"His Majesty the King brought people from their hopelessness to their determination, security and courage to cope with obstacles. The reign was a period of comprehensive national development. His Majesty was the beloved King who was the spiritual centre of all Thai people. It was really a 70-year period of righteous reign for the benefit and happiness of Thai people. 13 October will be in the memory of Thai people for good. It was a 70-year period of limitless public benefit and now it is limitless sorrow for the people. The government will inform the National Legislative Assembly that His Majesty the King had appointed the heir in accordance with the royal law on 28 December 1972, and then the National Legislative Assembly will take the relevant action. Please take the opportunity to boost one another's morale. All of us share the same feelings because we have our common father of the nation. Please help protect national peace and do not let anyone trigger conflicts that would lead to turmoil. Thai people... His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, King Rama IX, has passed away. Long live the new king." - Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (2016)
+ Reactions to the Death of Bhumibol Adulyadej (10/13/2016):
'The nation mourns: “At 15:52 (0852 GMT) he died at Siriraj Hospital peacefully,” the Royal Household Bureau said in a statement. The deeply revered His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, or Rama IX, the ninth king of the Chakri dynasty, which has ruled or reigned in Thailand from 1782, was the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history. Grandson of the honoured King Chulalongkorn, His Majesty was born on December 5, 1927, at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States, to HRH Prince Mahidol Adulyadej (the Prince Father) and HRH Princess Srinagarindra (the Princess Mother) while HRH Prince Mahidol was studying at Harvard University. Later, while finishing his degree in Switzerland, His Majesty frequently visited Paris, where he met Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara, daughter of the Thai ambassador to France, and their love blossomed. They were married on April 28, 1950, a week before His Majesty’s coronation.
HM Bhumibol officially ascended the throne on May 5, 1950 in a grand ceremony at the Royal Palace to the cheers of the people of Thailand, where he pledged that he would “reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people”. The date is now marked in history as the beginning of the deep reverence Thais have for the beloved King. His Majesty was an accomplished musician. He wrote 49 compositions, including marches, waltzes and patriotic anthems, and was adept at playing the saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, guitar and piano. Also a keen sailor, His Majesty won a gold medal for sailing in 1967 in the Fourth Southeast Asian Peninsular Games, together with his daughter HRH Princess Ubol Ratana Rajakanya, whom he tied for points. His Majesty King Bhumibol, however, is likely to be best remembered for the many Royal Projects he initiated, bringing relief to the suffering poor throughout the country.
The Royal Projects range from his groundbreaking move to have hill-tribe farmers in the Far North transform their poppy fields and plant crops that brought dependable household incomes, to his famed “Monkey Cheeks” reservoirs that officials use today to prevent devastating flooding in the Central Plains, to the Royal Rain-making Project to bring relief from drought, to his renowned “Sustainable Sufficiency Economy” principles. In his most recent years, His Majesty’s concerted efforts to publicly present a united Thailand of all peoples – North, South, Central, and Northeast – brought his nation even closer together. His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej was father to one son, HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, and three daughters – HRH Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and HRH Princess Chulabhorn. HM King Bhumibol is also grandfather to 12 grandchildren.
May he be forever remembered for the great deeds he accomplished and the love that he inspired from not just Thais, but people from all around the world. Long live his love. Rest in Peace, Your Majesty.'
+ King Bhumibol Adulyadej Obituary - The Phuket News (10/13/2016):
'King Bhumibol Adulyadej's Thai full title was "Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paraminthra Maha Bhumibol Adulyadej Mahitalathibet Ramathibodi Chakkrinaruebodin Sayamminthrathirat Borommanatthabophit" (Thai: พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาภูมิพลอดุลยเดช มหิตลาธิเบศรรามาธิบดี จักรีนฤบดินทร สยามินทราธิราช บรมนาถบพิตร), which was referred to in the chief legal documents; and in general documents, the title was shortened to "Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paraminthra Maha Bhumibol Adulyadej Sayamminthrathirat Borommanatthabophi" or just "Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paraminthra Maha Bhumibol Adulyadej". The literal translation of the title was as follows:
- Phra — a third-person pronoun referring to the person with much higher status than the speaker, meaning "excellent" in general. The word is from Sanskrit vara ("excellent").
- Bat — "foot", from Sanskrit pāda.
- Somdet — "lord", from Khmer samdech ("excellency").
- Paraminthra — "the great", from Sanskrit parama ("great") + indra ("leader").
- Maha — "great", from Sanskrit maha.
- Bhumibol — "Strength of the Land", from Sanskrit bhūmi ("land") + bala ("strength").
- Adulyadej — "Incomparable power", from Sanskrit atulya ("incomparable") + teja ("power").
- Mahitalathibet — "Son of Mahidol".
- Ramathibodi — "Rama, the Avatar of God Vishnu to become the great ruler"; from Sanskrit rāma + adhi ("great") + patī ("president").
- Chakkrinaruebodin — "Leader of the People who is from the House of Chakri", from Sanskrit cakrī + naṛ ("men") + patī ("president").
- Sayamminthrathirat — "the Great King of Siam", from Sanskrit Siam (former name of Thailand) + indra ("leader") + adhi ("great") + rāja ("king").
- Borommanatthabophit — "the Royalty who is the Great Shelter", from Sanskrit parama ("great") + nātha ("the one who others can depend on" or "Power/Right") + pavitra ("royalty").
+ King Bhumibol Adulyadej (5 December 1927 – 13 October 2016):
"His Majesty the King has been performing his duties towards the Buddhist faith perfectly well since he was at a young age. I was told that His Majesty drew much satisfaction from attending sermons during the meritmaking ceremony for the royal remains of King Rama VIII, even long sermons. He listened attentively. That was the beginning of his keen interest in Buddhism. Whenever he met senior monks, he would ask them to clarify various topics of Dhamma.... I think that His Majesty decided to be ordained as a Buddhist monk not only in compliance with royal tradition, but also, or mainly, because of his firm and genuine faith in Buddhism. He is not some 'modern' type of person who has no regard for religion. He truly appreciates religion. So he is such a person who chooses by his faith to be ordained. He is full of faith and wisdom, and he has strictly observed Buddhist disciplines and practices.... For example, when traveling both within and outside the temple, he wore no shoes, just going barefooted everywhere. He joined daily prayers at eight in the morning and five in the afternoon, exactly on time. All monks and novices had to be conscious of the time of day and had to gather in the prayer hall before he got there, as a large number of people were in attendance every day."
+ His Holiness Somdet Phra Nanasamvara, the Supreme Patriarch of Thai Buddhism (1975):
'His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej adopted the concept of a righteous monarch with his first words uttered as a reigning king upon performing the coronation ceremony in accordance with the ancient royal tradition on 5 May 1950: "We shall reign with righteousness for the benefits and happiness of the people of Siam."
To His Majesty, and all his subjects, it was more than a traditional first utterance of a monarch. He turned it into a firm pledge adhered to and proven with royal activities throughout the past 60 years of the reign. He made the nation and the people his focus of attention and devoted his time and energy to solve problems faced by all groups of people in the Kingdom, giving practical advice and solutions to a wide range of issues, from political stalemates to difficulties in agricultural practices in the rural areas, including drought, flooding, irrigation, education, health, and traffic problems, all meant to develop the people's quality of life and contribute to national progress and security through Dhamma.
In the Dictionary of Buddhism by the Venerable Phra Brahmagunabhorn (P.A. Payutto), "Dhamma" is defined as states, things, phenomena, and ideas, and the "Noble Eightfold Path" as Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.
His Majesty the King is a model of a Dhammaraja, or the king of righteousness, strictly upholding Buddhist principles.'
"Thailand's 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-reigning monarch, has died. Revered as the father of the nation and also known as King Rama IX, many subjects in his largely Buddhist kingdom regarded him as almost divine. He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on 5 December 1927, while his father was studying at Harvard. His father died when he was less than two years old – and when his childless uncle abdicated in 1935, his nine-year-old brother Ananda became King of Thailand. The family lived in Switzerland until the end of the Second World War. On 9 June 1946, his brother King Ananda died of a gunshot wound under mysterious circumstances, making the 18-year-old Bhumibol King of Thailand, though he was only crowned on 5 May 1950, a week after marrying Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara, daughter of the Thai ambassador to France. Bhumibol, whose name meant 'Strength of the Land, Incomparable Power', had to live up to his name on many occasions. From bloody civil unrest to thorny political deadlock, he steered his 63 million people through many trials during his years on the throne. Most Thais have known no other king than Bhumibol, who had come to symbolise continuity in a country that has experienced rapid development and much political upheaval."
+ Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej Dies Aged 88:
"The Ancient and Auspicious Order of the Nine Gems (Thai: เครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์อันเป็นโบราณมงคลนพรัตนราชวราภรณ์; rtgs: Khrueang Ratcha Itsariyaphon An Pen Boranna Mongkhon Noppha Rat Ratcha Waraphon) was established in 1851 by King Rama IV of the Kingdom of Siam (now Thailand). The order is bestowed upon the members of the Thai royal family and distinguished high-ranking officials who have given service to the kingdom and who are Buddhist. Members of the order are entitled to use the postnominals น.ร. The order is based on the model of European orders of chivalry and merit. The nine gems are the Thai form of the original Hindu royal amulet known as the navaratna and in its original form consisted of a ring of gold bearing the nine gems awarded to a Thai general after he won an important military victory and is also part of the royal insignia given the Thai king at his coronation. This ring still is part of the insignia of the order and worn by the male members of the order. The nine precious stones of the royal amulet constitute an integral part of both the badge and the star of the order.
The nine gems and the corresponding benefits that they bestow on their bearers are:
- Diamond: Power, wealth, success over enemies
- Ruby: Success and longevity
- Emerald: Strength and security
- Yellow Sapphire: Charm and love
- Garnet: Health and longevity
- Blue Sapphire: Love and wealth
- Pearl/Moonstone: Purity, happiness, and success over enemies
- Zircon/Topaz: Wealth and success in legal affairs
- Cat's Eye: Protection by spirits, and from fire"
+ Royal Coronation (May 5, 2493):
+ The Ancient and Auspicious Order of the Nine Gems:
'In Buddhism, The Ten Guiding Principles for a King are defined as the virtues of a righteous ruler. The principles have been adhered to by His Majesty the King throughout the past 60 years of his reign. The Ten Guiding Principles for a King comprise dana, sila, paricaga, ajava, maddava, tapa, akkodha, avihimsa, khanti and avirodhana. The meanings are explained by Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, the Supreme Patriarch:
Dana ("giving"): This principle advises giving help to those that need help because they lack certain things. We help starving people by giving them food. If they lack clothing, then help should given in the form of garments. If they need a place to live, then we should give them shelter. If they need medicine to cure their illness, then medical help should be given. In short, we should help by giving them what they need. This is dana.
Sila ("self conduct"): We should refrain from doing evil things. We should refrain from doing anything that is bad and will create enmity. We should also refrain from saying evil things. We should both physically and verbally abstain from doing what should not be done.
Paricaga ("giving up"): By this is meant giving up something of lesser use for something of greater use. For example, we should give up or spend some money to keep our body or parts of it in good shape. When we or others are ill, for instance, we should be willing to give up some wealth for the cure. We should be willing to give up a part of our body in order to save our life, if we wish to save it. And we should be able to give up everything, namely wealth, a part of the body, or even our life itself in doing what is right or in performing our duty. For example, if a soldier gives up everything willingly in the performance of his duty, namely the protection of his country, he is giving in the sense of paricaga.
Ajava ("straightness"): This means to behave honestly toward one's friends, colleagues and all the people and to be honest in carrying out one's work and duty.
Maddava ("gentleness"): This means to speak gently and to act gently, not showing roughness and rudeness. This does not, however, mean weakness, it means gentleness, politeness with the absence of arrogance and absence of conceit. One should be polite in action as well as speech. Whenever one speaks one should speak gently and politely.
Tapa ("perseverance"): A ruler should have courage to do what should be done and should not have any fear in doing it. He must not be lazy; he should do his duty with regularity and without any shortcomings. He should be strong-willed and not become easily discouraged. If a ruler conducts himself in this manner, he will be properly respected by those who have dealings with him and they will not ever think of disobeying him.
Akkodha ("non-anger"): By this is meant having a heart full of kindness based on good wishes. A person practicing this principle does not become touchy and irritable. On the contrary, such a person would be calm, cool, and collected, he would not indulge in putting blame on other people, he would know how to accept and to forgive, and he would be merciful.
Avihimsa ("not causing injury"): By this is meant not causing troubles for other people, either directly or indirectly. Living by this principle, a person would have a kind heart and would seek ways to help and would regularly help other people.
Khanti ("endurance or patience"): This means the capacity to endure hardship. For instance, to endure, when necessary, cold, heat, hunger, thirst, and all other unpleasant and unenjoyable things. Endurance also includes enduring misery and physical pain during illness. One should also learn to put up with mental pain brought about by other people's occasional harsh or unkind words. Slights and insults can bring pain and bruise one's heart (if our heart is not fully pure), but in following this guiding principle one must learn to bear them.
Avirodhana ("not going wrong"): A ruler should not do what he knows to be wrong. People occasionally do wrong things, some more often and some less. This arises out of their ignorance or through their carelessness. But one should not knowingly do what one already knows to be wrong. One should be careful while doing things and should try not to do any wrong things, or as few as possible. When one is in a high position, one must try to maintain fairness. One must never be biased because of love, hatred, delusion, or fear. This is what is meant by "not going wrong."'
'His Majesty the King possesses these ten guiding principles for a ruler, and he follows the teaching of the Lord Buddha on Cakkavatti-vatta, the duties of a great ruler:
- Protecting inner people, those in the royal entourage, and the royal household
- Promoting relations with other states
- Providing for relatives in cases of illnesses and death
- Supporting Brahmins, householders, and city people
- Giving help to people in regional and rural areas
- Supporting the ordained and the pious subjects
- Protecting wild animals, beasts, and birds
- Letting no wrongdoing prevail in the kingdom
- Providing for the poor, to keep them from mischief
- Keeping close to the learned and the ordained to seek wisdom
- Keeping self-restraint, never going to places unbecoming for a king
- Refraining from greed, not taking possession of what is not given
As a righteous king, His Majesty practiced Dhamma for a ruler, especially the four virtues in Raja-sangahavatthu, a king's virtues that bind the nation:
- Sassamedha - skill in agricultural promotion, making food crops abundant in the kingdom
- Purisamedha - astuteness in the promotion and encouragement of government personnel, both military and civilian
- Sammapasa - the ability to bind subjects' hearts, through alleviation of their plight, and promotion of peace and happiness
- Vajapeya - affability in address, kind and convincing speech.
On several occasions, His Majesty the King taught some aspects of Dhamma for the people to adhere to for right livelihood. In a royal address to new graduates of Srinakharinwirot University on 23 June 1979, he explained that, apart from qualifications and knowledge, graduates must possess the following life virtues:
In the Sapparisa-pannatti -- principles for virtuous persons - the three following virtues are defined:
- Dana - giving, generosity, benefaction
- Pabbajja - restraint and self control, non-violence and peaceful coexistence
- Matapitu-upatthana - proper support for father and mother.
It is clear from everything that he does that His Majesty the King willingly shoulders the burden of relieving the people's suffering.
Sixty years on, and the Dhammaraja, the King of Righteousness, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, forever reigns in the hearts of all Thais!'
'The young Bhumibol had spent most of his life abroad and at the time of his accession was studying at Lausanne University. The new king, a shy, bespectacled, almost withdrawn young man, took the dynastic name Rama IX and became the ninth sovereign of the Chakri dynasty... Prince Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua Bhumibol Adulyadej was born on December 5 1927 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Prince Mahidol of Songkla, half-brother and heir of the last absolute monarch of Thailand, King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) and the younger son of King Chulachomklao (Rama V, reigned 1868-1910). The Chakri dynasty into which he was born dates back to 1782. Prince Bhumibol’s great-grandfather King Mongkut (King Chomklao, reigned 1851-1868) was splendidly, if inaccurately, brought to life in Anna and the King of Siam and, later, The King and I.
