BANGKOK • Tens of thousands of black-clad Thais gathered outside Bangkok's Grand Palace yesterday to sing the royal anthem in a striking display of devotion to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The death of the monarch on Oct 13 has plunged the nation into grief, with the government declaring a one-year mourning period and urging the public to don black and dial down all festivities for at least 30 days, reported Agence France- Presse.
Yesterday, citizens formed a sea of black, filling the large grassy field outside the royal compound and surrounding roads. They sang a royal anthem alongside a 100-piece orchestra and professional choir.
The singing was recorded for use in cinemas, organisers said. The royal anthem, known as Sansoen Phra Barami, is played before the screening of every cinema show in Thailand, when the audience stands to honour the King.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor paid their respects to the late King at the Grand Palace yesterday morning, laying a wreath and signing the condolence book, reported the Bangkok Post.
In the afternoon, Cambodian Premier Hun Sen and Chinese Vice-Premier Li Yuanchao paid their respects. They both also placed wreaths and signed the condolence book.
Thailand's government has met representatives from Internet giant Google, amid growing calls from Thai hardline royalists to bring those who insult the monarchy to justice, reported Reuters.
Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong said he met Google representatives in Bangkok on Friday. Google affirmed in the meeting that it would remove content from YouTube, a Google subsidiary, that it deemed offensive, he said.