It is very difficult to encap
sulate the incredible achievements of our beloved King in this short
article. The writer, rather, has highlighted just some of the events,
honours and accolades which have been dedicated to His Majesty ,
particularly in this auspicious year of his Diamond Jubilee.
Born on Monday, the fifth of December, 1927 at the Mount Auburn Hospital,
Cambridge, Massachusetts, HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great reaches his
seventy-ninth birthday in the year that he also celebrates sixty years on
the Thai Throne.
16 February 1987 His Majesty
the King conversing with local people who came to greet Him during a visit
to San Kanphaeng District, Chiang Mai Province.
As the Thai people - and, in fact, people all around the world - honour this
year’s anniversary of the birth of the world’s longest-reigning Monarch, as
well as his Diamond Jubilee, the Pattaya Mail presents this supplement,
prepared by special correspondent Peter Cummins, as a “Happy Birthday”
tribute to our beloved King.
In his Coronation Oath, promulgated on the fifth of May 1950, the
newly-crowned King Rama the Ninth vowed that, “We will reign with
righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people” and the
almost 56 years which have passed since that auspicious day, the concept of
“righteousness” has dominated his reign. In fact, HM the King has,
throughout his more than five decades of rule, constantly revered the
age-old Buddhist concept of ‘Kingship’ as defined in the “Sutta Pitaka” of
the “Tripitaka” in which a King is defined as “Mahasammata” - a King of
Righteousness. The Buddhist scriptures also define the genesis of the
universe and the progression of evils which befall mankind: greed, stealing
and lying and the inevitable repercussions of censure and punishment.
Our King has steadfastly reigned by these principles, embodying good
kingship in his own life and example and often speaking out against the
affliction of the evils so clearly spelled out in the Buddhist philosophy -
evils and afflictions which seem to have become progressively worse in the
past tumultuous years.
There will inevitably be some familiar material in parts of this story, for
HM the King’s development projects have been ongoing for more than 50 years
and there is, of course, a historical perspective which has been
Ever Attentive to Royal Duties
His Majesty the King
continued to have many official duties over the past years, culminating
in a plethora of official functions during this year to commemorate his
Diamond Jubilee on the Thai Throne, continuing right through the coming
year, up to his 80th birthday.
One of his many functions during this period was to open the new Rama VIII
Bridge - the 475-metre long cable-stay bridge which the King had planned
since July 1996, having it constructed to commemorate King Ananda Mahidol,
Rama the Eighth.
25 November 1990 His Majesty
the King, accompanied by Her Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn,
during a visit to Si Chiang Mai District, Nong Khai Province.
HM King Bhumibol introduced a number of aesthetic designs based upon the
former King’sBy Peter Cummins,ial Correspondent, Pattaya Mail
Photos: Courtesy of the Bureau of the Royal Householdave the least possible effect on the fragile
environment of the Chao Phraya River, the riverbanks and the surrounding
After the official opening, the City of Bangkok presented His Majesty with a
24K gold model of the bridge, and a gold plate with the bridge engraved upon
it to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn who accompanied HM the King at the
Over the years, the King
has established five Royal Development Study Centres - or, as they are
better known - “Living Museums” - situated in the roughest terrain in their
respective regions. These centres are the locale for experiments in
re-forestation, irrigation, land development and farm technology which are
conducted to find practical applications within the constraints of local
conditions, geography and topography. His Majesty’s aim is to restore the
natural balance, to enable people to become self-supporting.
The first centre organized was that of Khao Hin Son, in the rocky area of
Chachoengsao’s Phanom Sarakam District. Here, the centre studies how to turn
the barren soil, caused by de-forestation, back into fertile land again.
An image of His Majesty King
Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great shows on a giant projector during an exhibition
featuring the HM the King’s work and life at an exhibition hall on the
outskirts of Bangkok, Saturday, June 10. (AP Photo / Apichart Weerawong)
Other centres are located at strategic places around the Kingdom. The Pikul
Thong Centre at Narathiwat studies the swampy, acidic land of the
The Phu Phan Centre in Sakhon Nakhon studies soil salinization and
irrigation in the country’s biggest region, the Northeast which suffers from
The Krung Kraben Bay Centre in Chantaburi examines the rehabilitation of
mangrove forests and coastal areas following massive destruction.
The Huay Sai Centre in Petchaburi studies the rehabilitation of degraded
forests and shows villagers, in their turn, how to protect the forests.
When he is in doubt, HM the King will fly over a particular area, armed with
aerial photographs and maps of the terrain, noting features as they pass
underneath. But, being a good photographer himself, he also takes his own
pictures and later juxtaposes them over the charts to obtain a detailed
image of the area of his concern which helps in his planning of specific
9 October 1992 His Majesty the
King conversing with officials during a visit to the irrigation canal and
drainage canal of Khok Kuwae Irrigation Project under the Royal Initiative
of His Majesty at Tak Bai District, Narathiwat Province.
Throughout the more than five decades that HM the King has ruled Thailand,
not only Thais, but people around the world have become accustomed to seeing
His Majesty travelling to remote areas of the country. He works with and -
brings rational development to - even the poorest and most disadvantage
groups. He is often filmed leading officials, farmers and many diverse
groups up rough mountain trails, over bridges, punting along in small
sampans, to initiate sustainable projects and ideas, aimed at helping the
many who have been forgotten or left behind in the development process.
