Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked the Thai public to join the government in observing one year of mourning and urged all sectors to refrain from any entertainment activities for 30 days.
Appearing on national television Thursday evening, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the passing of His Majesty the King has caused the greatest grief and was the biggest loss to the country since the death of King Rama VIII on June 9, 1946.
His Majesty the King passed away after his condition deteriorated, according to a statement issued by the Royal Household Bureau.
According to the bureau, royal physicians had treated His Majesty the King's illness to the best of their ability, but his condition had not improved and had been deteriorating.
His Majesty passed away peacefully at 3.52pm at Siriraj Hospital, where he had been admitted for treatment on Oct 3, 2014.
Gen Prayut said the people are encouraged to pay their respects or hold religious activities according to their religions and faiths in honour of the King. The government will keep the public informed of the funeral arrangements which will be organised in the highest honour.
According to the prime minister, the government and state authorities are responsible for enforcing the laws and the palace law so the public is urged to rely on information from the government. He also said it is time for Thais to extend support for each other as they have the same father and share the same feelings.
"The government is asking the Thai people to bid farewell by protecting the land of our father with love and unity," he said.
"Dear Thai people, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has passed away. Long live the new reign."
The PM's Office has declared a one-year mourning period for all state officials and workers starting today while members of the public are asked to observe the mourning period as they see fit.
"Do not let His Majesty's passing frustrate his intention to make the country prosper and see his people live happily and in kindness to each other," Gen Prayut said.
The best way to show loyalty and mourn is to follow the footsteps of His Majesty and carry on with the King's determination to bring prosperity to the country and act on his advice, Gen Prayut said.
The next important task is to carry out procedures relating to royal succession under the interim constitution and the 1924 Palace Law of Succession, Gen Prayut said.
He said the government will inform the National Legislative Assembly that His Majesty the King appointed the heir to the throne under the Palace Law of Succession on Dec 28, 1972, so the NLA will take further action.
According to an announcement published in the Royal Gazette on Dec 28, 1972, His Majesty the King appointed His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn as the heir to the throne.