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The death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Thursday after more than 70 years on the throne has deeply saddened not only Thai citizens, but also many Burmese nationals living in the Kingdom. DVB spoke to several Burmese residents of Thailand about what the King and his passing means to them.
Dr Cynthia Maung, founder of the Mae Tao Clinic
His Majesty the King cared not only for the Thai people, but also for ethnic people in border areas and those who came seeking shelter in Thailand. We the Burmese people are mourning for his passing the same way Thai people do.
Kyaw Thaung, director of the Myanmar Association in Thailand
We felt safe under the shadow of His Majesty — when there were political crises in Thailand, His Majesty would step in and put the country on the correct path. He was also the final refuge of the oppressed Burmese migrants and we fear that his passing will mean there is no one left to protect us here.
Wai Zin, a Burmese house maid in Bangkok
I am very sad. I couldn’t hold back my tears watching on TV what he did for his country.
Saw Honest, chairman of the Mae La Refugee Camp Committee
We are saddened by the passing of His Majesty the King of Thailand. I would like to hope that the Thai authorities will not change their policy on Burmese refugees in the near future.