Prince Bhumibol’s father, Prince Mahidol, had married a Siamese commoner and studied to be a doctor. At the time of the birth of Prince Bhumibol, he was studying public health and medicine at Harvard and his wife was studying nursing and economics at Simmons College close by. Prince Bhumibol was the youngest of the family’s three children, having an elder brother and sister. At the time of his birth, he was several steps removed from succession to the Thai throne, and his elder brother, Prince Ananda, had precedence. Prince Mahidol died in 1928, when his son was a year old, and the family returned to Thailand where, as a young boy, Prince Bhumibol briefly attended Mater Dei Primary School. But in 1933, following a military coup, King Prajadhipok ordered the family to move to Lausanne, Switzerland. There the Prince attended the Ecole Miremont and the Ecole Nouvelle de la Suisse Romande, Chailly sur Lausanne. Later he enrolled at the Gymnase de Lausanne.
While the family were living in Switzerland, political changes in Thailand started the chain of events that would eventually elevate the young Prince Bhumibol to the throne. In 1932, following the coup, King Prajadhipok agreed a new constitution that would replace Thailand’s absolute monarchy with a constitutional one, and in 1935 he abdicated the throne in favour of his nephew, Prince Ananda, then 10 years old. The two young princes visited Thailand briefly in 1938-39. During the greater part of the Second World War, Thailand was controlled by a pro-Japanese puppet government, so that Princes Ananda and Bhumibol did not return there until late 1945, when Prince Ananda went to Bangkok for his coronation...
By the time of his coronation, the King had married Princess Mom Rachawong Sirikit Kitiyakara, a great-granddaughter of a former king and thus a distant cousin. In the 1960s she would be described as one of the 10 most beautiful women in the world. King Bhumipol had first met Princess Sirikit in Paris, where her father was serving as ambassador. She was 15 years old and training to be a concert pianist. While in hospital recovering from the motor accident, King Bhumibol asked to see her and they soon became engaged. Their wedding, on April 28 1950, was described by The New York Times as “the shortest, simplest royal wedding ever held in the land of gilded elephants and white umbrellas”. The ceremony was performed by the King’s ageing grandmother, Queen Sawang Vadhana.'
+ King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand – Obituary (10/13/2016):
'Bhumibol had been Thailand's king since 1946 and had earned the deepest respect from the vast majority of Thais. A constitutional monarch with no formal political role, Bhumibol was widely regarded as Thailand's unifying figure in the nation's fractious political scene. Since 1932, Thailand has witnessed 19 coups, including 12 successful ones. The latest was in 2014 and installed the current military government led by former army general Prayuth Chan-ocha. Bhumibol was the revered "father of the nation". Thais are taught about the king's public service efforts at school, cinema-goers have to stand for the royal anthem at the start of films, and people prostrated themselves in his presence. Giant portraits of the king - and Queen Sirikit, 84 - pepper towns and cities across the country, while photos of the monarch adorn many Thai households. Helped by well-publicised rural development projects, the soft-spoken, bespectacled king enjoyed an image of a benevolent moral force in a kingdom with a long history of instability and political bloodshed.'
+ "Soul of a Nation - The Royal Family of Thailand" (1980):
+ Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej Dies at 88 (2016):
'A week later, on May 5 1950, the formal coronation rites took place in the Baisal Daksin Throne Hall in the Grand Palace. It was the first coronation ceremony of a Thai sovereign to rule under the system of constitutional monarchy. The royal couple spent their honeymoon at Hua Hin beach in southern Thailand before they returned to Switzerland, where the King completed his studies. They returned to Thailand in 1951. In 1956 King Bhumibol followed Thailand’s spiritual tradition of entering the Buddhist monkhood of Sangkha for 15 days to practice meditation. He was ordained by the Supreme Patriarch on October 22 at the Royal Chapel of the Emerald Buddha in the Grand Palace.
King Bhumibol remained sensitive to the way in which Thailand is perceived by the outside world. As well as making numerous state visits, he often employed his powers of clemency to secure the release of westerners held in the country’s jails. He always liked to keep abreast of the latest developments in science and culture. He was an accomplished painter and photographer, and was the first member of the Thai royal family to be granted a patent for an invention. The registered patent is for the Chai Pattana Aerator Model RX 2, an apparatus for water treatment which can be seen operating in many polluted waterways in Thailand. King Bhumibol was also a writer and musician. He translated several works of literature into Thai. He also composed a number of pop songs, including "HM Blues" and a little number called "Oh I Say!" One of his compositions, a beguine entitled "Blue Night" (with lyrics by the royal chamberlain) was incorporated in the 1950 Broadway revue Peep Show.
As King, Bhumibol would serenade the population every Friday night on the saxophone, performing with a jazz group in the studios of the royal radio station. He would also become the first Asian composer to be honoured by being made a member of the Viennese Institute of Music and Arts. The King had been a keen sportsman, fond of skiing, tennis and diving. A skilled sailor, he once sailed a dinghy single-handed across the dangerous Gulf of Thailand; in 1967 he won a gold medal in dinghy sailing for Thailand at the fourth South-East Asia Peninsula Games... King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit had one son and three daughters who, according to official sources, were all “deeply involved in activities to better the lot of the Thai people and are themselves loved and respected”.'
+ King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand – Obituary (10/13/2016):
+ Network Monarchy and Legitimacy Crises in Thailand (2005):
'He was a grandson of King Chulalongkorn and was born while his father, Prince Mahidol of Songkhla, was studying at Harvard University. His older brother, Ananda Mahidol, became king in 1935, but on June 9, 1946, Ananda was found dead in his bed of a gunshot wound. Bhumibol immediately succeeded to the throne following Ananda’s mysterious death (the circumstances of which were never explained). He married a distant cousin, Sirikit Kitiyakara, in April 1950 and was formally crowned on May 5, 1950. The absolute monarchy was abolished in Thailand during the reign of King Prajadhipok as a result of the revolution of 1932. King Bhumibol, therefore, wielded little real political power, although the constitution named him as head of state and commander of the armed forces. His most important function was to serve as a living symbol of and a focus of unity for the Thai nation.
As monarch, Bhumibol enjoyed immense popularity. He led an active ceremonial life and, despite his limited governmental powers, on several occasions played a crucial role in mediations that either resolved or helped to avoid political crisis. One of those instances came in 1973 when popular protests against the dictatorships of Generals Thanom Kittikachorn and Praphas Charusathien were brutally suppressed by the military, and many demonstrators died. Bhumibol responded by persuading the generals to give up power. In 1992, after a military junta had toppled the Thai government and army chief Suchinda Kraprayoon assumed the prime ministership, mass protests again ensued and again were met with violence. Bhumibol intervened, summoning Suchinda and opposition leader Chamlong Srimuang to a televised meeting, during which the king called for the violence to end. Suchinda subsequently resigned, and a caretaker government was installed until new elections could be held. National celebrations were held in Thailand in June 2006 to mark the 60th anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s ascent to the throne. Days before the Diamond Jubilee began, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented the UN’s first Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award to Bhumibol at a ceremony in Bangkok.'
+ Bhumibol Adulyadej | King of Thailand - Encyclopedia Britannica:
'Sirikit (Thai: สิริกิติ์), born Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara (Thai: สิริกิติ์ กิติยากร; rtgs: Sirikit Kitiyakon) on 12 August 1932, is the queen consort of Bhumibol Adulyadej, King (Rama IX) of Thailand. She met Bhumibol in Paris, where her father was the Thai ambassador. They married in 1950, shortly before Bhumibol's coronation. Sirikit was appointed Queen Regent in 1956. Sirikit has one son and three daughters for the King. As the consort of the king who is the world's longest-reigning head of state, she is also the world's longest-serving consort of a monarch. Sirikit suffered a stroke on 21 July 2012 and has since refrained from public appearances...
On 4 October 1948, while Bhumibol was driving a Fiat Topolino on the Geneva-Lausanne road, he collided into the rear of a braking truck 10 km outside of Lausanne. He injured his back and incurred cuts on his face that cost him most of the sight in one eye. He subsequently wears an ocular prosthetic. While he was hospitalised in Lausanne, Sirikit visited him frequently. She met his mother, The Princess Mother Sangwan, who asked her to continue her studies nearby so that the king could get to know her better. Bhumibol selected a boarding school for her in Lausanne, Riante Rive. A quiet engagement in Lausanne followed on 19 July 1949, and the couple married on 28 April 1950, just a week before his coronation.
The marriage took place at Srapathum Palace. Queen Sri Savarindira, the Queen Grandmother presided over the marriage ceremony. Both the king and Sirikit signed on line 11 of their certificate of marriage. As she was not yet 18, her parents also signed, on line 12 directly under her signature. She later received the Order of the Royal House of Chakri, and became queen. After the coronation ceremony on 5 May 1950, both went back to Switzerland to continue their studies, and returned to Bangkok in 1952.
When the king undertook a period of service as a Buddhist monk in 1956 (as is customary for all Thai Buddhist males), Queen Sirikit became regent. She performed her duties so satisfactorily that she was made Regent of Thailand and given the style of "Somdet Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Borommarachininat" by her husband on his birthday, 5 December 1956. She then became the second Siamese queen regent. The first queen regent was Queen Saovabha Bongsri of Siam, who was regent when her husband King Chulalongkorn travelled to Europe, and later became Queen Sri Patcharindra, the queen mother.
The couple has four children, three daughters and a son:
- (Formerly HRH) Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, born 5 April 1951 in Lausanne, Switzerland; married Peter Ladd Jensen, has two daughters (one son deceased)
- HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, born 28 July 1952; married Mom Luang Soamsawali Kitiyakara (later divorced and became HRH the Princess Niece); one daughter. Then married Yuvadhida Polpraserth; four sons and a daughter. Third marriage was to Srirasmi Akharapongpreecha; one son.
- HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, born 2 April 1955; unmarried
- HRH Princess Chulabhorn Walailak, born 4 July 1957; married Virayudh Tishyasarin, (then divorced); two daughters
Queen Sirikit is well known for her charitable work, where she is the honorary president of the Thai Red Cross, a post she has held since 1956. She gained new prominence in this role in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster in southern Thailand in December 2004. She has also been active in relief work for the many refugees from Cambodia and Burma in Thailand.
Her formal name and title is Somdet Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Borommarachininat (Thai: สมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์ พระบรมราชินีนาถ; "Her Majesty Queen Regent Sirikit"). Her official title is Queen Sirikit.'
+ Queen Sirikit - Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara:
"His Majesty King Bhumibol has been King for more than sixty years now. All Thai people know that he has done so much for the country. In this book we see the King when he was a young prince. We see his inquisitive and determined nature. We learn about his hobbies and interests. Then we look at His Majesty the King and the many wonderful things he has done. And perhaps we can still see the boy prince who grew up to be such a wise and beloved king."
+ King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand: From Prince to King (Vol. 1) :
'A huge crowd of Thais gathered on Saturday outside Bangkok's Grand Palace to sing the royal anthem in honor of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died on Oct. 13 after seven decades on the throne. The government has declared a year of mourning for the 88-year old king, who was seen as a father figure for generations of people, and, though a constitutional monarch, a calming influence over the country's often turbulent politics. People dressed in black traveled by bus, boat and on foot to Sanam Luang, a tree-lined open space that has been used for royal cremations outside the river-side Grand Palace, bringing the area to gridlock well before the singing. Police said more than 150,000 were in Sanam Luang and side streets with more people expected through the day. The royal anthem, known as Sansoen Phra Barami, is played before the screening of every cinema show in Thailand, when the audience stands to honor the king as pictures of his life and work are shown on the screen. Saturday's singing was recorded for use in cinemas, organizers said. "Since he went to heaven we want all Thais to demonstrate their love and sing this song to show before film screenings," Prince Chatri Chalerm Yukol, a movie director in charge of the filming of the singing, told reporters.'
+ "King Bhumibol of Thailand - The People's King" (2013):
'On August 12, 1949, the day MR Sirikit turned 17, the couple announced their engagement. In February 1950, the couple returned to Thailand. The joy of the royal romance was overshadowed by the solemnity of the task at hand – the royal cremation of King Ananda Mahidol, which took place on March 29. A month later, on April 28, the royal wedding took place at Srapatum Palace, presided over by Queen Savang Vadhana, the Queen Grandmother. This was followed a week later by the Coronation at the Grand Palace, during which he swore: "We shall reign with righteousness, for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people." As part of the day’s ceremonies, his new wife was elevated to the rank of full queen. Not long after, the royal couple departed once again for Switzerland where the King resumed his medical treatments, and finally returned to Thailand permanently after the birth of their first child, HRH Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, in 1951. The King’s task now was to establish a role for the constitutional monarchy, in a country that had not seen a king in permanent residence since 1935 when King Prajadhipok, Rama VII, abdicated.'
+ The Third Decade (1948-1957):
'The evening of Oct. 13 was a crucial moment for Thailand as it was the time when the Bureau of the Royal Household officially announced the death of King Bhumibol, ending his 70 years on the throne and at the same time the world's longest-serving monarch. The whole nation was stunningly covered with silence, grief and uncertainty. It was also a very emotional, long and difficult night for many Thais... Recently, international headlines have been flooded with rumors and expectations regarding his successor, his controversial role in politics and the future of the country. From international perspectives, instead of discussing such matters, only a few understand the public mood and know the real situation in Thailand. In this crucial transition, it is intriguing to understand why this king is special, so much revered by his subjects and respected both domestically and internationally, as well as why Thai monarchy is highly unique and far different from any other monarchic system.
First, many have said that King Bhumibol is widely regarded as semi-divine. This may be only a half-truth. Half of his semi-divinity come from traditional beliefs and the state of long reigning monarchy. The other half comes from his character and habits, morality, personal lifestyle and intelligence. King Bhumibol is known as a tireless worker, kind, caring, charitable, earnest, sharp, serious and determined. He has a very simple and down-to-earth lifestyle. There have been a lot of word-of-mouth stories sharing among people about his modest and exemplary personal life, such as the stories of his flattened left toothpaste, his favorite watch, his used pencils and his repeatedly repaired shoes. His working space in the palace was only a 3-by-4-meter room filled with radios, televisions, computers, maps and other telecommunication devices.
Aside from his kingly duties, His majesty is also a professional painter, a professional photographer, a Jazz musician, a composer, an engineer, an architect, a book author and translator, an inventor and a visionary thinker. Moreover, he is proficient in seven foreign languages and once represented Thailand in the 1967 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games; winning the gold medal in yachting with using his self-invented sailboat. His majesty received over 200 honorary doctorates, both from domestic and foreign universities, as well as numerous prestigious international awards including the world's first UN’s Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 presented by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. And now, his philosophy of Sufficient Economy, the idea that encourages people to reach a state of self-sufficiency and focuses on balanced development between environmental and social responsibilities as much as conventional measures of economic progress, is now going global.
Second is about his work and lifetime commitment to the country. His majesty initiated and developed over 4,000 development projects, both in rural and urban areas, including building of some important infrastructure such as Pa Sak Jolasid Dam, Ratchadaphisek Road, Boromraj Chonnanee Elevated Road, Rama VIII Bridge and Bangkok Industrial Ring Road, with several of them are thought to be funded by his own money. Several of agricultural, forestry and small-scale industrial projects were started as self-conducted experiments in the gardens of the Dusit Palace, his majesty's personal residence in Bangkok. Then, they will be implemented and made available to people once deemed successful. He also holds several international patents, most notably the royal rainmaking technology, the Chai Pattana waste water aerator and the bio-fuel from palm oil. In fact, he works in parallel and in collaboration with the government, but his efforts often appear to be quick, effective, answering, well-planed and corruption-free in contrast to the apparent uncaring attitude and ineffective performance of government officials, making him to be ‘the most trusted and reliable person’ in the eyes of citizens.
Third, it is perhaps because of his long reign and his decisive role in politics, crisis and society. As a consequence of deep respect and reverence as well as his contributions growing in number and scale, King Bhumibol acquires a special status as a final mediator. Uniquely, his intervention and influence on politics are judiciously and only sparingly, but when coming out it is powerful and undeniable. The most recognized one would be during the deadly unrest in 1992, when he mediated by summoning the two opposition leaders to find a peaceful solution and to end bloodshed. This momentous incident was televised nationwide and led to a general election that resulted in the formation of a civilian government. He also did a similar thing in 1973 and 1976. In explanation, as Nigel Gould-Davies put it in The Washington Post, his sources of legitimacy derived from tradition, divinity, devotion and charisma “together created a role with enormous moral authority far beyond its formal constitutional powers”.'
