For the first time amid the political upheaval raging in Thailand, the nation's revered king spoke out Monday, calling on new judges to help stabilize the country.
Speaking from the hospital where he has been since last year, King Bhumibol Adulyadej addressed a group of newly appointed judges.
"I would like all you to preserve honesty," he said, adding that "it will be a way to help the country to be progressing and stabilized at the same time."
He told the judges they could "be seen as model" for people who work in all sorts of jobs.
The king added that in performing their duties, the judges "would help to uphold justice and order of the country, and this is very important. If you do follow your oath strictly, it will help bring order to the country, certainly."
Thailand is facing a political crisis, with civilians and members of the military clashing in the streets. On April 10, more than 20 people were killed in clashes, and several bombs exploded in a business district.
King Bhumibol, the world's longest reigning monarch, wields little political power, but is revered and enjoys immense popularity.