At the age of 88, King Rama IX passed away today. In light of his passing, many fear that Thailand might become unstable.

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King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, also known as King Rama IX, passed away today (Thursday) at the age of 88. He was crowned king in 1946 and led Thailand for 70 years, the longest reign of a head of state in the 20th century. In recent decades, he connected Thailand’s many societies and in light of his death, many are worried that the peace and order will fall apart.

King Rama IX was crowned king at the age of 19 after his brother King Rama VIII was murdered.

In addition to being the religious leader of Buddhism in Thailand, he needed to connect all of Thailand’s factions during his reign as the country was suffering from serious instability.

Even though he was one of the richest people on earth, the King lived modestly and donated money to the poor.

The King of Thailand is considered a hero and admired by the people. Insulting him or his family’s honor is a punishable crime. His birthday is celebrated by all and his pictures are everywhere.

Behind Thailand’s markets and peaceful beaches, the political situation in the country is not simple. The country has two main political groups: the “Yellows,” mostly people from the cities and the “Reds,” who represent the farmers and small villages. Since the two political groups are similar in size, when one is in power, the other strikes and protests. In harsh times, usually King Rama IX settled the issues and the people did as he commanded.

King Rama IX’s successor is his son, who doesn’t enjoy his father’s popularity. Many fear that Thailand will fall into instability now that King Rama IX passed away.