+ Things all Thais know, but you may not know about King Bhumibol Adulyadej (2016):
'At the age of 18, Bhumibol became the ninth monarch of the Chakri dynasty, or King Rama IX. His reign came at a critical time when Thailand was evolving as a constitutional monarchy. Emerging as the single unifying force of the nation, King Bhumibol brought about a revival of the institution which had been on a path to obsolescence. According to the Constitution, the monarch was the head of state and commander of the Thai armed forces, but held little formal political power. In reality, however, King Bhumibol was one of the most powerful figures in Thailand, as well as its main pillar of stability - which he demonstrated by returning calm to the country with just a few words during bloody political crises in 1973 and 1992. Not only did his words wield profound influence, his actions also inspired deep respect while his ideas indelibly shaped the course of Thailand's development and its people's lives. Throughout his reign, he was beloved and highly revered by Thais, many of whom regarded him as a semi-divine father figure. His portrait was everywhere, hung on walls or placed on altar tables inside government buildings, banks, schools, shops and homes. People knelt and bowed when he appeared; many would weep with joy. Their deep reverence and admiration - which still often puzzles many in the outside world - grew with what was seen as his selfless devotion to the well-being of his people, from the moment he placed upon his head the Great Crown of Victory during his coronation.'
+ King Bhumibol Adulyadej (1927-2016):
'The Chakri dynasty (Thai: ราชวงศ์จักรี; rtgs: Ratchawong Chakkri) is the current ruling royal house of the Kingdom of Thailand, while the Head of the house is the monarch. The dynasty has ruled Thailand since the founding of the Rattanakosin Era and the city of Bangkok in 1782 following the end of King Taksin of Thonburi's reign, when the capital of Siam shifted to Bangkok. The royal house was founded by King Rama I, an Ayutthayan military leader of Sino-Mon descent. Prior to the founding of the dynasty, King Rama I held for years the title Chakri, the title of the civil chancellor (สมุหนายก). In founding the dynasty, King Rama I himself chose "Chakri" as the name for the dynasty. The emblem of the dynasty is composed of the discus (Chakra) and the trident (Trisula), the celestial weapons of god Vishnu and Shiva, whom the Thai sovereign is seen as an incarnation.'
"Upon completing high school, Prince Bhumibol received a baccalaureate majoring in French literature, Latin and Greek. He applied to study science at the University of Lausanne, while King Ananda studied law. As an indication of her love of acquiring knowledge, the Princess Mother also took courses at the university, with philosophy, French literature, Pali and Sanskrit being among her choice of subjects. Soon, Villa Vadhana had its own jazz band, the Wong Krapong (Tin Can) Band, which offered impromptu sessions for friends and Thai students in Switzerland who gathered there regularly. This was a precursor to the Aw Saw Band which was set up much later at Chitralada Villa in Bangkok by King Bhumibol. The relative normalcy of life in Lausanne was a stark contrast to the rest of Europe. On May 30, 1941, during the height of the Blitz in London, King Prajadhipok, Rama VII, died of heart failure. He was cremated in a private service in Golders Green Crematorium.
In December 1941, almost simultaneously with the invasion of Pearl Harbour, the Japanese invaded Thailand, and despite an attempt at repelling the forces, the country was inadvertently drawn into the conflict as a Japanese alliance under the premiership of Pibul Songgram. However, the formal declaration of war on the US was never delivered, as the Thai ambassador to the US, MR Seni Pramoj, formed the underground Seri Thai (Free Thai) resistance movement, with finance minister Pridi Banomyong becoming the secret head of the movement within the country, assisting British and American intelligence agents to operate in Bangkok. As a result, when the war ended in 1945, Thailand was not treated as an enemy collaborator with the Japanese. The day Prince Bhumibol turned 18 on December 5, 1945, the Mahidol family arrived back in Bangkok, landing at Don Muang International Airport in a British Air Force plane. During this trip, King Ananda Mahidol made his first visit to Bangkok’s Chinatown, with Prince Bhumibol acting as his brother’s official photographer.
Photography was not Prince Bhumibol’s only passion during this period; the prince also began composing jazz numbers in collaboration with Prince Chakrabandhu who had been a regular at the musical soirees at Villa Vadhana in Lausanne. Most of the King’s much loved compositions were composed during this time, from Candlelight Blues and Love at Sundown, to Falling Rain and H.M. Blues. The family's planned return to Switzerland never took place, as King Ananda Mahidol was tragically and mysteriously killed by a gunshot to the head on June 9, 1946, in his bedchamber at Borombiman Mansion in the Grand Palace compound. Suddenly and unexpectedly, Prince Bhumibol found himself King."
+ The Second Decade (1938-1947):
'When the 27th plenary meeting of the 71st session of UN General Assembly (UNGA) paused to pay tribute to the life of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama IX) who died October 13, 2016 it signalled the end of an association that spanned 56 years. Established almost 18 years after his birth and just seven months prior to his coronation on June 9, 1946, it wasn’t until July 6, 1960 that Thailand’s King made his first visit to the esteemed body. At the time he and the queen dowager, Queen Sirikit, were met by the UNs second secretary-general, Swedish diplomat, economist, and author, Dag Hammarskjöld. At the invitation of then US president, Dwight Eisenhower, King Adulyadej also addressed a joint session of the US Congress. In 1967 King Adulyadej returned to the United Nations where he and Queen Sirikit met with its third secretary-general, Burmese diplomat U Thant, in addition to being guests at the White House of Lyndon B. Johnson and the first lady. In 1973 he was hosted by its fourth secretary-general, Austrian diplomat and politician, Kurt Waldheim. Although this was to be his last visit to the United States it was not the last contact between Thailand’s King Adulyadej and UN secretaries-general. In February 2000 and May 2006 the then UN secretary-general Kofi Annan met with King Adulyadej at Klai Kangwol Palace, in Hua Hin, Thailand. While the King’s attention to domestic affairs prevented him from attending the UN after 1973, his work and commitment to the people of Thailand did not go unnoticed. In 2006 then secretary-general Kofi Annan used the audience he was granted to present Thailand’s King Adulyadej with the UN Development Program’s (UNDP) first Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award.'
+ Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej And The UN – Rarely Seen Photos (2016):
"Early yesterday morning the world learned of the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, crowned in 1946 and known as the world’s longest-reigning monarch. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and educated in Switzerland and the United States, King Bhumibol was interested in musical performance and composition, and played clarinet and other reed instruments. In 1960, His Majesty visited the Library of Congress as part of an official visit to the United States. While visiting, the King presented the Library with ten musical instruments, including a pair of ching (hand cymbals), one thon and one rammanā (small hand-played drums), two khlui ū (bamboo flutes, small and medium), one jakhē (čhakhē, a three-string zither), and two sq duang and two sq ū, both being forms of a vertically played two-string fiddle. A silver plaque accompanying the gift carried these engraved words: 'To the Library of Congress. This set of Thai musical instruments is presented as a token of sincere respect for a centre of knowledge and culture. Washington, DC, 1960.' Further enriching King Bhumibol’s generous gift made over half a century ago, the Music Division is also home to the Bhumibol Adulyadej (King of Thailand) Collection, consisting of his compositions (13 music manuscripts and 100 pieces of printed music), clippings, correspondence, and other miscellaneous documents. The collection had been assembled by Serge Rips, a friend of the King of Thailand. His Majesty’s original compositions are closely tied to traditional Thai musical influences; however, they simultaneously reflect his affinity for jazz and swing music. Specific jazz influences include Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden, and Lionel Hampton, with whom he participated in jam sessions."
+ King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand (1927-2016):
'In 1950 on Coronation Day, Bhumibol's consort was made Queen (Somdej Phra Boromarajini). The date of his coronation is celebrated each 5 May in Thailand as Coronation Day, a public holiday. On 9 June 2006, Bhumibol celebrated his 60th anniversary as the King of Thailand, becoming the longest reigning monarch in Thai history. The royal couple spent their honeymoon at Hua Hin beach in southern Thailand before they returned to Switzerland, where the King completed his university studies. They returned to Thailand in 1951. Following the death of his grandmother Queen Savang Vadhana, Bhumibol entered a 15-day monkhood (22 October 1956 – 5 November 1956) at Wat Bowonniwet, as is customary for Buddhist males on the death of elder relatives. He was ordained by the Supreme Patriarch on 22 October 1956 at the Royal Chapel of the Emerald Buddha in the Grand Palace. During this time, Sirikit was appointed his regent. She was later appointed Queen Regent (Somdej Phra Boromarajininat) in recognition of this. Although Bhumibol was sometimes referred to as King Rama IX in English, Thais referred to him as Nai Luang or Phra Chao Yu Hua (ในหลวง or พระเจ้าอยู่หัว), which translated to "the King" and "Lord Upon our Heads", respectively. He was also called Chao Chiwit ("Lord of Life"). Formally, he was referred to as Phrabat Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua (พระบาทสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัว) or, in legal documents, Phrabat Somdet Phra Paraminthara Maha Bhumibol Adulyadej (พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาภูมิพลอดุลยเดช), and in English as His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He signed his name as ภูมิพลอดุลยเดช ป.ร. (Bhumibol Adulyadej Por Ror; this is the Thai equivalent of Bhumibol Adulyadej R[ex]).'
'The fourth decade of His Majesty the King’s life was marked by a series of state visits that put Thailand on the global stage and enhanced International relations between Thailand and the international community. All in all, Their Majesties the King and Queen visited more than 25 countries in Asia, Australasia, Europe and America, with the bulk of the visits being concentrated in this decade. The first of these trips was to Vietnam in 1959, followed by Indonesia and Burma, in 1960. Their Majesties embarked on a month-long visit to the United States, followed by a lengthy visit to 14 European countries. The impact of these visits was enormous, and hugely beneficial to the country. Born and raised overseas, His Majesty the King was at ease in the foreign environments, and spoke in English, French and German on various occasions. Though Her Majesty the Queen was more nervous and less vocal on these extended trips, particularly during media interviews, she attracted the world’s attention for her beauty, poise and glamour. Wearing a combination of western outfits designed by Pierre Balmain and Thai outfits which she had specifically compiled from ancient archives, this led to a revival of Thai costume as well as local hand-woven textiles, which had gradually become a dying art due to the influx of cheaper factory-produced printed fabrics...
His visits to rural Thailand had started a few years earlier, with an extended trip to the northeast of the country in 1955, the first time a Thai monarch had visited this region. He returned to Isan in 1958, and in the following year he travelled to the South. These trips to remote corners of the Kingdom became a trademark of His Majesty’s reign, and historical photographs today often show the monarch making his way over rough terrain by car, by boat and even on foot, to visit his people, and gain a first-hand experience about their woes so he could find a way to help them. His tools of trade were a camera, a self-produced map and a pencil. With these tools and his talks to village elders and farmers, he began to gain a full perspective of his country that was a far cry from the mountains of Lausanne where he had spent most of his childhood. He was to spend up to eight months of the year travelling upcountry, using his regional palaces – Bhubing Palace in Chiang Mai, Phu Phan Palace in Sakon Nakhon, Klai Kangwon Palace in Hua Hin and Thaksin Ratchaniwet Palace in Narathiwat – as his bases. With his deep understanding of the problems and the geography, as well as the cultural differences of each locality, he gradually formulated his own remedies that would improve their well-being and livelihood, more than any government has ever been able to do for its citizens.'
+ The Fourth Decade (1958-1967):
'The bhūmis are subcategories of the Five Paths (pañcamārga):
1. The path of accumulation (saṃbhāra-mārga). Persons on this Path:
+ Possess a strong desire to overcome suffering, either their own or others;
+ Renounce the worldly life.
2. The path of preparation or application (prayoga-mārga). Persons on this Path:
+ Start practicing meditation;
+ Have analytical knowledge of emptiness.
3. The path of seeing (darśana-mārga). Persons on this Path:
+ Practice profound concentration meditation on the nature of reality;
+ Realize the emptiness of reality.
4. The path of meditation (bhāvanā-mārga). Persons on this path purify themselves and accumulate wisdom.
5. The path of no more learning or consummation (aśaikṣā-mārga). Persons on this Path have completely purified themselves.
Passage through the grounds and paths begins with Bodhicitta, the wish to liberate all sentient beings. Aspiring Bodhicitta becomes Engaging Bodhicitta upon actual commitment to the Bodhisattva vows. With these steps, the practitioner becomes a Bodhisattva, and enters upon the paths.'
"The Sanskrit term bhūmi literally means earth, soil, land, ground, or level. Within the Buddhist context, it may denote either the ten causal levels traversed by bodhisattvas or the additional six resultant levels traversed by buddhas. For an enumeration of the latter, see under buddha levels. Mahāyāna literature speaks of ten progressive levels (daśabhūmi) of realisation through which individual bodhisattvas pass as they journey towards full enlightenment. These are, in their proper sequence:
1) Joyful (pramuditā)
2) Immaculate (vimalā)
3) Illuminating (prabhākarī)
4) Radiant (arciṣmatī)
5) Difficult to Overcome (sudurjayā)
6) Manifest (abhimukhī)
7) Far-reaching (duraṅgamā)
8) Unmoving (acalā)
9) Excellent Intelligence (sādhumatī)
10) Clouds of Sacred Doctrine (dharmameghā)
In the context of the five bodhisattva paths, these ten levels start from the third path, i.e. the path of insight, commencing with the initial experience of a direct realisation of emptiness. The Sūtra of the Ten Bodhisattva Levels (Daśabhūmikasūtra), which is a section of the Sūtra of the Great Bounteousness of the Buddhas (Avataṃsakasūtra), is the basis for subsequent commentarial discussions of the ten levels, such as Nāgārjuna's Jewel Garland (Ratnāvalī), Candrakīrti's Introduction to Madhyamaka (Madhyamakāvatāra), and Asaṅga's Bodhisattva Levels (Bodhisattvabhūmi)."
+ Bodhisattva Levels / Bodhisattva Bhūmis:
"Two major political upheavals stood out during this decade of His Majesty the King’s reign. First was the student uprising of October 14, 1973, when students protested en masse against the dictatorial rule of the prime minister, Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, his deputy prime minister Field Marshal Praphas Charusathien, and Field Marshal Thanom’s son, Col Narong Kittikachorn. The situation turned violent, as security forces opened fire on the crowds, prompting His Majesty to open the gates of Chitralada Villa to allow fleeing protesters to seek refuge within the palace grounds. His Majesty personally walked around the palace grounds to meet the demonstrators, then appeared on national television to announce the appointment of an interim government led by Prof Sanya Dharmasakti.
The second incident was linked to regional politics of the mid-1970s, as one by one, the countries in the Indochina peninsula fell to communist forces. In April 1975, Phnom Penh was taken by the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot, and years of genocide followed. Saigon fell to North Vietnam and was renamed Ho Chi Minh City. The monarchy in Laos came to an end when the Pathet Lao took control of the country. People feared that Thailand would be the next domino to fall. The Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) had started a series of agitations within the country, and several ultra right-wing groups were created to oppose this movement. Violent clashes occurred regularly, and the situation was exacerbated by the return of field marshals Thanom and Praphas from their exile. On October 6, 1976, military forces assaulted student protesters at Thammasat University, spurred by a student re-enactment of an earlier hanging of two activists in Nakhon Pathom. The brutal attack caused many students to flee into the jungles to join CPT strongholds. A subsequent coup brought down the government led by MR Seni Pramoj, and a few days later, Prof Thanin Kraivixien was appointed prime minister.'
+ The Fifth Decade (1968-1977):
'Songs composed by His Majesty the King, which he composed the melody and English lyrics by himself are Echo, Still on my Mind, Old Fashioned Melody, No Moon, and Dream Island. Furthermore, for those he composed the melody and Thai lyrics are Kwam Fun An Sung Sud (The Impossible Dream) and Rao Su (We Fight)... There are 48 songs composed by His Majesty the King during 1946-1995. His Majesty the King is the expert in composing theory. With his unique style of balancing diversified rhythm, he is the leader in western song composing of Thailand. Being able to manage a new, unheard, and complicate chord which cause harmony and intense sound in music, His Majesty the King can create many melodious songs, which turned to be immortal Thai songs at present. And most importantly, he has a new, unique, and creative imagination at all time.
