Fresh health concerns as ailing Thai King cancels meeting with ministers

Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej missed a planned meeting with two government ministers, palace officials said, amid ongoing public concern over the state of the ailing 86-year-old’s health. The two ministers were supposed to accompany junta leader General Prayut Chan-O-Cha to meet the world’s longest serving monarch on Friday evening to swear an oath in front of him before taking up office. But the palace said his medical team had advised against the king going ahead with the ceremony.

A team of royal physicians recommended that the king is not ready to grant an audience. Therefore the date of the royal audience is postponed.

A statement from the Royal Household Bureau

The elderly king has suffered from a series of ailments in recent years and is treated as a near-deity in Thailand. In early October he was rushed from his palace in the southern seaside resort of Hua Hin to a Bangkok hospital, where he underwent an operation to remove his gall bladder and has remained admitted since. He has also recently suffered from repeated bouts of colon inflammation which have been treated with antibiotics. Earlier this month he was briefly escorted into the hospital grounds to sit on the river bank and pay homage to a statue of his father in an event shown on public broadcaster Thai PBS.