HM King Bhumibol, whose reign witnessed political turmoil, coups and violent unrest, was revered as a serene and caring father of the nation, and a bulwark in troubled times.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon hailed the King’s “long dedication to his country and his legacy as a unifying national leader… respected internationally”.
“The Secretary-General expresses his hope that Thailand will continue to honour King Bhumibol’s legacy of commitment to universal values and respect for human rights,” his spokesman said in a statement.
US President Barack Obama praised the monarch as a “close friend” and partner of the United States.
He paid tribute to the king as a “tireless champion” for Thailand’s development, praising his “unflagging devotion” to improving the lives of his subjects.
“I had the honour of calling on His Majesty the King during my visit to Thailand in 2012, and recall his grace and warmth, as well as his deep affection and compassion for the Thai people,” he said.
Neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia both expressed their sorrow at his passing, with the island city-state describing the king as “an outstanding and deeply revered monarch… (who) worked tirelessly for the betterment of the Thai people”.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said, “King Bhumipol was a towering presence whose contribution to Thailand, and the rest of the region, is beyond words.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram of condolence, saying that “during the decades of his reign he won the sincere love of his subjects and high prestige abroad”.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said HM Bhumibol “guided the Kingdom of Thailand with dignity, dedication and vision throughout his life. He will be greatly missed”.
Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed HM The King’s contribution to Thailand’s development, adding that the “good relationship” between Bangkok and Beijing were due in no small part to “personal efforts made by HM King Bhumibol himself”.
Bhumibol’s “rural development projects improved the lives of millions of people in Thailand” and will be remembered for generations to come, said EU President Donald Tusk and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “People of India and I join the people of Thailand in grieving the loss of one of the tallest leaders of our times, King Bhumibol Adulyadej”.
HM Queen Elizabeth, who for decades had publicly shared very good relations with HM The King, has reportedly sent a private message of condolence to Queen Sirikit and The Crown Prince of Thailand following His Majesty’s passing.
The message will remain private between Her Majesty and the Thai Royal Family, but it is expected to mirror the thousands of other tributes that have been pouring in over the last few hours reported RoyalCentral.com (Click here.)