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By Aukkarapon Niyomyat
BANGKOK Oct 13 About 300 people gathered at a
Bangkok hospital on Thursday where Thailand's King Bhumibol
Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch, is in an
unstable condition as the government urged jittery stock market
investors to ignore rumours.
The palace said in a statement late on Wednesday the king's
health had "overall not yet stabilized" and the 88-year-old was
on a ventilator and battling a new infection.
It followed a statement on Sunday saying the king was in an
unstable condition after receiving haemodialysis treatment.
Well-wishers gathered on Thursday outside Siriraj Hospital,
which is near Bangkok's Chao Phraya river.
Some wore yellow, the king's colour, and others donned pink,
a colour they believe will bring the king an improvement in his
health. Some prayed.
"I was worried so I came here to see for myself," said
housewife Thornpan Tornueng, 67.
"This evening I will take part in chanting for the king."
District police commander Rithee Visetkamin said more people
were expected to gather at the hospital through the day.
The king has long been seen as a unifying figure in
Thailand, which has grappled with political uncertainty in
recent years. His health, which is watched closely, is a
Strict lese-majeste laws mean public discussions of his
health and any succession plans are punishable by lengthy jail
Investors in the Stock Exchange of Thailand have sold shares
since Sunday's statement from the Royal Household Bureau on the
The main index fell as much as 6.9 percent on
Wednesday to its lowest since March 1, but recovered to close
down 2.5 percent, its lowest since the end of May.
It was down 2.1 percent by the mid-day break on Thursday.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said he had asked
the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate
rumours that had been affecting the market.
"I will tell the SEC to investigate who spread the news and
who caused stocks to fall. Foreigners are waiting to pick up
stocks and Thais are selling them," Somkid told reporters.
"I don't think it's beneficial to do that because this is an
important time for the country and we should not undermine
"Don't listen to rumours. Please only listen to the
government," he added.
The government on Wednesday urged people to ignore rumours
on social media and wait for official announcements.
(Additional reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre, Panarat
Thepgumpanat and Pairat Temphairojana; Writing by Amy Sawitta
Lefevre; Editing by Robert Birsel)