In addition, each song that was composed by His Majesty the King was meant for some special occasions and portrayed his royal grace to all Thai people. To begin with Yam Yen (Love at Sundown), the song was designated for the Anti-Tuberculosis Association in fund raising campaign. Klai Rung (Near Dawn) was played for the first time in the fair of the Rooster Farming of Thailand. He gave Yim Su (Smiles) to School for the Blinds, Lom Nao (Love in Spring) to the Annual Ball of British Alumni Association under his Royal Patronage, Pon Pee Mai (New Year wishes) to Thai people on the new year day, Koed Pen Thai Tai Puea Thai (Born and Die for the Nation), Kwam Fun An Sung Sud (The Impossible Dream), and Rao Su (We Fight) gave to soldiers and officers who were on duty for the nation, Kinari Suite was for Manohra ballet. He also composed songs for institutes such as Maha Chulalongkorn, Thammasat, Kasetsart, Thongchai Chaloempol (The Colors March), Ratcha Wallop (Royal Guards March), and Ratcha Nawikkayothin (Royal Marines March)...
Although His Majesty the King played western music, he did not neglect traditional Thai music which is the national cultural heritage. In order to publicize traditional music among Thai people, he initiated to collect traditional Thai songs by documenting and recording the notes. Additionally, he also initiated to conduct researches related to various types of traditional Thai music. Moreover, he had introduced the adaptation of modern Thai song to be recomposed in traditional Thai song style... Not only for entertainment, His Majesty the King considered that music should be the creative media in guiding people to be good citizens of the nation.'
+ "GITARAJAN - King Rama IX" (1996):
+ The Musical Genius of His Majesty the King / His Majesty the King and the Music:
"This is the first of the ten bhūmis of the noble bodhisattvas, the stage at which the truth of the reality of things is seen. It is therefore called the path of seeing. At this stage, there is also an experience of abundant bliss, unlike any known before: this bhūmi is therefore known as the stage of ‘Perfect Joy’. At this stage, purifying the obscuration of avarice and its associated habitual tendencies, and perfecting the pāramitā of generosity, bodhisattvas gain twelve sets of one hundred qualities. They are able to:
- enter into and arise from one hundred samādhi meditations in a single instant
- see one hundred buddhas face to face, and receive their blessings
- travel to one hundred buddha realms
- cause one hundred world systems to shake
- illuminate one hundred world systems
- bring one hundred beings to complete maturity
- manifest in one hundred aeons in a single instant
- know one hundred aeons in the past and
- one hundred aeons in the future
- open one hundred doors to the Dharma
- manifest one hundred emanations, and
- for each of these bodies, manifest one hundred attendants
At this stage, a bodhisattva can take birth as a ruler over Jambudvīpa."
+ Guide to the Stages and Paths of the Bodhisattvas:
"Whereas His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej enjoyed a special relationship with the United States, having been born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1927 while his father was completing his medical studies at Harvard University;
Whereas King Bhumibol Adulyadej ascended to the throne on June 9, 1946, and celebrated his 70th year as King of Thailand in 2016;
Whereas, at the time of his death, King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the longest-serving head of state in the world and the longest-reigning monarch in the history of Thailand;
Whereas His Majesty dedicated his life to the well-being of the Thai people and the sustainable development of Thailand;
Whereas His Majesty led by example and virtue with the interest of the people at heart, earning His Majesty the deep reverence of the Thai people and the respect of people around the world;
Whereas His Majesty reached out to the poorest and most vulnerable people of Thailand, regardless of their status, ethnicity, or religion, listened to their problems, and empowered them to take their lives into their own hands;
Whereas, in 2006, His Majesty received the first United Nations Human Development Award, recognizing him as the 'Development King' for the extraordinary contribution of His Majesty to human development;
Whereas His Majesty was recognized internationally in the areas of intellectual property, innovation, and creativity, and in 2006, the World Intellectual Property Organization presented His Majesty with the Global Leadership Award;
Whereas His Majesty was an anchor of peace and stability for Thailand during the turbulent decades of the Cold War;
Whereas His Majesty was always a trusted friend of the United States in advancing a strong and enduring alliance and partnership between the United States and Thailand;
Whereas His Majesty addressed a joint session of Congress on June 29, 1960, during which His Majesty reaffirmed the strong friendship and good will between the United States and Thailand;
Whereas the United States and Thailand remain strong security allies, as memorialized in the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty (commonly known as the 'Manila Pact of 1954'') and later expanded under the Thanat-Rusk Communique of 1962;
Whereas, for decades, Thailand has hosted the annual Cobra Gold military exercises, the largest multilateral exercises in Asia, to improve regional defense cooperation;
Whereas Thailand has allowed the Armed Forces of the United States to use the Utapao Air Base to coordinate international humanitarian relief efforts;
Whereas President George W. Bush designated Thailand as a major non-NATO ally on December 30, 2003;
Whereas close cooperation and mutual sacrifices in the face of common threats have bound the United States and Thailand together and established a firm foundation for the advancement of a mutually beneficial relationship; and
Whereas, on October 13, 2016, at the age of 88, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away, leaving behind a lasting legacy for Thailand: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That Congress--
(1) honors the extraordinary life, steady leadership, and remarkable, 70-year reign of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand;
(2) extends our deepest sympathies to the members of the Royal Family and to the people of Thailand in their bereavement; and
(3) celebrates the alliance and friendship between Thailand and the United States that reflects common interests, a 183-year diplomatic history, and a multifaceted partnership that has contributed to peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region."
+ SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 57--HONORING IN PRAISE AND REMEMBRANCE THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE, STEADY LEADERSHIP, AND REMARKABLE, 70-YEAR REIGN OF KING BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ OF THAILAND (2016):
"Black and white photograph of the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej dressed in military uniform decorated with medals of honor. The photograph is inscribed to President John F. Kennedy. Photograph is in silver frame."
+ Photograph of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand (1963):
'The state-sponsored crackdown on left-leaning students at Thammasat University at the dawn of Oct 6 which left more than 50 dead and over 100 injured is one of the darkest chapters in Thailand’s history. As countries in Southeast Asia fell to communism in the 1970s, starting with Laos, then Cambodia and Vietnam, the Thai establishment was gripped by fear of the so-called "domino effect." Leftist ideologies took hold among some groups of students, unionists and political activists. The rising political temperature found a trigger point after former PM Thanom Kittikachorn, forced to go into exile three years earlier following the Oct 14 uprising, sneaked back into the country. Protests by the students and activists were met with right-wing propaganda and communist scaremongering that fanned the flames of hatred.
The conflict boiled over on Oct 5, after Thammasat University students held a protest by presenting a tableau of a mock-hanging of two trade unionists suspected of having been assassinated by police. One of the "actors", however, was accused by right-wing activists and media of bearing a resemblance to HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. As events threatened to get out of control, the then government of Seni Pramoj could not prevent a forthcoming confrontation and a crackdown on the student protesters finally occurred. Brutal killings and abuses followed resulting in more than 50 deaths. The massacre was followed by a coup led by Admiral Sangad Chaloryu.
That evening, Admiral Sangad and army chief Gen Kriangsak Chamanan were granted an audience with His Majesty the King. A list of three potential candidates for the premiership was submitted to the King for consultation. Two days later, Thanin Kraivixien, a Supreme Court Chief Justice, was appointed the new prime minister. Disillusioned and crushed by the right wing, tens of thousands of students, farmers and unionists and activists joined the jungle-based communist movement and took up arms against the government. They would remain there for many years, until then army chief Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh came up with a proposal offering an amnesty to those who returned to the fold in 1980.'
+ Guardian of the Nation (2016)
"To the Thai people, Their Majesties are their beloved Royal Father and Mother. To foreigners, Their Majesties are known as the worlds' hardest-working King and Queen. This book is about the tireless perseverance of King Bhumibol. Much of his work is dedicated to the physical and spiritual welfare of the poorest and most needy of his subjects. But His Majesty's compassion and ingenuity benefit all Thais."
+ King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand: Strength of the Land (Vol. 2) :
"Its sixty years are not just sixty years in the history of Thailand. They are, in so many ways, the history of our times, the good and the bad, the joyous and the sad, the exciting and the desperate. These times have brought the most rapid and far-reaching changes ever seen in Man's history. They have challenged every aspect of our existence, above all as sovereigns. They have presented moments when great decisions and judgments have been called for. To those moments, Your Majesty has brought the dignity, wisdom, and courage that we all seek to offer those we are called upon to lead. You have never sought to distance yourself from the lives of your people. You have never asked them to be followers or mere subjects. You have shared their joys, fears, and disappointments. You have made them deeply proud of their heritage and their identity. You have made your people feel that the Kingdom of Thailand is indeed their own Kingdom. Above all, I feel, you have given them confidence. Much of this comes from Your Majesty's personal achievements."
+ H.M. Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah of Brunei Darussalam (2006):
+ "His Majesty King Bhumibol and Thai-U.S. Relations" (2016) - Royal Thai Embassy Washington D.C.:
'Her Majesty Queen Sirikit is the daughter of H.H. Prince Chandaburi Suranath (M.C. Nakkhat Mongkol Kitiyakara) and his consort Mom Luang Bua Kitiyakara (nee Mom Luang Bua Snidvongs). Prince Chandaburi Suranath was the third son of H.R.H. Prince Chandaburi Suranath and H.S.H. Princess Absarasman Kitiyakara. She was born on August 12, 1932. The year 1932 is a significant one: it was the year when constitutional monarchy was introduced into Thailand. Her father was a prominent and capable Major-General in the Thai Army at the time of the constitutional change. He left the army and went to serve as First Secretary at the Thai Legation in Washington D.C... It was while her father was stationed in Paris that she first met His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was then studying in Switzerland but went now and then to Paris. The chance meeting in Paris ripened into friendship and understanding.
On July 19, 1949 Their Majesties were quietly engaged in Lausanne. On March 24, 1950, Their Majesties landed in Bangkok by ship after a long absence. On April 28 of the same year, the Royal Wedding took place at Padumawan Palace before the Queen Grandmother. As a democratic King and Queen, Their Majesties signed their names in the Registry Book of Marriages. Prince Chandaburi Suranath also appended his signature in the book to show that he permitted his daughter, who was then under age and required her father’s consent to the marriage, to go through the ceremony of marriage. His Majesty then crowned HM the Queen in conformity with Thai tradition. Their Majesties have four children, namely: Princess Ubolratana, born on April 5, 1951, His Royal Highness Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, born on July 28, 1952, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, born on April 2, 1955 and Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn, born on July 4, 1957.
Her Majesty has many public functions to perform. She became President of the Thai Red Cross Society on August 12, 1956, and Her keenness in the work has built up Her popularity and aroused enthusiasm in the public for the cause of the Red Cross... Later on, in 1979, upon learning of the influx of about 40,000 Cambodian refugees into Thailand’s Trat Province, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit flew to the site to see the situation Herself. Then in Her capacity as President of the Thai Red Cross Society, Her Majesty set up the Khao Larn Thai Red Cross Centre to give shelter, food and medical care to those Cambodian refugees who were mostly peasant families with small children and unaccompanied orphans. The centre became a refuge for these displaced people for some years.
When His Majesty entered the monkhood in 1956, Her Majesty became Regent during that period. She gave the oath of allegiance before the National Assembly. She performed Her duties so well and so satisfactorily that, on the recommendation from the Government, Her Majesty was given the title of higher distinction. She became “Somdech Phraborom Rajininath.” Such a title is given to a Queen who has ably performed the function of the Head of State on behalf of the King, when He is absent from the realm or for some reason is unable to exercise His function temporarily. On the social side, Her Majesty accepted to become the Honorary President of the National Council on Social Welfare of Thailand under His Majesty’s Patronage since August 10, 1961. The organization comprises of around 905 private and public social welfare units throughout the Kingdom and it is now a member of the International Conference of Social Work.'
+ Long Live Her Majesty Queen Sirikit Loving Mother of the Thai Nation (2011):
'Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the superlative monarch. He was the world’s longest-reigning, the world’s richest and, among his own subjects at least, the world’s most adored. Throughout his 70 years on the throne, Bhumibol has been credited with staving off numerous catastrophes through intelligence, fortitude and his love of country. Yet in the decade approaching his death on Thursday at the age of 88, his kingdom, Thailand, has been increasingly wracked by bitter political schisms. Bhumibol’s body will rest in Bangkok’s spired Grand Palace in a golden urn, draped in silk, gold and diamonds, for an official grieving period of one year, as Brahmin priests and Buddhist monks, wreathed in incense smoke, chant incantations. The palace announced that the King died “peacefully” at 3:53 p.m. local time. “Even though the board of doctors has closely monitored and treated him to the best of its abilities, the King’s condition never improved but deteriorated until Thursday,” the palace said.
Junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn would be the new monarch in accordance with the constitution, the Associated Press reports. “He was a King that was loved and adored by all. The reign of the king has ended and his kindness cannot be found anywhere else,” Prayuth said... To many Thais, Bhumibol was a bodhisattva, the last incarnation of the future Buddha.
This belief has roots in the Theravada Buddhist ideal of the Dhammaraja, the near-deific guarantor of justice and mediator of government and politics, who rules as monarch in accordance with dharma, or natural law according to the Buddha’s teachings. Bhumibol’s outwardly austere persona and strict adherence to religious ritual bolsters this perception. That the King is almost never seen smiling, a profound curiosity in the self-styled Land of Smiles, lends to his image as above worldly emotions in an almost ethereal way. Thai children are taught from birth as to the King’s godlike infallibility and his portrait still adorns all schools, institutions, businesses and practically every private household as the highest picture in the room. It is also propagated by television news, textbooks, government websites, official histories, newspapers and movies. The concept of King as grand patriarch is enshrined: in Thailand, Bhumibol’s birthday is Father’s Day; Queen Sirikit’s birthday is Mother’s Day. Thais can’t help but love their King.'
+ Thailand Bids Farewell to Beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej (2016):
'His Majesty began to compose songs in earnest when he turned 18 years old, and the person who both encouraged him and became his inspiration was none other than his royal brother King Ananda Mahidol. In April 1946, King Bhumibol Adulyadej composed his first-ever song, a blues, under the title of "Candlelight Blues." But he had yet to go public with it, feeling that he still needed to polish the tune for better effect. As a result, the first royal song released to the Thai public was "Love at Sundown," the second number he composed in the same month as the first. He next came up with the third number, called "Falling Rain," a sweet waltz which, since its release, has been most popular with Thai listeners and still is today. The fourth and final number he composed during his pre-accession days as the king's younger brother was titled "Near Dawn". Early in the reign, after his crowning in 1946, His Majesty continued to produce a steady flow of compositions under a variety of inspirations and circumstances. Examples of the songs written in this period include "Blue Day," "Dream of Love, Dream of You," and "Love Light in My Heart."
His Majesty has always been generous with his permission to have his music played for the enjoyment of Thai people on numerous occasions. "Love at Sundown" was featured in a fund-raising concert for the Anti-Tuberculosis Society of Thailand, "Falling Rain" was played to entertain the crowd at the gathering of the Chicken Breeders Association of Thailand, and "Smiles" was written to help boost the morale of members of the School for the Blind. He also wrote military marches and patriotic anthems, for example, "Rao Su" ("We Shall Fight"), "Kwamfan An Sungsud" ("The Noblest Dream"), and "Rao Su" ("Our Motherland") to fire up the people's patriotic sentiments. Other compositions include alma maters and New Year songs to offer best wishes and luck to his subjects on the festive occasion.
His Majesty mentioned the source of inspiration that had spurred him on to write so many compositions during a concert of his number "Echo" at the Sangkhitamongkhon (Golden Concert) on 6 April 1966: "I kept up with my musical composition, which to date adds up to a total of 40 songs already, written over a 20-year span, or an average output of two songs a year, partly because I have received the generous support of musicians, composers, and singers, including the general audience, who express unfailing appreciation and loyalty to my compositions. It's what keeps me going." Extending over such a long period of time from a fresh 18-year-old up to the present day, His Majesty has produced a total of 48 songs for the appreciation and enjoyment of the Thai people. That his songs enjoy immense popularity over such a lengthy span of time is a testament to his musical accomplishments.'