His Majesty’s insightful approach to local prevailing conditions has enabled
him to improvise new theories for agricultural development, to provide
guidelines for educating farmers on self-sufficiency, and to solve problems
of goitre by feeding iodine into salt roads at strategic points.
In all these works, His Majesty has promoted a simple approach using
environmentally-friendly techniques and utilizing moderate amounts of
locally available resources. For example, before environmentalism became a
major force in the development equation, His Majesty was using vetiver grass
to prevent erosion, controlling ground water level to reduce soil acidity,
and seeding clouds with simple materials such as dry ice to produce rain.
HM the King’s philoso
phy to development problems has been to “keep it simple”, relying on an
intimate knowledge of Nature and her immutable laws, such as using fresh
water to flush out polluted water or dilute it through utilization of normal
tidal fluctuations. The ubiquitous water hyacinth, too, can be ‘harnessed’
to absorb pollutants.
The results of any development, HM the King asserts, must reach the people
directly as a means of overcoming immediate problems, translating into
“enough to live, enough to eat”, while looking at a longer-term result of
“living well and eating well.”
16 January 2005 Their
Majesties the King and Queen granting an audience to Mr. Goran Persson,
Prime Minister of Finland who came to Thailand following the tsunami on the
south-western coast of Thailand, at Piamsuk Villa of Klai Kangwol Palace,
Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province.
His Majesty compares this to using “adharma” (evil) to fight evil, observing
that both pollution and the water weed are a menace, but they can be used to
counteract each other, thus lessening the damage to the environment.
HM the King himself practices this “simple approach” and brings a
down-to-earth approach to which the people can readily relate. He studies
and deliberates exhaustively on the particular project and then reveals his
thinking in short, easy-to-grasp titles. The very simplicity belies the
profundity of the philosophy, for each title reflects a much deeper insight
into a given problem and often, at the same time, hints at the mode of
operation to be employed.
A major working principle has been a true knowledge of and reliance upon the
immutable laws of Nature in solving problems and resolving abnormal
conditions, such as using fresh water to flush out polluted water, as in his
analogy “good water chases bad”, referring to the hyacinth/water pollution
problem in the Chao Phraya, for example.
It was in 1969 that HM the King, vitally concerned about the Hill Tribes’
cultivation of and addiction to opium, established the Royal Project, the
first manifestation being a Hmong village on Doi Pui in Chiang Mai Province.
Development has now spread to Chiang Rai, Lamphun and Mae Hong Son.
Over the years, the Projects have been instrumental in the conversion of the
poppy fields being turned into groves of temperate fruits and vegetables. It
is under the dynamic direction of HM the King’s close colleague, friend and
confidant, Prince Bhisadej Rajanee who manages the projects from his base at
Chiang Mai University, that there are now five research stations and 35
Royal Project Development Centres which incorporate some 300 villages,
comprising 14,000 households and approximately 90,000 farmers.
The Royal Development Projects Board, under the Office of the Prime
Minister, also serves as the secretariat for the Chai Pattana Foundation
which is directly responsible for the work related to the Royal Development
Thus, more than three decades later, the results can be seen in the new life
that has come to many of the mountain villages. Greenery has returned to
areas once denuded of forest cover through the highly-destructive
slash-and-burn agriculture, leaving only barren hills in its wake, and opium
cultivation, a cause of extreme national concern, is relegated to the
dust-bin of history.
“The key to the success of the Project lies in His Majesty’s guidelines,”
explains Prince Bhisadej. “They focus on obtaining knowledge, through
research, avoiding bureaucratic entanglements and swift action to respond to
the villagers’ needs, while promoting self-reliance,” he adds.
The effectiveness of this approach has been applauded internationally. For
example, in 1998 the Royal Project won both the “Magsaysay Award for
International Understanding” and the “Thai Expo Award for the Highest
Quality Standard of Thai Goods for Export.”
HM the King’s own views are that development must respect different regions’
geography and people’s way of life. “We cannot impose our ideas on the
people - only suggest. We must meet them, ascertain their needs and then
propose what can be done to meet their expectations,” HM the King pointed
HM the King’s ideas are in direct contrast to the bureaucracy’s wish to
impose standards from the top down, with the inflexibility inherent therein.
“Don’t be glued to the textbook,” he admonishes developers “who”, he said,
“must compromise and come to terms with the natural and social environment
of the community.”
HM the King sees no need to spare any sensitivities - if there are any -
because he feels that the government approach is costly and authoritarian
which is why it has “failed miserably to address the country’s problems.”
Accession to the Thai
His Majesty the King was
pronounced successor to the throne in June 1946. After four years of
studying in Europe, he returned to Thailand and was crowned during an
elaborate and highly intricate ceremony.
On April 28, 1950, a week before his coronation, H.M. King Bhumibol and Mom
Rajawongse Sirikit Kitayakara were married. Following the coronation HM the
King returned to Switzerland to continue studying.
The Coronation Ceremony reinforces the stature of the Kings of Thailand. The
first such elaborate ceremony was performed when Pho Khun Phamuang succeeded
Pho Khun Bangklangthao as the ruling King of Muang Sukhothai. Phaya Lithai,
a former leader in Sukhothai, left a historical record in stone describing
the coronation ceremony in Sukhothai at Wat Srikhum.
