonies.

He also expressed gratitude to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, who was chief adviser to the Royal cremation ceremony committee and chaired many of its meetings.

The princess visited the ceremonial sites and gave advice on many aspects of the ceremony.

The prime minister also thanked the artists, engineers, craftsmen, and security personnel and civilians who were involved in the event, which was attended by members of royal families and national leaders from a number of other countries.

Prayut also expressed appreciation to foreign friends and members of the global community who sent well wishes to Thailand and joined the Thai people in mourning.

"October 26, 2017 will forever go down in history as the day when Thai people from all sectors and all around the world united to show their profound condolences toward His Majesty late King Bhumibol," Prayut said.

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