+ King Bhumibol Adulyadej - A Musical Self-Portrait:
"This song, a true blues, was actually His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej's Opus 1 despite the fact that two other songs of his had been published first. His Majesty composed 'Candlelight Blues' in April 1946 when he was still known as the younger royal brother. H.H. Prince Chakrabandh Pensiri had the honor of writing the lyrics to this blues tune... 'Candlelight Blues' was released after 'Love at Sundown' and 'Falling Rain', His Majesty's second and third compositions in order of composing, making it number three in order of release. In its first release (1947), 'Candlelight Blues' was sung by Mr. Euah Sunthornsanan and performed by his famous Suntharaporn band. In 1953, Assoc. Prof. Sodsai Pantoomkomol had the honor to write the English lyrics to the song; that's how the melody came to be known in English as 'Candlelight Blues.'"
+ "Candlelight Blues" - Music: H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej (1946):
'His Majesty sets himself as an example of someone who gives for the sake of giving, who gives indiscriminately, without expecting anything in return. His initiatives all lead to undertakings for the people's benefits and happiness. He has made it clear that compassion and kindness should form the basis of Thai society, as stated in his royal address delivered to the Executive Board of the Confederation of Foundations in Thailand at Chitralada Villa on 19 December 1975:
"In all languages, there exists the word 'compassion,' that is, to be generous to others, to be inclined to lend support to others, rather than to compete with them. All languages and all faiths encompass this spirit or disposition. I would therefore ask all of you to carry on your tasks with strong determination, and with honesty, in order to keep society in peace and happiness."
When the Association of Sand Traders was granted an audience at Chitralada Villa to present a donation for royal charities on 30 October 1981, His Majesty gave those traders much encouragement:
"People imbued with compassion and kindness are those who have sympathy for others and want to help fellow humans in trouble. This spirit is very powerful, but very delicate as well. It is a contributing factor towards the progress of all undertakings. This is because anyone with compassion and kindness who gives to others is intelligent as well as gentle, seeing things clearly. People who are gentle and tender, with a clear vision of everything, will be able to carry out their work successfully."
Talking to any group, His Majesty stresses honesty and gratitude as major principles in life:
"Honesty is order in manner and in thought, or in mind. Both depend upon and contribute to each other all the time, and must be built up together. When deeds and thoughts are set in order, problems can be solved, as right knowledge and understanding are obtained. The mind that recognizes virtue is prepared to do good things with confidence. For this reason, those with gratitude will not abandon virtues and never show disrespect to virtuous people, but instead try to maintain all virtues as the basis of their own behavior and undertakings."
His Majesty himself has proved the merit of those principles granted to the people. He has achieved what he set out to do, even in his personal interests.'
+ The Nation's Peace and Happiness Are His Majesty's Ultimate Goal:
'Wat Pavaranivesh Vihara Rajavaravihara (Thai: วัดบวรนิเวศวิหารราชวรวิหาร) is a major Buddhist temple (wat) in Phra Nakhon district, Bangkok, Thailand. The temple is a center of the Thammayut Nikaya school of Thai Theravada Buddhism and has been a major temple of patronage for the Chakri dynasty. It is the shrine-hall of Phra Phuttha Chinnasi (พระพุทธชินสีห์) which was moulded in about 1357. It is where many royal princes studied and served their monkhood, including king Bhumibol. Prince Bhikkhu Mongkut arrived at the temple in 1836 (ordination name: Vajirañāṇo) and became the first abbot. He later acceeded to the throne of Siam as King Rama IV. His great grandson, King Bhumibol Adulyadej ordained at the Grand Palace (Wat Phra Kaew) and resided here for a short period after he became King. Bhumibol's mentor, Somdet Phra Yanasangworn, eventually became abbot of the temple, and later, the Supreme Patriarch of Thai Buddhism. Exiled dictator Thanom Kittikachorn returned to Thailand as a novice monk to join Wat Bowonniwet, leading to large public demonstrations and a bloody crackdown in October 1976. King Bhumibol Adulyadej's son, Prince Vajiralongkorn, was ordained and spent a short period at this temple, as well as several of the Prince's own sons.'
+ Wat Bowonniwet Vihara:
'The Siamese revolution of 1932 or the Siamese coup d'état of 1932 (Thai: การปฏิวัติสยาม พ.ศ. 2475 or การเปลี่ยนแปลงการปกครองสยาม พ.ศ. 2475) was a crucial turning point in 20th-century Thai history. The revolution, a coup d'état, was a nearly bloodless transition on 24 June 1932, which changed the system of government in Siam from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. The "revolution" was brought about by a comparatively small group of military and civilians, who formed Siam's first political party, the Khana Ratsadon (Peoples' Party). It ended 150 years of absolutism under the Chakri Dynasty and almost 700 years of absolute rule of kings over Thai history. It was a product of global historical change as well as domestic social and political changes. It also resulted in the people of Siam being granted their first constitution.
In 1932 Siam, together with China and Japan, were the only independent countries remaining in East Asia. King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) came to the throne in 1868, eager to modernise and reform his medieval kingdom, and he introduced many new reforms and inventions to his country. He openly embraced Europeans as well as European thought on many matters, chiefly law, politics, philosophy, commercialism, education, and medicine. He reformed the administration as well as the military system. At the same time he successfully maintained the country's fragile independence, located as it was between aggressive colonialists: the British Raj (Burma) and French Indochina (Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia). The king, who understood the importance of foreign education, not only sent his many sons to European schools and academies, but also sent thousands of commoners and scholarship students, anticipating that the kingdom's survival rested on modernisation.
He was succeeded on the throne by his son, King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) (1910–25), a Sandhurst and Oxford graduate. Vajiravudh continued most of his father's efforts in modernising the infrastructure and other institutions of the country, including appointing able commoners to the government. The foundation of Vajiravudh College (a school founded on the model of an English public school) and Chulalongkorn University, (Siam's first), were part of his educational reforms. He also encouraged European practices in fashion and the adoption by all of surnames. His reforms resulted in much anger in many quarters, especially from older, reactionary members of the aristocracy and nobility, whose influence was slowly being eroded. The speed of his constitutional reforms also resulted in dissatisfaction from an entirely different faction: progressives and radicals.
In 1912, a Palace revolt, plotted by young military officers, tried unsuccessfully to overthrow and replace the king. Their goals were to change the system of government, overthrowing the ancien régime and replacing it with a modern, Westernised constitutional system, and perhaps to replace Rama VI with a prince more sympathetic to their beliefs. The revolt failed and the participants were imprisoned. In reaction, Vajiravudh largely abandoned his attempts at constitutional reform and continued with his absolutist rule, with the minor exception of appointing some able commoners to his privy council and government. In 1914, Vajiravudh promulgated a new martial law act that, with minor amendments, continued in force for over a century. King Vajiravudh died in 1925, and was succeeded by his younger brother King Prajadhipok (Rama VII).'
+ Siamese Revolution of 1932:
"His facility with languages is amazing — he has even learnt Sanskrit, the ancient and sacred language of Indian Hindus. With the accelerating creation of a global village via electronic media, His Majesty has been quick to experiment with computers. He first used a computer around December, 1986 to write song lyrics and music notation for various instruments, a time-consuming task. In 1987 he began to use a programme called Fontastic to design Thai and Roman fonts of different sizes. He then studied the font called Devanagari and consulted experts in Pali and Sanskrit, such as H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Privy Counsellor Mom Luang Chirayu Napavong, who helped to check the fonts that he soon designed. The name Devanagari has been translated as Script of the City of the Gods and is used to write Sanskrit, Prakrit, Hindi and Marathi. It can be confusing for beginners as the actual number of letters in the alphabet is disagreed on even by the experts! His Majesty has also created two Thai-Roman fonts called Bhubing and Daksin for the Macintosh computer."
+ KING BHUMIBOL: Strength of the Land (2009):
+ "The Royal Activities of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej's Global Cummins Navy" (2530):
'Her Majesty the Queen is naturally endowed with artistic talents and is keenly interested in the world of arts and culture. One of Her special interests, which She has made her life’s work, is Thai arts and culture. Her cultural promotion activities dated back to the year 1960, when She was to accompany His Majesty the King on a state visit to Europe and the United States. She noticed at the time that there were no national dresses for Thai women, unlike the Indian Sari or the Japanese Kimono, to name only a couple. It was high time to create a distinctive costume for the sake of national identity. With this in mind, Her Majesty researched into traditional costumes that Thai woman had worn in different historical periods, from Sukhothai, Ayuthaya to the Rattanakosin (Bangkok) periods. She then set out to adapt and modify these different modes into Thai national costumes for present-day use.
Initially, there were five designs, all worn with a long skirt: three of these have simply wrap-around skirts and the other two have a pleated fold in the middle, running the entire length of skirt. The five designs were given such names as Thai Ruan Ton, Thai Chitralada, Thai Amarin, Thai Chakri and Thai Boromabiman. Later on, more designs were gradually added to the collection; for example, Thai Dusit, Thai Prayuk, etc. These designs were launched by Her Majesty the Queen on the course of State Visits and on subsequent occasions. They are now internationally recognized as Thai national costumes. The promotion of Thai national costumes has had lasting consequences on Thai traditional handicrafts and cottage industries, the costumes being particularly suited to hand-woven silk, plain, brocade or the patterned, tie-dyed silk, called Mud-mee. These costumes are further enhanced by traditional handbags, which again are the products of delicate craftsmanship in wickerwork.
HM the Queen came to the conclusion that most Thai people are dexterous, industrious, and meticulous. Each region, moreover, has its own indigenous raw materials and cottage industry. If these indigenous handicrafts can be promoted and their utility emphasized, the rural poor would have additional occupations and incomes. With this in mind, wherever She travels, HM the Queen pays attention to indigenous cottage industries and crafts and tends to support all kinds of regional crafts. Her Majesty’s craft promotion activities have encompassed most of the country’s regions, starting with Hup Kaphing village in Petchaburi province. At the village, a project was launched by HM the Queen to encourage local women to make various kinds of accessories, such as handbags, hats, sandals, and mats out of jute and palm leaves. At the self-help community of Prachuap Khiri Khan province, HM the Queen initiated an artificial flower making project using remnants of cotton, silk and other fabrics. She also sent expert weavers to teach cotton weaving at Ayuthaya and revived the making of traditional clay dolls, known as “Chao Wang” dolls or “palace” dolls, at Tambon Bang Sadet, Ang Thong province.
The making of clay dolls at Tambon Bang Sadet originated during the course of a vacation HM the Queen took with the Royal Family at the Summer Palace of Bang Pa-in at the close of 1975. A severe flood hit Tambon Bang Sadet in nearby Ang Thong province where the farmers had already suffered from successive crop failures caused by flooding in the past. Her Majesty was accompanying HM the King on an urgent relief mission when She received the mandate from His Majesty to find a way to supplement the farmers’ incomes. It resulted in the revival of the old art of making tiny clay dolls, the raw material for which is readily available in that sub-district. Subsequently, HM the Queen provided training to the villagers by expert doll-makers and then bought the finished products which would then be sold to tourists as souvenirs. The doll-making project, besides being a source of supplementary income, helps preserve a near-extinct aspect of Thai traditions as well as popularized Thai traditional culture overseas. The “palace dolls” do in fact faithfully portray traditional manners, clothing, aspects of everyday life and other ancient traditions and customs. In the North, HM the Queen launched several hand-weaving projects, involving silk, brocade and thick cotton cloth. The fabrics could be fashioned into curtains, handbags and other accessories. Other crafts which have been promoted in this region include fancy clothes hangers and embroidery.
Her Majesty became fascinated by the indigenous embroidery of the hill people while she was accompanying HM the King on a visit to the Yao tribe. She observed that the Yao tribesmen were dressed in colorful and delicately embroidered costumes. Embroidery is one of the traditional crafts of all the hill-tribes, passed down from generation to generation, and deserved to be preserved and promoted. Since then, HM the Queen herself has, on several occasions, worn garments with hill-tribe embroidery in order that the tribes-people may feel proud of their traditional costumers and consequently fully appreciate the efforts to preserve and perpetuate such craftsmanship. During one of Her private visits to the United States (January 25-March 31, 1980), Her Majesty organized a fashion show at the Shoreham Americana Hotel in Washington D.C., where a collection of hill-tribe costumes and handicrafts was presented to the American public. This promotional event attracted a large number of interested parties and important orders from big department stores, thus boosting the national economy and the hill-tribes’ livelihood.
The North-eastern people prefer to weave Mud-mee or tie-dyed silk as well as ordinary silk cloth for their family needs. But they have inadequate supplies of raw silk for the purpose. Her Majesty found a way out by giving extensive support to the raising of local silk worms. The traditional patterns and designed of Mud-mee weaving are revived and production techniques improved. Her Majesty uses Her own private funds to finance the whole enterprise, from purchasing raw material to paying wages and buying up the finished products. As an extra incentive, any outstanding weaver who distinguished herself in the art would be awarded a special prize by Her Majesty. Weaving in the South also has a unique traditional pattern; some are modeled after the local varieties of flowers, such as the jasmines; others are more abstract. In recent years, its popularity has been declining, a phenomenon which prompted Her Majesty to take up its cause as zealously as She has done for other regions. Other Southern handicrafts have also been given her attentions, such as bulrush matting, and a delicate craft of wickerwork, using a local variety of vine, called Yan Lipao, which can be fashioned into all kinds of household accessories, including the famous evening bags. After a period of training, the southern people became outstanding in embroidery.'
+ Long Live Her Majesty Queen Sirikit Loving Mother of the Thai Nation (2011):
'A trim, bespectacled man who resided in opulent palaces yet lived relatively austerely, King Bhumibol knew that his great strength was that he had earned his authority rather than assuming it as a birthright. He never lost touch with his people, be they rich or poor, and was often seen trudging off, a camera around his neck, to examine rural development projects. Not widely known outside Thailand, the king was an accomplished composer and musician who had jammed with Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton. As an adult, he virtually never left Thailand — ”We felt more secure knowing he was here,” one Thai said — and devoted most of his energies to improving the lot of the poor. His death cast a pall of sorrow over the nation. Even as his health faltered in recent days, Thai stocks fell sharply and well-wishers gathered outside the hospital where he was being treated.
Bhumibol was born Dec. 5, 1927, in Cambridge, Mass., where his father was studying medicine at Harvard. His mother, a Thai commoner, was studying nursing. A descendant of a 700-year-old dynasty, the king was the great-grandson of King Mongkut, who was depicted in Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical “The King and I.” Only through a series of tragedies did Thailand get Bhumibol — who was never in line for the crown — as its king. In 1936, four years after a bloodless coup had limited the powers of the monarchy, King Prajadhipok abdicated without an heir. The crown passed to the king's nephew — Bhumibol's older brother, 10-year-old Prince Anand. A regent was installed while both boys went to Switzerland to finish their schooling. Anand went on to become king. But on June 9, 1946, at the age of only 20, he was found with a bullet through his head in his Bangkok palace. The death was never explained. Bhumibol, still a teenager, took the crown of a monarchy that was self-destructing and controlled by the military...
Rather than accept a role as a do-nothing king, he became active in village technology. He toured the country, overseeing rural development projects. By the time of his death, more than 2,000 projects in Thailand bore the imprint of his planning. Behind the scenes, he wielded great influence. Politicians and generals sought his advice, and virtually all Thais considered his every utterance tantamount to a royal decree. He was the only Thai who could end bloodshed in the streets or foil a coup with just a word. In May 1992, when soldiers killed dozens of pro-democracy demonstrators in Bangkok, the king summoned the student protest leader and the prime minister (who was a general) to the palace for a televised dressing-down. Both approached the king on hands and knees. “Should the confrontation be prolonged, the country could be wrecked,” he told them. The violence stopped and the prime minister resigned in disgrace. Under the king, Thailand grew from a quiet rural land in the 1950s into one of the 1990s’ “economic tigers” of Southeast Asia. Poverty was reduced, millions of Thais moved into the middle class, and Bangkok became a dynamic trading and banking city, with showcase high-rises and luxury hotels. Thailand's press was free and its society was one of the most open in Asia.'