17 February 2005 Their
Majesties the King and Queen receiving Their Majesties the King and Queen of
Sweden on the occasion of the Royal Visit to Thailand as Guests of Their
Majesties the King and Queen to extend condolences concerning the tsunami on
the south-west coast of Thailand, at Piamsuk Villa, Klai Kangwol Palace, Hua
Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province.
In the beginning of the Ratanakosin era, the first King in the Chakri
Dynasty (King Buddha Yot Fa Chulalokmaharach) took the title of Rama I and
moved the capital of Siam from Thonburi to the opposite bank of the Chao
Phraya River, and constructed Krung Ratanakosin (Bangkok). In the process of
building the Royal Palace and Wat Prakaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha),
the first King in the House of Chakri refined the coronation ceremony,
establishing important protocol that has lasted to this day.
The annual commemoration of the coronation ceremony is a three-day affair,
starting with a ritual “tham bun” ceremony on May 3 to honour the King’s
ancestors. Later on the first day, another ceremony is performed, whereby
flags of honour are issued to distinguish various military units.
The following day, Buddhist ceremonies continue with chanting rituals,
prayers and Brahman priests announce the auspicious occasion of the next day
On May 5, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great (Rama IX) conducts a
merit-making ceremony, presenting offerings to Buddhist monks, and leads a
“Wienthien” ceremony, walking three times around the sacred grounds at the
Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
In the evening HM the King conducts another sacred ceremony: changing the
yellow cloth on the Emerald Buddha, the guardian symbol protecting the Thai
people, which was transferred from Thonburi to Wat Phra Kaew by King Rama I.
Many rooms in the Royal Palace are opened for public viewing on Coronation
Day. Auspicious ceremonies are performed and displays depicting royal
achievements are exhibited to reconfirm the King’s stature.
2006: A Very
Special Year for the King
This year, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his accession to the Thai Throne, HM the
King and Queen presided over splendid festivities as representatives of 25
royal houses from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia had come to
Bangkok to honour His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great.
The royal guests came from near and far to enjoy Thai hospitality and the
friendship of the Thai Royal Family.
But - and, perhaps, more significantly - to honour this celebration,
millions of people, sporting the “Royal Yellow” shirts (the official colour
of the King’s household), packed the areas around Bangkok’s Royal Plaza to
hear HM the King deliver a rare public address in which he called for
“The responsibility to preserve the nation,” His Majesty reminded his
subjects, “does not belong to any particular person but to all Thais who
must do their utmost to develop the country and make it prosperous, stable
and peaceful,” he said. “Therefore, I, as a Thai, have the same
responsibility as all Thais do.”
A Sea of Yellow
It was a schoolgirl whose handwritten declaration of love for the Monarch who designed the shirt
and wrote the text for many other products made available to honour HM the
King on his Diamond Jubilee.
Written in a childish hand, the slogan “Rao Rak Nai Luang” (We love the
King) is undoubtedly one of the most familiar sights across the nation
today. You see it everywhere, on T-shirts, bumper stickers, wristbands -
coffee mugs even.
Although it looks like the work of a small child, the short sentence that
has captured the hearts of so many Thais and foreigners alike, was actually
penned by secondary-school student Nop-abha “Yui” Devakula, about four years
ago - long before yellow-shirt fever descended on the Kingdom.
A smiling Nop-abha, now 21 and a fourth-year student at Kasetsart
University’s Faculty of Humanities, recalls how it all started back in 2002.
Many thought that the various fonts used in a nation-wide competition did
not reveal the true Thai devotion to their King and, eventually, her
handwritten “Rao Rak Nai Luang” with a red heart encircling the word “rak”
was the one that was eventually picked from the bunch.
“I drew characters with a computer mouse, not a pen,” notes Nop-abha, a
granddaughter of Lord Chamberlain Keokhwan Vajarodaya and his wife,
Thanpuying Pensri. “It does have a child-like quality which I thought
appropriate to dedicate to the father of our country and of all the Thai
people,” concluded Nop-abha.
Musical Tributes and
There have been so many
tributes to our King from all corners of the world, over this past year,
that here it is only possible to outline some of them.
One of the most pervasive has been in the form of Musical Tributes, not
surprisingly, as His Majesty is an acknowledged composer of classical music
and an exceptionally-talented jazz aficionado.
An Austrian ensemble who, despite never having worked together, succeeded in
producing an album - the Royal Lullaby - that is faithful to the integrity
and authenticity of the original pieces, and in the process created a
musical repertoire of international calibre.
“It all started last December where we all met for the first time. I played
for Her Majesty the Queen and was asked to include His Majesty’s Love In
Spring in the programme. I didn’t know the music or what to expect so was
very curious and I came here and just fell in love with the music,” said
Austrian solo violinist Wolfgang David, one of the musicians who performed
on the album.
David and the album’s producer Chris Craker were recently in Bangkok to
discuss the assembled work. David also arrived to perform a few pieces from
the album at the launch held recently at the Sukhothai Hotel.
