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The Big Story

Thailand reaches a turning point as the Bhumibol era ends

After a year of mourning, how will the country confront its political and economic problems?

YUKAKO ONO, Nikkei staff writer | Thailand

BANGKOK -- On Sunday, Oct. 29, King Bhumibol Adulyadej's bones were placed in an ossuary in the throne hall of Bangkok's Grand Palace along with those of his ancestors, and his ashes were enshrined at two of the city's most important temples. Then, at the stroke of midnight, Thailand's long period of national mourning was over. It had been an extraordinary display of grief: In the year since his death, well over 12 million people had queued patiently at the palace to pay their respects to a long-serving and much-loved king.

The country wasted no time returning to life. The black and white bunting that had been draped across the kingdom's buildings started to come down. On the streets, somber attire gave way to more colorful clothing, and the darkened electric billboards and TV channels recovered their sparkle. The stock market ticked up as hotels got busy preparing for the weddings and other social events that had been delayed.

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