+ Thailand's King Bhumibol, World's Longest-Reigning Monarch, Dies at 88 (2016):
'In 1782, King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke ascended the throne and moved the capital from the Thonburi side to the Bangkok side of the Chao Phraya River. There he established the House of Chakri, the current ruling dynasty of Thailand. (This first reign was later designated as that of Rama I in the list of Rama Kings of Thailand.) He also established the office of Supreme Patriarch as the head of the Sangha, the order of Buddhist monks.
+ Rama I: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rama_I
During the Rattanakosin Period the Chakri kings tried to continue the concepts of Ayutthayan kingship once again emphasizing the connection between the sovereign and his subjects. On the other hand, they continued to not relinquish any authority of the throne. Kings Buddha Loetla Nabhalai (Rama II) and Nangklao (Rama III) created a semblance of a modern administration by creating a supreme council and appointing chief officers to help with the running of the government.
+ Rama II: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rama_II_of_Siam
+ Rama III: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rama_III
Mongkut (Rama IV) marked a significant break in tradition when he spent the first 27 years of his adult life as a Buddhist monk during which time he became proficient in the English language, before ascending the throne. As king, he continued the appointment of officers to his supreme council, the most notable being Somdet Chao Phraya Prayurawongse and Si Suriyawongse, both of whom acted as Chief Ministers for King Mongkut (and the latter as regent, from the king's death in 1868 until 1873.)
+ Rama IV: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongkut
Chulalongkorn (Rama V) ascended the throne as a minor at age 15 in 1868, and as King of Siam on 16 November 1873. As a prince, he had been tutored in Western traditions by the governess, Anna Leonowens. Intent on reforming the monarchy along Western lines, during his minority he traveled extensively to observe western administrative methods. He transformed the monarchy along Western lines of an "enlightened ruler". He abolished the practice of prostration in front of the monarch, and repealed many laws concerning the relationship between the monarch and his people, while continuing many of the ancient aspects and rituals of the old kingship. In 1874, he created a privy council copied from the European tradition, to help him rule his Kingdom. During his reign Siam was pressured to relinquish control of its old tributaries of Laos and northern Malaya to Western powers, Siam itself narrowly avoided being colonized. In 1905, 37 years after his coronation, Chulalongkorn ended slavery with the Slave Abolition Act. In 1867 slaves accounted for one-third of the Siamese population.
+ Rama V: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chulalongkorn
His son, Vajiravudh (Rama VI), ascended to the throne in 1910 and continued his father's zeal for reform to bring the monarchy into the 20th century. The perceived slow pace of reform resulted in the Palace Revolt of 1912. In 1914, Vajiravudh determined that the act providing for invoking martial law, first promulgated by his father in 1907, was not consistent with modern laws of war, nor convenient for the preservation of the security of the state, so it was amended to a more modern form that, with minor amendments, continued in force through subsequent changes in government.
+ Rama VI: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vajiravudh
Prajadhipok (Rama VII) succeeded his brother in 1925. The Eton and Sandhurst educated monarch created a council similar to a cabinet, where the most important government officials could meet to decide state affairs. This advisory and legislative council, styled the Supreme Council of State of Siam (Thai: อภิรัฐมนตรีสภา) was founded on 28 November 1925 and existed until 1932.
+ Rama VII: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prajadhipok
In June 1932, a group of foreign educated students and military men called "the promoters" carried out a bloodless revolution, seized power and demanded that King Prajadhipok grant the people of Siam a constitution. The king agreed and in December 1932 the people were granted a constitution, ending 150 years of absolute Chakri rule. From then on the role of the monarch was relegated to that of a symbolic head of state. His powers from then on were exercised by a prime minister and the national assembly.
In 1935 King Pradhipok (Rama VII) abdicated the throne, following disagreements with the government. He lived in exile in the United Kingdom until his death. The king was replaced by his young nephew Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII). The new king was 10 years old and was living abroad in Switzerland. A council of regents was appointed in his place. During this period the roles and powers of the king were entirely usurped by the fascist government of Plaek Phibunsongkhram, who changed the name of the kingdom from Siam to Thailand, and aligned it on the side of the Axis powers in the Pacific theatre of World War II. By the end of the war Phibunsongkhram was removed and the young king returned. The Free Thai movement provided resistance to foreign occupation during the war and helped rehabilitate Thailand after the war.
+ Rama VIII: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ananda_Mahidol
After Rama VIII's sudden death from a bullet wound in 1946, Prince Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), aged 19 years old, became the new monarch. He was the world's longest reigning monarch at the time of his death in October 2016. King Bhumibol died on October 13, 2016 at the age of 88. Immediately after, the prime minister declared a one-year period of mourning for the country.'
+ Rama IX: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhumibol_Adulyadej
+ Monarchy of Thailand:
'His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej created much joy among Thais of all ages with his musical performances, broadcasts and compositions, which lasted throughout his long reign. His Majesty composed more than 48 songs, ranging from blues, jazz and popular dance tunes to patriotic anthems and New Year celebrations... After studying music and learning musical notation, His Majesty turned his attention to the records he liked to listen to, mainly traditional Dixieland jazz and swing band music played by jazz masters like clarinettist Sydney Bechet and saxophonist Johnny Hodges, as well as swing from Benny Goodman. To further develop and hone his musical skills, he practised by playing along to the records. But he was more ambitious than just jamming to records, and by 18 he was ready to start composing songs himself; his first effort would be a 12-bar blues. Candlelight Blues (Saeng Tien in Thai), which was composed in April 1946, was the first song His Majesty composed but was not the first released to the public; Love At Sundown (Yam Yen) written during the same period and still popular today, came out first, performed on the Public Relations Department's radio station by the Suntharaporn Band...
Falling Rain (Saifon), a delicate, sweet waltz, that caught people's imagination. It remains one of the most popular royal tunes to this day... Classical guitarist Hucky Eichelmann recorded two albums of His Majesty's music -- Candlelight Blues (1999) and Sweet Words (2007) -- both of which were hugely popular across the Kingdom... Upon his return from his studies in Europe in 1951, His Majesty invited relatives and friends to play at his then residence, Ambara Villa. He formed a band, which was named Wong Lai Kram (The Vintage Band). A year later, the Public Relations Department gave His Majesty a radio transmitter and the band began regular live performances every Friday night; when His Majesty moved to Chitralada, the radio station, known as Aw Saw, moved there, too, where it remains to this day. His Majesty continued composing songs throughout the period, penning entertaining songs like Blue Day (Arthit Ab Saeng), Dream of Love, Dream of You (Dheva Pa Ku Fan) and Love Light in My Heart (Kaewta Kwanjai). He also wrote military marches and patriotic songs like The Impossible Dream (Kwam Fan An Soong Sood)... On a state tour to the US in 1960, His Majesty entertained guests at a dinner in Hawaii by playing clarinet along with local band, Kenny Alford And His Dixie Cats, to great applause. In New York he played with some of the early "mentors" he heard on records like Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden (trombone), Lionel Hampton (vibraphone) and Stan Getz (saxophone).'
+ "H.M. The King - Solo with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band" (1988):
'The monarchy of Thailand (whose monarch is referred to as the King of Thailand or historically as the King of Siam; Thai: พระมหากษัตริย์ไทย) refers to the constitutional monarchy and monarch of the Kingdom of Thailand (formerly Siam). The King of Thailand is the head of state and head of the ruling Royal House of Chakri. Although the current Chakri Dynasty was created in 1782, the existence of the institution of monarchy in Thailand is traditionally considered to have its roots from the founding of the Sukhothai Kingdom in 1238, with a brief interregnum from the death of Ekkathat to the accession of Taksin in the 18th century. The institution was transformed into a constitutional monarchy in 1932 after the bloodless Siamese Revolution of 1932. The monarchy's official residence is the Grand Palace in Bangkok; however, the previous king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, spent much of his time at the Chitralada Palace, or the Klai Kangwon Palace (Thai: วังไกลกังวล) ("Palace Far from Worries") in the beach resort city of Hua Hin. The King of Thailand's titles include Head of State, Head of the Armed Forces, Adherent of Buddhism and Upholder of religions.
The current concept of Thai kingship evolved through 800 years of absolute rule. The first king of a unified Thailand was the founder of the Kingdom of Sukhothai, King Sri Indraditya, in 1238. The idea of this early kingship is said to be based on two concepts derived from Hinduism and Theravada Buddhist beliefs. The first concept is based on the Vedic-Hindu caste of "Kshatriya" (Thai: กษัตริย์) or warrior-ruler, in which the king derives his powers from military might. The second is based on the Theravada Buddhist concept of "Dhammaraja" (Thai: ธรรมราชา), Buddhism having been introduced to Thailand around the 6th century CE. The idea of the Dhammaraja (or kingship under Dharma), is that the king should rule his people in accordance with Dharma and the teachings of the Buddha.'
+ Monarchy of Thailand:
"At the lesser of the three lesser levels of the path of meditation, the pāramitā of discipline is perfected. All the obscurations associated with flaws in discipline are purified. Similar qualities to those mentioned above (when discussing the path of seeing) are gained, so that bodhisattvas can enter into and arise from one thousand samādhi meditations in a single instant, and so on. The difference is that here there are twelve sets of one thousand qualities. They can take birth as a ruler over the four continents.
This second bhūmi is called ‘Immaculate’, because it is free from the stains of faulty discipline."
"At the intermediate of the three lesser levels of the path of meditation, the pāramitā of patience is perfected. All the obscurations associated with anger are purified. Twelve sets of one hundred thousand qualities are gained, such as the ability to enter into and arise from one hundred thousand samādhi meditations in a single instant, and so on. One can take birth as a ruler over the Heaven of Thirty-three, like Indra.
This third bhūmi is called ‘Illuminating’, because bodhisattvas who have reached this stage shine the light of Dharma on those beings who are enshrouded in the thick darkness of their negative tendencies."
"At the greater of the three lesser levels of the path of meditation, the pāramita of diligence is perfected. All the obscurations associated with laziness are purified. Twelve sets of ten million qualities are gained, such as the ability to enter into and arise from ten million samādhi meditations in a single instant, and so on. One can take birth as a ruler of the House of Gemini (Skt. Parākrama).
This fourth bhūmi is called ‘Radiant’, because bodhisattvas who have reached this stage radiate the fiery wisdom that burns away the emotional and cognitive obscurations."
+ Guide to the Stages and Paths of the Bodhisattvas:
'The Kingdom of Sukhothai was supplanted by the Kingdom of Ayutthaya, which was founded in 1351 by King Ramathibodhi I. During the Ayutthayan period, the idea of kingship changed. Due to ancient Khmer tradition in the region, the Hindu concept of kingship was applied to the status of the leader. Brahmins took charge in the royal coronation. The king was treated as a reincarnation of Hindu gods. Ayutthaya historical documents show the official titles of the kings in great variation: Indra, Shiva and Vishnu, or Rama. Seemingly, Rama was the most popular, as in "Ramathibodhi". However, Buddhist influence was also evident, as many times the king's title and "unofficial" name "Dhammaraja", an abbreviation of the Buddhist Dharmaraja. The two former concepts were re-established, with a third, older concept taking hold. This concept was called "Devaraja" (Thai: เทวราชา) (or "divine king"), which was an idea borrowed by the Khmer Empire from the Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms of Java, especially the idea of a scholar class based on Hindu Brahmins. The concept centered on the idea that the king was an incarnation (avatar) of the god Vishnu and that he was a Bodhisattva (enlightened one), therefore basing his power on his religious power, his moral power, and his purity of blood.
The king, portrayed by state interests as a semi-divine figure, then became—through a rigid cultural implementation—an object of worship and veneration to his people. From then on the monarchy was largely removed from the people and continued under a system of absolute rule. Living in palaces designed after Mount Meru ("home of the gods" in Hinduism), the kings turned themselves into a "Chakravartin", where the king became an absolute and universal lord of his realm. Kings demanded that the universe be envisioned as resolving around them, and expressed their powers through elaborate rituals and ceremonies. For four centuries these kings ruled Ayutthaya, presiding over some of the greatest period of cultural, economic, and military growth in Thai History.'
+ Monarchy of Thailand:
"Thailand has been a peaceful nation for a long time; this is because of the existence of national solidarity and because members of society have performed their duty in a complementary manner with each other for the interest of the whole nation. Thais ought to recognise this situation and must continue to perform at the best of their intention for the achievement of common interest; that is safety and security of the Thai nation."
+ "Last Speech of Thailand's King Bhumibol" (2013):
'In February 1927, in a hotel on the Rue du Sommerard in Paris, France, a small group of seven military and civilian students assembled to debate the founding of a party to try to bring change to Siam. Intent on not wanting to repeat the failure of the 1912 plot, they laid out a clear and coherent plan to change Siam. This group included two young students: one a soldier and an artilleryman Plaek Khittasangkha, the other a law student and radical Pridi Panomyong. The group called themselves the "Promoters" (ผู้ก่อการ), hoping to return home to try to promote change. The Promoters realised, ironically, as the king's advisors had done, that the Siamese people were not yet ready for democracy, and most were illiterate peasants with little concern for affairs in Bangkok. In Bangkok itself, the new and emerging middle class was dependent on the patronage of the aristocracy for jobs and positions. As a result, they realised that a "mass revolution" was not possible and only a military-led coup d'état was possible. For this purpose a vanguard party was formed and it was named the Khana Ratsadon (คณะราษฎร) (or the People's Party).
Prayoon Pamornmontri, one of the seven Promoters, himself an army officer, and former Royal Page of King Vajiravudh, took it upon himself to try to recruit for the party influential and powerful members who also wanted to see the end of absolute monarchy and power of the princes. One officer he had a connection with was the Deputy Inspector of Artillery, Colonel Phraya Phahol Pholpayuhasena. An affable man and popular within the army, he immediately joined the party and gave it his support. The second senior officer was Colonel Phraya Songsuradet. Considered one of the best minds of his generation, he was the Director of Education at the Military Academy. Both had studied abroad and were eager for change. Songsuradet instantly became the party's tactician, advising it should first secure Bangkok militarily and eventually the country would follow. He also advised the Promoters to be more secretive to avoid official and police detection. Eventually, he approached his friend Colonel Phraya Ritthiakhaney, commander of the Bangkok Artillery, who shared his concerns about the princes' domination over the army and eventually he, too, joined the party. Finally, they were joined by Phra Phrasasphithayayut, another discontented officer. Forming what was known within the party as the "Four Musketeers" (4 ทหารเสือ, Four Tiger Soldiers), the most senior members of the party they eventually became its leaders.
By the evening of the 24th the Promoters were confident enough to call a senior ministerial meeting. In the meeting Pridi tried to persuade senior civil servants to support the Khana Ratsadon, asking them for support and telling them to remain united, lest the semblance of confusion lead to foreign intervention. Pridi asked the foreign ministry to dispatch to all foreign missions a document stating that the party was committed to protecting foreign lives and business and to fulfilling Siam's treaty obligations. King Prajadhipok returned to Bangkok on 26 June. His first immediate action was to give a royal audience to the Promoters. As the members entered the room the king rose and greeted them by saying: "I rise in honour of the Khana Ratsadon". It was an extremely significant gesture, as in Siamese culture the king always remains seated when their subjects offer homage, not the reverse. This led to Pridi apologising to the monarch for defaming him in the manifesto; subsequently, all known copies were pulled from circulation. The king responded to this act by affixing his royal seal on a document exonerating all members of the Khana Ratsadon for the coup.
The Khana Ratsadon then released all their hostages with the exception of Prince Paribatra, whom they considered too powerful. They asked him to leave the country instead. He later left for Java, never to return. Other princes went into voluntary exile in other Southeast Asian countries, and some others in Europe. In the immediate aftermath of the revolution, Prajadhipok and the Khana Ratsadon immediately set about granting the Siamese people their first constitution. The temporary charter was signed on 27 June 1932 at 17:00. It was a draft document written by Pridi in advance. The constitution began by announcing that: "the highest power in the land belongs to all people." The constitution basically stripped the king of all of his ancient powers such as his power of veto, power of pardon, and the right to even confirm his own successor and heir. The constitution removed the monarchy's powers, without actually abolishing the office itself. The constitution created a People's Committee (คณะกรรมการราษฎร, the executive) and an Assembly of People's Representatives (รัฐสภาผู้แทนราษฎร) made up of 70 appointed Members.