The Royal Lullaby album also showcases the talents of the Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra, Swiss Conductor Emmanuel Siffert and local pianist Indhuon
Srikaranonda. Revered Thai National Artist Prof Manrat Srikaranonda was also
involved in the musical production.
Commissioned by Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana, the album
highlights 10 compositions that reveal HM the King’s musical ingenuity,
including the well-known Lullaby and Summertime.
“These works are very important, because I believe Thai musicians have
gleaned a lot of influence from Western music, but I think that American and
European listeners will appreciate this type of music too,” said David
explaining the necessity of creating an album of this stature.
On HM the King’s compositions, David said, “The music is uplifting, which
makes it very human. That’s why I love to play it because I also believe
that music should lift people’s minds - it’s not just about having a good
time for an hour in a concert.”
Craker acknowledged that while His Majesty the King is already a respected
figure in the international community, these newly-arranged pieces will
further enable Western audiences to enjoy the music.
Craker also noted that the album’s juxtaposition of classical and jazz
compositions was quite unusual. “There are elements of Thai folk music in
the melodies, but I think His Majesty is greatly knowledgeable on Western
music and he has been able to embody all those styles and influences with
his own concepts,” he added.
“It’s different in that most of the pieces were already written, but the
arrangements were not. The melodies have been around for many years, but
this orchestration of them is new. There are no right or wrong arrangements,
only how people will feel towards the music.”
As an interpreter of the melodies, Chris Craker understood the
responsibility that he had in communicating HM the King’s music to an
Another tribute to HM the King’s musical talents came from the Nagoya
Philharmonic Orchestra which, during the annual Toyota Classics concert -
this being the 16th year - featured the internationally-acclaimed Nagoya
Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Tatsuya Shimono, showcasing two
of HM’s musical masterpieces in its programme; namely Kwam Fun Un Soong Sood
(A Dream Most Noble) and Paendin Kong Rau (Our Land).
HM the King is also well-known as a songwriter who has more than 40
published songs to his credit. Kwarm Fun Un Soong Sood, a
symphonically-conceived piece, was written in 1971 and has since become one
of HM’s most popular and loved compositions.
Yet another musical evening was held by the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra to
celebrate His Majesty’s 69th birthday. The Orchestra performed a special
concert under the baton of Hikotaro Yazaki, featuring soloist Pornphan
Banternghansa on the piano, at the Thailand Cultural Centre.
The programme comprised Fanfare and Rhapsody for a Royal Celebration, a
specially-composed piece for the celebration by UK composer Simon Wallace,
which was followed by Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Opus 43 for Solo
Piano, by Rachmaninoff, and concluded with Symphony No. 4 by Brahms.
An evening of HM the King’s music was led by Sasin Alumni Associations in a
concert entitled “The Royal Composition of His Life Journey: The King and
His Music” to celebrate the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King’s
accession to the throne.
During the presentation, the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra performed His
Majesty’s compositions as arranged in an orchestral style by Rear Admiral ML
Usni Pramoj, who was also the conductor.
Accolades Pour In
The King has been named
an ‘Asian Hero’ among 65 prominent figures designated by Time Magazine
as “Asian Heroes”.
“The King’s stewardship has been so masterful that in times of crisis, Thais
invariably turn to one man: King Bhumibol,” writes the article published in
the magazine’s Nov 13 issue.
“On two occasions - October 1973 and May 1992 - with Thailand descending
into chaos, the King, armed only with his moral authority, intervened to end
“Today, a group of generals has again seized power. They have pledged to
give Thailand a fairer and lasting democratic system. Once more, the Thai
people look to their Revered King, trusting him to ensure that the generals
keep their promise,” it said.
Elsewhere, His Majesty has been named the first recipient of the Norman E
Borlaug World Food Prize Medallion for his unwavering dedication to the
well-being of the Thai people.
The award, introduced for the first time this year as a special
commemoration of the World Food Prize’s 21st anniversary, is a special
honour for individuals who have provided exceptional humanitarian service in
reducing hunger and poverty.
The medallion is named in honour of the World Food Prize founder and Nobel
Peace Prize Laureate Dr Norman Borlaug.
“Since his accession to the throne in 1946, King Bhumibol Adulyadej has
displayed a deep concern that the Thai people have sufficient food and
proper nutrition,” said Ambassador Kenneth M Quinn, president of the World
Food Prize Foundation.
“His Majesty’s commitment to his subjects has been reflected in the more
than 2,000 royal projects he has established throughout the country, the
first of which was initiated in 1952,” he said.
The projects include efforts to promote small-scale agriculture, the
introduction of new agriculture technologies and the sustainable use of
The King’s was also lauded by Kofi Anan, Secretary-General of the United
Nations, as the “Development King”, acknowledging his dedication to promote
child health, combat iodine deficiency and increase access to education.
The royal projects have benefited million of people across Thailand, with a
particular focus on aiding ethnic groups and hill tribes in mountainous
“Dr Borlaug tells of his visits to Thailand and the time he spent meeting
with His Majesty and walking through the countryside with him as they
discussed possible new approaches to agriculture,” said Mr Quinn.
A different type of honour was forthcoming when several hundred thousand
people took part in a walkathon on the new cable-stayed bridge, an event
organized by the Transport Ministry to mark His Majesty the King’s 60 years
on the throne.
