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Thai king speaks for 1st time in political crisis

Last Updated: Monday, April 26, 2010 - 20:00

Bangkok: Thailand`s ailing king spoke Monday for the first time since his country`s political chaos began, but failed to directly address the sometimes violent crisis that has paralyzed Bangkok.
Many in the country had seen the revered monarch as the best hope for peacefully resolving the standoff.

But addressing newly appointed judges from the hospital where he has been for more than seven months, King Bhumibol Adulyadej spoke vaguely, leaving his comments open to interpretation.

The 82-year-old king said the judges should set an example by performing their duties well.

"It will show that there are officials in the country who perform their duties with strong, clear will and are determined to maintain stability in the country," he said. "This will give people the determination to perform their own duties as well."

The government has been accused of failing to keep order when faced with the militant protesters.

The US-born Bhumibol, the world`s longest reigning monarch, stepped in to stop bloodshed during a student uprising in 1973 and again during antimilitary street protests in 1992. Both events lasted just days.

The monarch has been hospitalized since Sept. 19, when he was admitted with fatigue and loss of appetite. The palace has said he is recovering from a lung inflammation, but not explained why he has been hospitalized for so long.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, April 26, 2010 - 20:00

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