The first session of the People's Assembly convened in the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall on 28 June 1932. The charter however did not last long. By the end of the year a new more moderate permanent constitution would be signed, on 10 December. This constitution eventually gave back to monarch many powers it had lost in the previous charter, the monarchy was once again held "sacred and inviolable". The Assembly of People's Representatives was expanded to include 156 members, 76 elected and 76 appointed. The democratic restrictions were removed and the government scheduled Siam's first election in October 1933.'
+ Siamese Revolution of 1932:
"At the lesser of the three intermediate levels of the path of meditation, the pāramitā of meditation is perfected. All the obscurations associated with distraction are purified. Twelve sets of one billion qualities are gained, such as the ability to enter into and arise from one billion samādhi meditations in a single instant, and so on. One can take birth as a ruler of Enjoying Emanations.
This fifth bhūmi is called ‘Difficult Training’, because bodhisattvas at this stage can remain in samādhi for their own benefit and simultaneously strive to accomplish the welfare of others."
"At the intermediate of the three intermediate levels of the path of meditation, the pāramitā of wisdom is perfected. All the obscurations associated with ignorance and delusion are purified. Twelve sets of ten billion qualities are gained, such as the ability to enter into and arise from ten billion samādhi meditations in a single instant, and so on. One can take birth as a ruler of Tuṣita.
This sixth bhūmi is called ‘Clearly Manifest’, because for bodhisattvas at this stage, all the phenomena of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa are fully evident."
"At the greater of the three intermediate levels of the path of meditation, the pāramitā of skilful means is perfected. All the obscurations associated with lack of skilful means are purified. Twelve sets of one trillion qualities are gained, such as the ability to enter into and arise from a trillion samādhi meditations in a single instant, and so on. One can take birth as a ruler of Controlling Others’ Emanations.
This seventh bhūmi is called ‘Far Progressed’, because it is advanced far beyond the state of samsara."
"These first seven bhūmis are known as the seven impure bhūmis because while we are on these stages impure appearances can still be perceived directly."
+ Guide to the Stages and Paths of the Bodhisattvas:
'In a lifetime of achievements, one of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s most significant is without doubt the development of the Sufficiency Economy philosophy. His Majesty first elaborated his vision to the Thai people in 1974. At that time few people recognized its importance because the country was enjoying robust economic growth and expansion. When the financial bubble burst in 1997, people began to take a second look. Now Sufficiency Economy is given the respect it deserves, not only in Thailand but around the world.
Sufficiency Economy emphasizes the Middle Path in daily living for people of all genders, ages and walks of life. It encourages people to reach a state of self-sufficiency and live in harmony with nature. It can be applied at the individual, community and national and international levels. The philosophy holds that each individual should be conscientious in their daily conduct and strive to lead a joyful and moderate life.
At the community level, people should join hands in activities and participate in the decision-making process, promote continuous education and appropriately apply technology in the development of the community. At the national level, holistic development should be promoted to create balance in terms of society, economics and resources. The country’s domestic potential should be analyzed to guide the types of goods and services to be promoted.
The Sufficiency Economy can be applied at every level of organization, be it family, school, institution, corporation or government, but it has to start with individuals. In contrast to the top-down solutions that never seem to work, the Sufficiency Economy is going from the bottom to the top, from the smallest unit and expanding ever wider. As His Majesty said, “development must burst from within.”
According to His Majesty, the philosophy of Sufficiency Economy is embodied in three principles: Moderation, Reasonableness and Self-immunity. Moderation means not going to extremes, proceeding with interdependence and with caution. Reasonableness means acting with flexibility and without excess; shunning overindulgence and luxury but taking care to provide enough to guarantee a good lifestyle. Self-immunity means that all people have sufficient protection from internal and external factors...
On December 4, 1988, His Majesty proclaimed that the Sufficiency Economy is not only for the Thai people but for everyone in the world. This is absolutely correct, as the wisdom of the philosophy is in no way diminished by national borders. It can be applied as a way of thinking and living to protect our world, from global warming for example.'
+ The Life and Work of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej:
'The facts and achievements of the reign of Thailand's King Bhumibol are well known. This book explores the continually developing wisdom underpinning these remarkable achievements. All Thai kings have repeated the ancient Oath of Accession: "We shall reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese (Thai) people".'
+ King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand: By the Light of Your Wisdom (Vol. 3) :
"Although he admired classical works, it soon became obvious that His Majesty preferred the popular music of his period — jazz. His Majesty soon found his niche in the big band sound, typified by Duke Ellington. He would often be found in his youth practising the saxophone to the strains of the gramophone recordings of the soprano sax of Sidney Bachet and the alto sax of Johnny Hodges in the Duke Ellington Band... For His Majesty, Friday night was music night and he appeared to find that the strain of the working week could be dissipated by an evening of music with his own ‘house band’. This group of courtiers and well-known Thai musicians, such as Phra Chen Duriyang, was called the Aw Saw Band, coming from the initials in Thai of the Ambara Villa where the king had earlier set up a radio broadcasting station. The band was useful for it not only allowed the king to relax but also played a part in His Majesty’s various campaigns. Their sessions were usually broadcast to a large audience by His Majesty’s own radio broadcasting station, for the king is also a ham radio enthusiast with a plethora of radio equipment inside Chitralada Villa. The radio programmes could be punctuated now and then by announcements about vaccinations against polio and other diseases. His Majesty has played an important role in preserving the music of Thailand’s past — its musical heritage. On 6 April, 1966, His Majesty received a large number of Thai composers and musicians in audience and recommended they establish a music society. Following this advice, some of the musicians formed a club which eventually developed into the Music Association of Thailand under Royal Patronage. His Majesty’s cousin, and sometime lyricist, the late H.R.H. Prince Chakrabandhu Bensiri, became its first prestigious president."
+ "The Musical Monarch" (2009):
+ KING BHUMIBOL: Strength of the Land (2009):
'The People's Power Party (Thailand), led by Samak Sundaravej formed a government with five smaller parties. Following several court rulings against him in a variety of scandals, and surviving a vote of no confidence, and protesters blockading government buildings and airports, in September 2008, Sundaravej was found guilty of conflict of interest by the Constitutional Court of Thailand (due to being a host in a TV cooking program), and thus, ended his term in office. He was replaced by PPP member Somchai Wongsawat. As of October 2008, Wongsawat was unable to gain access to his offices, which were occupied by protesters from the People's Alliance for Democracy.
On 2 December 2008, Thailand's Constitutional Court in a highly controversial ruling found the Peoples Power Party guilty of electoral fraud, which led to the dissolution of the party according to the law. It was later alleged in media reports that at least one member of the judiciary had a telephone conversation with officials working for the Office of the Privy Council and one other. The phone call was taped and has since circulated on the Internet. In it, the callers discuss finding a way to ensure the ruling PPP party would be disbanded. Accusations of judicial interference were levelled in the media but the recorded call was dismissed as a hoax. However, in June 2010, supporters of the eventually disbanded PPP were charged with tapping a judge's phone. Immediately following what many media described as a "judicial coup", a senior member of the Armed Forces met with factions of the governing coalition to get their members to join the opposition and the Democrat Party was able to form a government, a first for the party since 2001.
The leader of the Democrat party, and former leader of the opposition, Abhisit Vejjajiva was appointed and sworn-in as the 27th Prime Minister, together with the new cabinet on 17 December 2008. In April 2009, protests by the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD, or "Red Shirts") forced the cancellation of the Fourth East Asia Summit after protesters stormed the Royal Cliff hotel venue in Pattaya, smashing the glass doors of the venue to gain entry, and a blockade prevented the Chinese premier at the time, Wen Jiabao, from attending. The summit was eventually held in Thailand in October 2009. About a year later, a set of new "Red Shirts" protests resulted in 87 deaths (mostly civilian and some military) and 1,378 injured.
When the army tried to disperse the protesters on 10 April 2010, the army was met with automatic gunfire, grenades, and fire bombs from the opposition faction in the army, known as the "watermelon". This resulted in the army returning fire with rubber bullets and some live ammunition. During the time of the "red shirt" protests against the government, there have been numerous grenade and bomb attacks against government offices and the homes of government officials. Gas grenades were fired at "yellow-shirt" protesters, that were protesting against the "red-shirts" and in favour of the government, by unknown gunmen killing one pro-government protester, the government stated that the Red Shirts were firing the weapons at civilians. Red-shirts continued to hold a position in the business district of Bangkok and it was shut down for several weeks.
On 3 July 2011, the oppositional Pheu Thai Party, led by Yingluck Shinawatra (the youngest sister of Thaksin Shinawatra), won the general election by a landslide (265 seats in the House of Representatives, out of 500). She had never previously been involved in politics, Pheu Thai campaigning for her with the slogan 'Thaksin thinks, Pheu Thai acts'. Yingluck is the nation's first female prime minister and her role was officially endorsed in a ceremony presided over by King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The Pheu Thai Party is a continuation of Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai party.'
'In reaching the sixtieth year of his reign, His Majesty had surpassed in length the reign of many of the monarchs with whom he had developed cordial relations over the years, such as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and those from European royal houses such as King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and King Juan Carlos I of Spain. It was no surprise, therefore, that they were pleased to either attend the celebrations in person or send royal representatives to participate on their behalf. The main focus of the world was on the events that were organized between 12 and 13 June 2006, when an assembly of 25 of the world’s monarchs and royal representatives, such as His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah of Brunei Darussalam, His Majesty King Karl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, His Majesty King Mswati III of Swaziland, Emperor Akihito of Japan, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain and Britain’s Prince Andrew, attended festivities, including a royal barge procession, that the government and Thai people had been preparing for over a year.
Prior to the arrival of foreign royalty, however, there were a series of ceremonies and rites that were all part of the important traditions and culture of Thailand with respect to its monarchy. Commencing on 8 June, Their Majesties the King and Queen went to perform a series of religious rites in honour of the previous kings of the Royal House of Chakri who had sacrificed themselves for the peace, progress and prosperity of the country. Within the Amarindra Vinichaya Throne Hall, Their Majesties lit candles to pay homage to the Buddha images on the Busabok Mala Maha Phiman Throne that symbolize the birth day of each Chakri king and lit candles and incense in paying respect to former kings and queens of the Royal House of Chakri and His Majesty’s parents. To the gathering of 26 clerics and senior monks, His Majesty offered commemorative prayer fans. This was followed by Buddhist prayers and, later, a sermon. As is the custom, His Majesty presented new robes to the monks who then chanted prayers dedicated to his royal ancestors. After the pouring of consecrated water, dedicating merits to his royal ancestors, Their Majesties took their leave following the departure of the assembled monks. On the next day, 9 June, after a series of traditional ceremonies, dedicated to all monarchs in Thai history, Their Majesties proceeded to make symbolic sacrificial offerings to former Thai kings at the ceremonial pavilion in front of the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall.
Their Majesties’ appearance on the south balcony was announced by a drum roll and fanfare accompanied by the booming sound of a 21–gun salute given by each of the armed forces and police. While the view of His Majesty sent a loud roar from the tens of thousands of people gathered and awaiting this special audience with their sovereign. The sight from the balcony of a sea of yellow shirted people, yellow being the symbolic colour of His Majesty’s birth day on a Monday, stretching along the length of the street was truly memorable. With His Majesty’s appearance, Buddhist monks nationwide, together with members of other religious groups, simultaneously began to chant blessings amid the sound of gongs and bells. At the end of the Royal Anthem, HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn delivered a speech on behalf of the Royal Family congratulating His Majesty and expressing its best wishes. This was followed by speeches by the Prime Minister, on behalf of the Cabinet, civil servants, officials of the armed forces and the general public, the Parliament President on behalf of Members of Parliament and, finally, by the President of the Supreme Court on behalf of the judiciary.
His Majesty then graciously thanked everyone for their good wishes, commenting that,
“All of you are assembled here to express your genuine and heart-felt greetings and inspiration, for which I thank you. Witnessing the goodwill and unity among all sides and parties gives me great moral support."
At the conclusion, the Royal Anthem was played again and cries of Long Live the King thundered up from the streets.'
+ KING BHUMIBOL: Strength of the Land (2009):
'Thailand was the centre of focus in the international community in 2006 as the country celebrated the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King’s Accession to the Throne. On December 8, 2006, His Majesty the King, accompanied by Her Majesty the Queen, appeared on the balcony of Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall after the Grand Audience and acknowledged the crowd that thronged the Royal Plaza and Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue, all dressed in yellow, the colour of the monarch, and waving flags. It was an image that brought tears to many as they showed their love and respect to their beloved King. Taking part in the celebrations and to personally present their best wishes were a total of 13 monarchs from around the world, while another 12 sent representatives to attend the festivities. The group photograph, taken in the magnificent interior of Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, is considered an historic image with the most number of the world’s monarchs and royal representatives ever taken together in one place at one time. Yet such was the feeling of love and respect that the world’s royal families felt for His Majesty the King, for his longevity, his dedication and sacrifice towards his people and his country. The royal guests were also invited to view the spectacular Royal Barge Procession held especially for this grand occasion, seated in the Royal Thai Navy Auditorium opposite the Grand Palace. On the final day of week-long celebrations a banquet was served in Borommaratchasathit Maholan Hall, the Grand Palace.'
+ The Eighth Decade (1998-2016):
'Thailand has heightened security amid funeral preparations for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered figure who helped unify the nation in his 70-year reign. He was 88.
Here's the latest:
- The Thai cabinet approved a public holiday for government offices Friday. The cabinet is asking the public not to hold any "entertainment activities" for a month, according to an announcement on Thai state television. The holiday is discretionary for private companies.
- Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is the king's appointed successor
- Thousands gathered at the hospital, shouting "Long live the king!"
- Civil servants are ordered to wear black clothes for one year in mourning from Friday
- US President Barack Obama described the king as a man of "grace and warmth"
The announcement came in a statement from the Royal Palace read on state TV Thursday and followed a dayslong outpouring of support since the king was hospitalized October 3. He underwent medical procedures over the weekend.'
+ "Passing of the Great King - CNN Reports from Bangkok" (October 13th, 2016):
"Of the many changes Thailand has undergone since Bhumibol came to the throne, the growth in the nation's economy is among the most spectacular. Largely agrarian when he came to power, Thailand has since become an industrial and service-sector giant and is the second largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. It remains one of the world's top rice producers and has become one of the most popular tourist destinations. It is also a regional manufacturing hub for the motor vehicle industry and hi-tech electronics. As wealth has poured into the country, living standards have risen significantly, upsetting the social balance in a country that leading scholars dubbed a "network monarchy": an extensive network of royal patronage that extends outward from the palace into the rest of society. The largely rural and populous northeast of the country, a region in which Bhumibol worked enthusiastically to promote agricultural and social development, has experienced rising prosperity, creating a growing middle class. The northeast was also a bastion of support for Thaksin, whose populist policies helped generate a political movement that unsettled the established elites. Since Thaksin was toppled in 2006, Thailand has been riven by political instability, as the country divided into political groupings that drew their support from a complex network of associations: on one side, the generally pro-Thaksin red shirts whose support comes mainly from rural communities in the north and east; on the other, the urban and middle class elites, who largely favour a less populist, more paternalistic form of governance. Despite sometimes violent factionalism, all sides claim allegiance to the King. His intense popularity allowed for widespread celebrations of his 80th birthday in 2007, when millions wore yellow, a color associated with the King."
+ Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej: One of the World's Longest-Reigning Monarchs (2016):
'Their Majesties’ son, H.R.H. Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, was conferred the title of Somdech Phra Boroma Orasadhiraj Chao Fah Maha Vajiralongkorn Sayam Makutrajakuman by His Majesty the King on 28 December, 1972, making him the heir to the throne. His Royal Highness was educated in England and Australia, graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Australia, on 9 December, 1975. He has served in the Royal Thai Army since then, first holding the position of Commanding General of the King’s Own Bodyguard Regiment and in 1992 taking up the position of Commanding General, Royal Security Command at the Office of the Supreme Command. Besides holding the rank of General in the Royal Thai Army, the Crown Prince is an Admiral of the Royal Thai Navy and an Air Chief Marshal of the Royal Thai Air Force. Though a career soldier, H.R.H. Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has taken a keen interest in the welfare of the Thai people.