One of the many international tributes to our King, on the occasion of his
Diamond Jubilee as our Ruler, was that of receiving “The Bronze Wolf”, the
World Scout Movement’s highest award.
In July this year, HM Carl XVI Gustav, King of Sweden and Honorary President
of the World Scout Federation, personally presented “The Bronze Wolf” to HM
the King at the Chitrlada Palace. This was to recognize “his support and
development of Scouting in Thailand.
HM the King is Chief Scout and, under his benevolent approach and patronage,
the Scouting Movement has flourished in Thailand.
In fact, recently, there was a huge international gathering - the 20th World
Scout Jamboree, held at Sattahip in 2003 - and a lesser Asian-Pacific meet.
These two events have brought together boys and girls, as well as their
leaders, from around the world and the region, to unite under the banner of
the international Scout Organization.
“The Bronze Wolf is inscribed with the Scout emblem and is presented only to
those persons in recognition of their outstanding service and who have made
significant contributions and great achievements in supporting the World
Scout Movement,” said the King of Sweden upon the presentation to our own
Not the least appreciation for HM the King came from the Royal Thai Army
which presented him with a specially-made gold chair, weighing 60 baht in
gold. The Army commissioned the Gold Traders’ Association to build the chair
out of gold and golden teakwood.
HM the King’s
His Majesty the King has
stated his opinion on countless matters over the years. These royal
words of wisdom reflect his great sensitivity to the needs of his people and
their problems and his down-to-earth approach to problem-solving.
Herewith are some excerpts on His Majesty’s ideals:
I shall reign with righteousness for the happiness and benefit of the
Siamese people, was his promise 60 years ago.
To achieve desired results that are also beneficial and morally just, you
need more than just knowledge: You need honesty, sincerity, and justice.
Knowledge is like an engine that propels a vehicle. Moral principles are the
steering wheel or rudder that lead the vehicle safely in the right
Knowledge helps you to understand religion on a broad basis; religion helps
you understand knowledge in depth. Therefore knowledge and religion have to
go hand- in-hand; they are both essential to life. Whoever possesses both
knowledge and religion shall achieve success in life without fail, because
they can analyse everything in detail and a rational way.
Academic subjects that you are constantly being tested for, do not alone
account for your survival and will not create benefit for yourself, for
others, or for the country. Those with knowledge also need other additional
qualifications to bring themselves and the nation to survival and
The necessary qualifications are a tender conscience, honesty in thought and
deed, loyalty to the nation and your patrons, selflessness and not taking
advantage of others, sincerity and meaning well to others, generosity as
benefiting your status and position, and most importantly, perseverance.
Practice doing projects on your own both big and small, simple and
complicated, with determination, without sloth, carelessness, or vulgarity.
When you want to study anything in depth, you have to study it from every
conceivable angle, not only in part, or become fixated on a particular
aspect. Secondly, what you must also do is consider the subject with an
unbiased and unwavering heart. Do not let the dark influence of prejudice
misguide you, whether it is prejudice in favour of, or against, the matter.
Otherwise, the knowledge which is gained will not be true knowledge, but
knowledge that is a mere illusion, or misleading. It cannot be applied to
create benefit without incurring negative results.
When you have clearly analysed the issue with a heart that is unbiased, then
only will true understanding arise, leading to a just decision and action.
You must set your mind to be objective, not allowing any prejudice to
prevail. Let your heart be led by truth and justice, based on reason and
Knowledge, intelligence, and efficient equipment, alone cannot help us
create total prosperity and stability for the country. To do so we need one
other element, that is unity, or cooperation, so that we can use that
knowledge, intellect and equipment to create true prosperity as desired.
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the
Great, center left, and Queen Sirikit, center right, pose with the visiting
representatives of 25 royal houses from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and
Thailand’s Asian neighbors in the elaborate century-old high-ceilinged
Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok Monday, June 12.
HM the King on Unity
Unity is mutual understanding. Unity is mutual support and assistance. Unity is how everyone
can work for the general benefit, and develop themselves, loving each other,
so the country can be at peace and attain rapid development.
Unity and solidarity are the basic principles in managing major projects,
such as work for the country. Unity can be achieved and maintained only if
members of the community uphold their moral principles, binding them
One moral principle is the art of giving; supporting and forgiving each
other, giving advice and constructive criticism. Another principle is the
art of speech; of speaking words of truth and encouragement, saying what is
beneficial, and what will keep the peace and spirit of cooperation. The
third principle is to do what benefits others. Thus, whatever you do should
be supportive of others and the general public.
The fourth principle is consistency; not to try to be superior to others.
Should any community be in possession of all these moral principles, that
community shall indeed prosper in unity.
Committing yourself to your work on your own, without taking advantage of
others, is a spirit of unity.
Unity is helping each other by sacrificing personal gains, for the benefit
of the whole.
It seems the word ‘unity’ is rather boring because it is mentioned nearly
every time [in royal speeches]. But I must speak about ‘unity’ again. Unity
means that we must all assist one another, cooperate with one another,
without too much quarrelling.
Unity, or solidarity does not mean that if someone says something, others
must invariably agree, for in the end, life would have no meaning. There
must be some differences. On the other hand, work must be done in harmony.
Even though there are some differences, there must be harmony. Without
harmony, everything will crumble.
