Chonburi celebrates Chulalongkorn Day

Friday, 02 November 2012 From Issue Vol. XX No. 44 By  CPRD

Chonburi officials joined military, police, judicial and city personnel in celebrating one of Thailand’s greatest monarchs on Chulalongkorn Day.

Gov. Khomsan Ekachai laid a commemorative wreath before the Victory Monument at Chonburi City Hall Oct. 23 in front of a crowd of public servants and students.

Khomsan laid the first wreath at 8 a.m., followed by other government agencies, schools and guests attending. The governor lit candles then the audience sang the national anthem.

Chonburi officials lay wreaths and pay homage to HM King Chulalongkorn. Chonburi officials lay wreaths and pay homage to HM King Chulalongkorn.

HM King Chulalongkorn was born in 1853, the son of King Mongkut (Rama IV) and Her Majesty Queen Thep Sirinthorn. In 1868, He was given the title Duke ‘Meun Phikhartnaresueansurasangkas.’  HE ascended the throne in 1868.

King Chulalongkorn was the first Siamese monarch to visit the West. He believed in adopting all things good from the West while Siam kept its culture. The wise King Chulalongkorn made Russia a strong ally of Siam to counteract the British and French influence in SE Asia. He followed the Chinese concept of “have strong allies but make sure their borders are far away.”

HM King Chulalongkorn’s most noteworthy achievement in Siam was the abolition of slavery. He did not do this in a haphazard manner as it was done in other countries. He devised a complex method of ‘freeing’ slaves so that older ones would not be left in poverty with no place to live. Younger slaves were to be released by ‘stages’, responsibility falling to the owner to see that they had a way of supporting themselves.

King Chulalongkorn the Great is beloved of Thai people and considered a truly ‘enlightened’ ruler among historians. He died on October 23, 1910, after the second longest reign in the history of the Thai nation.

He is remembered and loved by the Thai people and the date of his death is commemorated every year. Ceremonies are held, offerings are made to his memory and the entire student body from the university that bears his name perform obeisance before his statue.

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