His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn and members of the royal family have sent floral wreaths to the funeral of Surin Pitsuwan, former secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
His Majesty also sent royal soil for the burial ceremony of the late Surin.
The royal wreaths were placed at the funeral rite venue at Surin’s home in Nonthaburi where a large number of people came to pay respect to his body.
Surin died from heart failure at 3.07pm on the way to Ramkhamhaeng hospital in Bangkok yesterday. His body was then transport to his home in Pak Kret district, Nonthaburi where muslim religious rite was held throughout the night and in the morning.
Diplomats, politicians, government authorities, relatives and friends gathered at his house since early today morning (Dec 1) and attended the burial ceremony at Tha-it mosque at 2.45pm.
Final farewell to the widely respected Surin Pitsuwan. #SurinPitsuwan #funeral
Posted by Thai PBS English News on Friday, 1 December 2017
As news about his death spread, prominent local and international figures and organisations have expressed condolences and paid tribute to the former Asean secretary-general and former foreign minister.
Najib Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia wrote a message on his twitter account, saying the passing of Surin was a great loss for Asean and the world of diplomacy.
Sad to hear of the passing of Surin Pitsuwan, former Secretary-General of ASEAN and Thai FM. A great loss not just to ASEAN but also to the world of diplomacy. Al-Fatihah
— Mohd Najib Tun Razak (@NajibRazak) November 30, 2017
United States Ambassador to Thailand H.E. Glyn T. Davies who paid respect to Surin’s body at his home this morning said “America has lost a dear friend.”
Thailand has lost a lion, ASEAN has lost a champion, and America has lost a dear friend. We expressed condolences this morning to Khun Alisa & Dr Surin‘s family at their home. I told them what a pleasure it was to know him & to visit his school in Nakhon Si Thammarat pic.twitter.com/RaD1jh557C
— Glyn T. Davies (@GlynTDavies) December 1, 2017
The US Department of State also issued a statement on the passing of Surin, whom they praised as”the great Southeast Asian statesman.”
“Dr. Surin was a tireless champion of the Thai people, an eloquent advocate for all of Southeast Asia, and a dear friend of the United States.
“In his many endeavors—as Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Foreign Minister of Thailand, journalist, legislator, educator, and humanitarian—he advanced international understanding and stood staunchly for democratic values. Dr. Surin had a genuine appreciation of the United States, where he obtained advanced degrees from several of our finest universities and served as a Congressional fellow early in his career.
“We extend our condolences to his country, family, and loved ones, while saluting his many contributions to the enduring ties between Thailand and the United States and to the diplomatic integration of Southeast Asia.”
Read: Surin Pitsuwan’s biography from Asean website.