Everyone must know how to treasure unity; that is, everybody must know how
to compromise. Although the solution does not seem to be absolutely ‘right’,
that is, even if it does not seem to be theoretically acceptable, it should
be used, because if we do not use it, we won’t have anything else to use.
Nothing is 100 percent good, but one must use whatever is available; if not,
we will never get along.
You may see that things are full of conflict. But when lessons are learnt or
the wisdom of cooperation is understood, peaceful coexistence can be
established, quarrels are settled, mutual enmity is appeased. The balance of
nature is established.
Nobody can do everything single-handedly. In any venture, there must be
others to help think and do what must be done. There are many disadvantages
in working alone, especially in doing important work such as the governing
of the country.
At present, the duty of HM the King is not to govern the country. We have
the government and the bureaucrats whose duty is to run the country. Each
one has a duty to perform; but it doesn’t mean that each minds only his own
duty exclusively, because if anyone does his own duty but is not aware of
the duties of others, nothing will be done properly. All activities are
interdependent; they are all interrelated. Therefore, everyone must be
conscious of the duties of others and assist one another.
If everyone cooperate and works in harmony, the result will be favorable and
the problem will undoubtedly be solved. Anything can be achieved if it’s
done in concert.
Doing good depends most importantly on oneself: No one else matters and
there is absolutely no need to concern oneself about, or wait for, others.
Once you have put your mind to it, whether anyone else joins up or not, good
results will occur. The more you do good, the longer you do good, and the
more consistently you do good, the greater the results will be, in an ever
Those who have never done good because they have never seen the results,
will begin to see, and follow. The main principle in doing good, then, is to
remain steadfast, not to sway too much with the surrounding conditions which
may cause you to despair.
When you have committed yourself, then set yourself new visions and values
based on rational and truthful analysis. Then put your heart and soul into
your actions until you achieve success. In the end, the goodness and
prosperity you desire will grow and flourish, and eventually triumph over
all negative influence.
Benefits or good results cannot come by themselves, but must be slowly
created and accumulated. That is why you use term ‘practice merit making’,
meaning that you need to do good continuously, until you achieve fulfilment.
Good deeds start internally by virtuous behaviour, maintaining discipline,
being honest, industrious, doing your work in a righteous fashion until it
is in your nature. The results of doing good, which are the benefits, will
be clearly evident within the person first, and will then be reflected to
others, giving others the benefit of the good as well.
Mutual benefit and stability is dependent upon individual benefit and
stability, because the whole is made up of individual parts that make up a
society, a nation, a country. Therefore, anyone who wishes the country to
prosper should attempt to gain stability in his work, his career, and his
status first and foremost.
If we use a ‘poor man’ method of administration, without being too dogmatic
about theory, but with the spirit of unity in mind - that is, with mutual
tolerance - we will have more stability.
We have much knowledge. We have high-tech equipment. We must therefore help
the rural folk get the full benefit of such technology, as well. The fact
that they are poor means they cannot repay you with money to cover
investment costs, but they can repay you with kindness and, most
importantly, repay you with peace. In that way, the nation can survive.
On the Role of
Soldiers must act with
courage. If it is necessary to fight, to pick up arms, they must do so
with intelligence, and they must have a better strategy than to simply shoot
Generals must acknowledge that they must have good knowledge and virtuous
behaviour, and they must be considerate toward others. They must be
kind-hearted and responsible. They are senior in rank, so they must behave
like a senior; they must show that they understand the duties of a good
citizen, and they must be able to prove that to both their subordinates and
to the public. Only then can they be successful in their duties.
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej,
right, is congratulated by Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, 2nd from left, and
Queen Silvia as HM Queen Sirikit looks on at the Ananda Samakhom Throne
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej,
right, is congratulated by Japanese Emperor Akihito, center, as HM Queen
Sirikit, 2nd from right partially hidden, and Japanese Empress Michiko look
on at the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall.
To perform one’s duty impeccably is partly about doing exactly as ordered,
in the manner of military discipline and tradition. Also, it is about doing
good and beneficial deeds even if one is not ordered to do so. You do it
because you feel it’s your responsibility. This practice is possible by
training your thoughts on ideals and staying focused.
True honour and dignity derive from one’s conduct and responsibility. To
mark oneself worth one’s position involves three things: First, one must
carry out one’s work with determination, responsibility and honesty. Second,
one must thoroughly consider all options when making decisions. Third, one
must keep in mind that all fields of work are interrelated and depend on one
another, and that benefit to all parties can be achieved using intellect and
The important thing is to gain the trust of local people by offering help.
Let them know that people in uniform are not bad guys, not the persons who
oppress them, but are humans who understand the people’s living conditions.
Let them see that policemen and other officials are nice people and do not
have any privileges; they are not the people’s masters but the people’s
On Alternate Crops
There are three things in
forests: firewood, fruit and wood for building houses. People - both
highlanders and lowlanders - have knowledge about these things. They’ve been
working for generations and have done it well. They’re clever and know where
to grow crops and where the trees should be kept.
The damage was done by those who did not possess this knowledge - those who
have long been away from farming. They’ve lived with modern comforts for so
long they forget that life is possible if they do proper agriculture.
