(From AFP)

Hundreds of orange-robed monks led ceremonies Thursday marking 70 years since Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej ascended to the throne following the mysterious death of his brother, as anxiety grows over the health of the ailing octogenarian.

Thai women hold up photographs of His Majesty the King during the commemoration ceremony for the 70th anniversary of his reign near the Grand Palace in Bangkok on Thursday

The 88-year-old king is the world’s longest serving monarch and is seen as a unifying force in a nation bitterly divided along political lines.

But he is hospital-bound and underwent a heart operation on Tuesday, following months of treatment for various health problems — including water on the brain.

His health is of grave concern to Thais, who revere the king and see him as a constant in a turbulent country that has seen numerous coups and repeated rounds of deadly political violence. Read More

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