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej,
2nd from left, is congratulated by Belgian Crown Prince Philippe and Crown
Princess Mathilde, right, as HM Queen Sirikit, left, looks on at the Ananda
Samakhom Throne Hall.
As for the hill tribe projects, one of the reasons for doing it is
humanitarian. I want to see people who live in remote areas become educated
and have good livelihoods. Another reason - a big problem, which everybody
should help solve - is the drug problem. If we could encourage hill tribe
villagers to grow more viable crops, they would quit growing opium.
Also, as we know, their slash-and-burn farming could lead our country to
disaster. If we help them, we help maintain the well-being and safety of the
entire country. This is because if these projects succeed, they will
enfranchise the hill tribe people who Will be able to settle down, enjoy a
relatively good life and support the forest and soil conservation policies.
The resulting benefits will be long-lasting.
The process of developing the country should be carried step by step. First
of all, we must build the foundation, which is the well-being of the
majority of the people, using cost-effective and simple measures that are
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej,
right, is congratulated by Malaysian King Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail
as HM Queen Sirikit looks on at the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall.
Once we have a solid foundation, we can proceed to build higher stages of
the economy. But if we aim only at swift economic development without
integrating the country and the people into the plan, things will become
imbalanced and the result will be complete failure, which is the situation
several developed countries now find themselves in.
After working more than 50 years, the situation of the country is still in a
rather bad shape in all areas. The standard of living, law and order, the
livelihood of the people and even the security of the country are not as
good as they should be. All this is a cause of worry because it means that
even though there have been results, these are still not enough.
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej,
2nd from left, is congratulated by Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni as HM
Queen Sirikit, left, looks on at the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok.
Striving to become one of the “Asian Tigers” is not the main concern. What’s
important is to have a decent standard of living and sufficient food to eat,
as well as to maintain a self-sufficient economy. The key word,
‘sufficient’, implies that one should aim at becoming self-reliant.
But to various economists, this line of thinking is considered obsolete,
because every economy needs to carry out trading activities under a market
economy, not a self-sufficient economy - it is not attractive. However,
Thailand is very fortunate and blessed because we can produce enough to feed
our people. Assuming that we can substitute the current market economy with
a self-sufficient economy, if not entirely by half - but at least by one
quarter - we will be sustained.
Doing only one-fourth of the self-sufficient economy doesn’t mean one-fourth
of the country’s land area, but one-fourth of our own actions. It is not
possible to do a completely self-sufficient economy… It would be going back
to the Stone Age when people lived in caves.
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej,
right, is congratulated by Moroccan Princess Lalla Salma at the Ananda
Samakhom Throne Hall.
Self-sufficiency means ‘por mee por kin’ [having a moderate and reasonable
standard of living]. ‘Por piang’ [sufficiency] means knowing what is enough.
If we are moderate in our wants, we will have little greed, which means we
will exploit others less.
If every country has this idea - that is, moderation, not driven to
extremes, and no greed - then people can live in peace… One can still enjoy
luxuries… but only when one does not exploit others. That is, one must live
in moderation according to one’s conditions. Therefore, sufficiency means
being moderate and reasonable.
HM the King: The
Royal Imprimatur of Thai Sports
Throughout the pages
of successive years of the Pattaya Mail and the Bangkok Post, as well as
such leading magazines as Sawasdee, Thailand’s leading yachting
correspondent Peter Cummins has chronicled the incomparable contributions
His Majesty the King has made to the Thai sports men and women and a huge
spectrum of Thai sports.
HM the King’s own example has always been a great source of inspiration to
athletes: every sailor knows that His Majesty is a Gold Medal helmsman,
winning the OK Dinghy Class in the South East Asian Peninsular Games, 39
years ago on the 16th of December 1967, this day now celebrated as “National
Sports Day” in the Kingdom.
This nautical record is matched by a land-based one, HM the King being the
only person to have lit the torch, opening the quadrennial Asian Games on
four occasions, last time being in Bangkok in 1998, at the Rajamangala
Stadium, just one day after his Seventy-first birthday.
For example, when His Majesty the King trained a magnifying glass on the
torch to ignite the flame opening the Thirteenth Asian Games in December
1998, it was symbolic. The Monarch, an ardent supporter of all sports in the
Kingdom and elsewhere was, through that simple ritual, figuratively
conducting sunlight and the blessing it brings, onto the Games.
From another viewpoint, His Majesty’s care for the environment and the
natural state of the ecology as life support system for his subjects is also
well known. What better way to light the torch than using Nature’s own
And what better sport for preserving Nature’s gifts than sailing?
Thirty-nine years ago this month, in fact, HM the King himself stood on the
winner’s podium as a Gold Medallist sailor in the Fourth South East Asian
Peninsular Games (changed in 1975 to the South East Asian Games when
Indonesia and the Philippines were admitted). On that occasion, HM the King
came equal-first with his eldest daughter HRH Ubolratana in the OK Dinghy
Section of those Games. It is a sporting record never likely to be equalled.
HM the King has been and inspiration to Thai athletes for four decades since
In fact, as is also well known, one of the best regattas in the region - if
not the world - is the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, sailed to honour His
Majesty’s birthday every December since 1987, starting the 20th this day,
with special events scheduled to celebrate the King’s 79th birthday and to
salute him on the occasion of his 60 years on the Thai Throne. HM the King
is the Royal Patron of the regatta.
More appropriately, within the context of this story outlining HM the King’s
total support to Thai athletes and sports generally, no doubt, on the eve of
the forthcoming 15th Asian games in Doha, HM the King urged the huge Thai
contingent of athletes “To play all sports according to the rules,” show
true spirit for victory and friendship.
“If everybody does their best to win in both sports and friendship, the
country will benefit,” HM the King added. “A successful Asian Games would
show that the enthusiasm of Thai people had not been dulled during their
fight against the country’s dire economic crisis,” the Monarch observed. He
urged sportsmanship above all else: “Other competitors should not be
regarded as enemies, but rather as fellow competitors,” HM the King
His Majesty is also well known as being highly-knowledgeable about many
sports having, at various times, participated himself in skiing, motor
racing, ice-skating, badminton, tennis, swimming and even a little golf.
As the then-president of the Thailand Olympic Committee, the late Air Chief
Marshal Dawee Chullasapya emphasized when presenting HM the King with the
highly-prestigious honour of “The Insignia of the Olympic Order” at
Rajanives Hall, Chitralada Palace, in December, 1987: “The King is not just
a world-class yachtsman, but he has also participated in - and encouraged -
many other sports.”
“The Olympic award was made not only to recognize HM the King’s prowess as a
dinghy sailor,” said ACM Dawee, “but also to acknowledge the leading role he
has played in promoting all sports - in Thailand, in the region and
internationally - always displaying a firm grasp on the history and the
finer points of a multitude of sports,” ACM Dawee added. His Majesty is the
only reigning Monarch to receive this accolade.
Another Olympic honour was bestowed upon His Majesty in 2001, when the
International Olympic Committee presented him with the IOC’s “Lalounis Cup”.
In boxing, too, HM the King has proven to be most knowledgeable. In 2001,
president of the World Boxing Council, Dr Jose Sulaiman, in bestowing upon
His Majesty the WBC’s “Golden Shining Symbol of World Leadership Award”, was
“amazed at HM the King’s knowledge of boxing”. Whereupon, HM the King urged
Dr Sulaiman “to promote boxing not only as a sport ... but also as an art of
In Mexico, August 11, 2003, through the Royal Thai Embassy in Mexico City,
HM the King, in turn, bestowed the title of “Second Class Knight Commander
of the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn” on Dr Sulaiman - one of
the highest Royal Awards ever to be conferred on a sports official.
As one would expect
from a Monarch defined as “Mahasammata”, or a “King of Righteousness”,
by all the people and who, upon his accession to the Throne in 1950,
embraced the “Tenfold Moral principles of the Sovereign”, His Majesty has
ruled quietly and without ostentation.
16 January 2005 His Majesty
the King granting an audience to Princess Ubol Ratana, President of the “To
Be Number One” Project, and party, who reported to His Majesty on the work
of the Project and received Royal advice, at Piamsuk Villa of Klai Kangwol
Palace, Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province.
Starting very early in his reign and continuing to this day, HM the King,
usually accompanied by HM the Queen and second daughter HRH Princess Maha
Chakri Sirindhorn, travelled to the far corners of the Kingdom to learn
first-hand from the farmers and peoples of the rural areas about their
Again, as with all his other interests, the Monarch studies, observes,
photographs and imbues himself with all the relevant knowledge and facts
that he needs to move forward with recommendations, implementation of
beneficial projects and follow-up.
The Thai Monarch is probably best known, universally, for his unbending
resolve to improve the lives of each and every one of his people - a
singular dedication to their welfare which has been acclaimed from all
corners of the world.
A lasting image of HM the King is that of a man, often kneeling or sitting
on the ground, poring over charts and topographical maps of the area, while
surrounded by local farmers and villagers discussing their problems.
It has been recorded that poring King has spent more than 200 days per year,
for more than three decades, in rural areas where he has initiated some
2,000 projects aimed solely at improving the well-being of his people.
Thus, through the illustrious decades of his rule, poring King has been the
very embodiment of his “Oath of Accession” that “We will reign with
Righteousness for the Benefit and Happiness of the Siamese People.”
The world’s longest-reigning Monarch, this week celebrating his
seventy-ninth birthday, and sixty years on the Thai Throne, continues to be,
as he has been for the six decades of his just reign, “The light of his
land, the pride of his people and a shining example to all peoples of a
It was during a visit to New York, as a young King, accompanied by his
stunning bride, Queen Sirikit, that poring King’s words were prophetic.
Addressing a committee of the Metropolitan Museum in 1967, the King said:
“Our world today is full of propaganda. Therefore, before we believe
anything, we should first look closely at the underlying reasons. The Lord
Buddha taught people to use their consciousness and intelligence to study,
seek and consider whether His teachings were the truth that is believable
rather than to believe (simply) because someone has enacted it.”
That was almost forty years ago and, as we look around at the sorry state of
our contemporary world, poring King’s words still ring true.
All of us at the Pattaya Mail, the Pattaya Blatt and Pattaya Mail on TV
congratulate His Majesty on the Diamond Jubilee of his accession to the
Thai Throne and extend our humblest wishes for a most happy 79th birthday.