Having once assisted in counter-insurgency programmes in the distant provinces of the country like Trat, he is all too aware of the shortages in health care and other benefits that affect the lives of these people and set up several hospitals in 1977. The Chawang Crown Prince Hospital in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Yaha Crown Prince Hospital in Yala, Saiburi Crown Prince Hospital in Pattani and others in Kalasin, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani were established specifically to fulfill the need in remote areas of the country. His Royal Highness followed up their establishment with personal visits to ensure that the patients are well looked after. He is familiar with the workings of several of His Majesty’s projects, having observed the Royal Medical Unit in action in Narathiwat and visited the Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Centre there.
Perhaps the most significant role of the Crown Prince in recent years has been a representative of his father, a duty that he increasingly takes on as he immerses himself more deeply into the mechanics of being the heir apparent to the Thai throne. He is now familiar with many of the world’s heads of state and royal families, having met, among others, Queen Elizabeth II in October 1996 and Bill Clinton, President of the United States and his wife Hillary in November of the same year. One may say that the Crown Prince is now Thailand’s foremost ambassador, a role that he enthusiastically undertakes, from visiting the Holy See in Rome for an audience with Pope John Paul II in 1985 to the heart of China for meetings with its former leader Deng Xiaoping in 1987. Even with his many duties on behalf of his king and country, the Crown Prince has often accompanied his royal father on visits overseas.
Their Majesties second eldest daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has supported her father in every aspect of his work. Her insights, therefore, are authoritative and invariably truthful.
“One cannot distinguish one project from the other, cannot say this is the king’s, this is the queen’s. Somehow, they are all interlocked,”
she pointed out in 1984, and the same could be said for the projects of the royal children. H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn pays special attention to the education and health of school children. Whereas free school lunches for all children is still a dream, H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, popularly known as Somdech Phra Thep, introduced the idea of school vegetable plots to subsidize the diets of school children. The vegetables grown by the children themselves are a valuable source of vitamins for their daily diet. For all her efforts, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is characteristically modest about her own contribution, preferring instead to frame her work within the context of her father’s example,
“Wherever His Majesty passes will in the succeeding years show a great improvement: the people’s health is better; the environment is better; the economic situation is better. Such improvement makes all our exhausting work and the financial support that has been provided completely worthwhile.”
Besides the day-to-day duties of all the royal children, closely followed each day in televised evening news from the Royal Household, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn tirelessly travels around the kingdom visiting all regions, Central Plains, South, North, Northeast, representing Their Majesties. Even beyond Thai borders to neighbouring Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Princess has visited several times the Agricultural Development and Service Centre in Vientiane, based on His Majesty’s Royal Development Study Centres in Thailand. She has also visited the Orphanage Cultural School about forty kilometres from Vientiane. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is a writer and linguist, speaking several European languages as well as Chinese. She is rarely seen without a notebook and her observations during her travels abroad have appeared in print in Thai over the years.'
+ KING BHUMIBOL: Strength of the Land (2009):
"At the lesser of the three greater levels of the path of meditation, the pāramitā of strength is perfected. All the obscurations associated with lack of strength are purified. Twelve sets of qualities are gained, such as the ability to enter into and arise from, in a single instant, as many samādhi meditations as there are atoms in a hundred thousand great universes of a thousand worlds. One can take birth as a ruler over a first-order universe of a thousand realms.
This eighth bhūmi is called ‘Immovable’, because bodhisattvas who have reached this stage cannot be moved by discerning or non-discerning perceptions. Their five senses and emotional mind are transformed, they gain access to pure realms and make evident both the all-accomplishing wisdom and the wisdom of discernment."
"At the intermediate of the three greater levels of the path of meditation, the pāramitā of aspiration is perfected. All the obscurations associated with unfulfilled aspirations are purified. Twelve sets of qualities are gained, such as the ability to enter into and arise from, in a single instant, as many samādhi meditations as there are atoms in a million great universes. One can take birth as Brahma, the ruler over a second-order universe of one thousand times one thousand worlds."
"This ninth bhūmi is called ‘Perfect Intellect’, because the bodhisattvas who have reached this stage possess perfect discriminating awareness and the like."
"At the greater of the three greater levels of the path of meditation, the pāramitā of primordial wisdom is perfected. Bodhisattvas at this stage are freed from the conceptual obscurations. They gain qualities, such as being able to enter into and arise from, in a single instant, as many samādhis as there are inconceivable atoms in inconceivable buddhafields. Just as before, they possess the twelve sets of qualities, ending with the perfect retinue, which at this stage means being surrounded by as many attendants as there atoms in inconceivable buddhafields. These bodhisattvas can take birth as the ruler of the gods of a pure realm. They serve as the regent of a buddha and bring benefit to others on a vast scale.
This tenth bhūmi is called ‘Cloud of Dharma’, because bodhisattvas who have reached this stage cause rain-like Dharma to fall from the clouds of their dhāraṇī and meditation, upon the fields of beings to be trained."
The Path of No-More-Learning
"At this level, immeasurable rays of light shine out from the bodhisattva’s body and make offerings to all the buddhas of the past, present and future, who send back tremendous rays of empowering light. Subtle cognitive obscurations, which are latent habitual tendencies, are vanquished through the antidote, vajra-like samādhi, and complete and full enlightenment is attained. Of the five paths, this is the fifth. It is called ‘no-more-learning’, because there is no further training to be done on any path."
"When the path of no-more-learning is realized, the bodhisattva reaches the eleventh bhūmi, ‘Universal Radiance’."
+ Guide to the Stages and Paths of the Bodhisattvas:
"Buddhist monks on Friday chanted prayers over the remains of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the riverside Grand Palace in Bangkok, ahead of a traditional royal cremation that will need months to prepare. The world's longest-reigning monarch, worshipped as a father figure during his 70-year reign, died on Thursday in a Bangkok hospital, where he had been treated for years for illnesses affecting his lungs, kidneys, brain and blood. He was 88. A royal convoy, which included heir apparent Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, moved slowly through Bangkok's ancient quarter to the Grand Palace, winding past thousands of somber Thais dressed in black, many of them holding aloft portraits of the king. According to tradition, the bodies of Thai royals are placed in a golden urn. But palace officials said that was no longer upheld and the king's body would be placed in a coffin with a symbolic royal urn near it. Friday's prayers were attended by members of the royal family and senior civil servants. Chanting for the king will take place every evening at 7 p.m. local time, the palace said in a statement, without giving further details."
+ Thailand's King Bhumibol Takes Final Journey Past Grieving Subjects (2016):
+ "Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej Dies at the age of 88" (2016):
'Their Majesties’ youngest daughter, H.R.H. Princess Chulabhorn, is a renowned research chemist who runs her own Chulabhorn Foundation, established in 1986, and the Chulabhorn Research Institute, established in 1987, not far from Bangkok International Airport. She graduated from the Faculty of Science and Arts at Kasetsart University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organic Chemistry, First Class Honours, in 1979. Her Royal Highness completed her doctorate work in Organic Chemistry in 1985, and received her Doctor of Philosophy Degree from Mahidol University in July of the same year. Her Royal Highness has taken a serious interest in the conservation of the environment and the use of natural products. To this end she established the Princess Chulabhorn Science Congress Programme which brought together noted experts who were provided a forum to exchange ideas and notes on various issues. The First Congress for instance, held in Bangkok in December 1987 took as its subject natural products while the Second Congress, in 1992, approached the subjects of the environment, science and technology. Through diligence and an obvious devotion to the development of the sciences in Thailand, the Princess has built up a considerable reputation in scientific circles. She has been recognized internationally by such organizations as the United Nations Environment Programme, to which she was appointed special advisor from 1993 to 1995, the World Health Organization, which made her its Ambassador of Goodwill between 1993 and 1994, the Heritage Trust in England, which made her its Honorary President from 1988 to 1990 and the UN Scientific and Technical Committee for the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, to which she was invited to be a member in 1990.
Due to her international scientific stature, Princess Chulabhorn is often invited to perform professional duties overseas, that is when she is not attending lectures and seminars in order to increase her own knowledge. From 1988 to 1989 she was Visiting Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois, U.S.A. following a one year stint as Visiting Professor at Tokyo University of Agriculture, returning to Japan in 1989 as Visiting Professor at Ehime University. She has also lectured at Stanford, Northwestern and Utah universities in the U.S.A. and Alberta and Montreal universities in Canada, and attended symposia and seminars in her own right as a professor of chemistry many times. All the while she has devoted herself to scientific study, this royal princess has also ensured that her work will be of benefit to the people of her country. Following the devastation by floods of several southern provinces in 1989 for instance, she taught the local people the need to plant trees with deep roots to bind the soil through her Programme on Restoration and Integrated Development of the Flood Affected Areas in Southern Thailand. Several of her special projects are closely linked to those of her father, though under her direct control, like the Saltwater Irrigation for Cultivation of Economic Marine Species and Preservation of Mangrove Forest, and the Special Project for Accelerated Immunization in Five Southern Provinces of Thailand. Like all children of Their Majesties, Princess Chulabhorn gives herself freely to charitable events, sometimes offering her voice or her expertise, for instance, leading the Royal Medical Unit into Battambang in Cambodia in 1993 on a medical mercy mission. Princess Chulabhorn is indeed no exception to the rule that Thailand’s Royal Family is a very hard working family.'
+ KING BHUMIBOL: Strength of the Land (2009):
'There are a total of 40,717 Buddhist temples (Thai: Wat) in Thailand as of 31 December 2004, of which 33,902 are in current use, according to the Office of National Buddhism. Of the 33,902 active temples, 31,890 are of the Maha Nikaya and 1,987 are of the Dhammayuttika Nikaya orders of the Theravada school, while 12 are of the Chinese Nikaya and 13 are of the Anam Nikaya orders of the Mahayana school. Two hundred and seventy-two temples, 217 of the Maha Nikaya order and 55 of the Dhammayut order, hold the status of royal temple. Royal wisungkhamasima (Pali: visuṃ gāmasīmā), official recognition of a temple's legitimacy, has been granted to 20,281 temples. Wat Phra Kaew, or Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is Thailand's primary and most important temple.'
'Wat Phra Kaew (Thai: วัดพระแก้ว, English: Temple of the Emerald Buddha) is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple (wat) in Thailand. The Emerald Buddha housed in the temple is a potent religio-political symbol and the palladium (protective image) of Thai society. It is located in Phra Nakhon District, the historic centre of Bangkok, within the precincts of the Grand Palace. The main building is the central phra ubosot, which houses the statue of the Emerald Buddha. According to legend, this Buddha image originated in India where the sage Nagasena prophesized that the Emerald Buddha would bring "prosperity and pre-eminence to each country in which it resides", the Emerald Buddha deified in the Wat Phra Kaew is therefore deeply revered and venerated in Thailand as the protector of the country. Historical records however dates its finding to Chiang Rai in the 15th century where, after it was relocated a number of times, it was finally taken to Thailand in the 18th century. It was enshrined in Bangkok at the Wat Phra Kaew temple in 1782 during the reign of Phutthayotfa Chulalok, King Rama I (1782–1809). This marked the beginning of the Chakri Dynasty of Thailand, whose current sovereign is Vajiralongkorn, King Rama X.'
+ List of Buddhist temples in Thailand / Wat Phra Kaew:
'King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died peacefully on Thursday, was the world’s longest-reigning monarch, credited with restoring the influence of Thailand’s royalty during 70 years on the throne and earning the devotion of many of his subjects. For the majority of the country’s 68 million people, the king was a pillar of stability in rapidly changing times — Thailand embraced industrialization during his reign but also saw its parliamentary democracy punctuated by 10 military coups, the most recent in May 2014. King Bhumibol, who ascended the throne on June 9, 1946, was seen as a force for unity, and there have long been concerns that the political tensions that have riven Thailand over the past decade could worsen after his death. That may be less likely under the regime of the leader of the most recent coup, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. The former general has held a tight grip on power since toppling the remnants of Thailand’s last democratic government in 2014. “His Majesty has passed away at Siriraj Hospital peacefully,” the palace said in a statement on Thursday, adding he died at 15:52.
Thailand has been divided for years between the royalist establishment and the red-shirted supporters of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup. Telecommunications billionaire Thaksin, now in self-exile, built up a powerful patronage network that competed for power and opportunity with Thailand’s old-money order. The king had been in poor health for some time, and has spent most of the past six years in Bangkok’s Siriraj hospital. The Royal Household Bureau in its statement on Thursday did not give a reason for the king’s death. The king had been treated for a respiratory infection, a build up of fluid surrounding the brain and a swollen lung in the past few months. Born in 1927 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where his father, Prince Mahidol, was studying medicine, King Bhumibol spent much of his early life abroad, first in the United States and then in Switzerland. He became king in 1946 after the still unexplained gunshot death of his elder brother, 20-year-old King Ananda Mahidol who was also known as Rama VIII. King Bhumibol returned to Thailand for good four years later to be crowned King Rama IX.
The saxophone-playing King Bhumibol was a celebrity visitor to foreign capitals in the early years of his reign with Queen Sirikit, a distant cousin whom he married in 1950 shortly before his coronation. Though officially above politics, he first started to speak out on political issues in the 1960s against the backdrop of a creeping communist insurgency. The king’s image as a political truce-maker peaked after bloody clashes in 1992 between pro-democracy protesters and the army. He summoned the protagonists, a former general leading the protests and an army-chief-turned-prime minister, and with the two prostrate before him, ordered them to desist. His intervention led to the subsequent collapse of military rule. The king was seen as semi-divine by many ordinary Thais, an image bolstered by Thailand’s education and legal systems.'
+ Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, World’s Longest-Reigning Monarch, Dies at 88 (2016):
"The Crown Prince led the merit-making ceremony at the Dusit Throne Hall inside the Grand Palace on the occasion of the day that marked the 7th day since the King’s death. He was joined by all royal family members, cabinet members and senior officials. People nationwide also made merit and gave donations. Crowds showed up at centres set up in all provinces and main districts to give morning alms to monks, a form of merit-making for the late King. Government and private sector representatives in the provinces handed out black bows and dyed clothes to mourners who did not have enough black clothing for the mourning period. People were also being instructed in how to make black bows and dye cloth. Farmers from the southernmost province of Narathiwat were sending six tonnes of longkong fruit to the Grand Palace in Bangkok to give away to mourners gathered there. The fruit was expected to reach the palace yesterday afternoon. On Tuesday night (Oct 18) crowds with lit candles packed the road in front of the Klai Kangwon Palace in Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan, in remembrance of King Bhumibol. They sang songs praising the late King and there was also a jazz concert of the late King’s compositions. As is customary, full merit-making ceremonies will be held on the 7th, 50th and 100th days after the passing of the King, before the body is cremated. After that, they will be held annually."
+ Merit Making on 7th Day of King’s Passing (2016):
+ "Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Life and Legacy" (2016):
"HM Preah Bat Samdech Preah Baromneath Norodom Sihamoni, HH Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, HH Sheikha Moza Bin Nasir Al-Musnad, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HM King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein, His Majesty Emperor Akihito, Her Majesty Empress Michiko, HRH the Prince Consort of Denmark (Prince Henrik), HRH Crown Prince Tupouto'a, HRH Crown Prince Haakon, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Prince Sverre Magnus, HRH the Prince of Orange (HRH Prince Willem-Alexander), HRH Princess Máxima, HH Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, HM Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Muizzaddin Waddaulah, Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, HRH Crown Prince Philippe, HRH Princess Mathilde, HRH Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, HM Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Ibni Al-Marhum Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail - The Yang di-Pertuan Agong XII, HM Tuanku Fauziah binti Al-Marhum Tengku Abdul Rashid - The Raja Permaisuri Agong, HSH Prince Albert II, HRH Princess Lalla Salma, HRH Grand Duke Henri, His Serene Highness Hereditary Prince Alois, HRH Princess Sophie, HM King Letsie III, HM Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso, HM Queen Sofia, HM King Mswati III, Her Royal Highness Inkhosikati LaDube, the Royal Consort of His Majesty King Mswati III, HM King Carl XVI Gustaf, HM Queen Silvia, HH General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi , Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces), HRH The Duke of York, & HH Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq Taimour Al Said (Advisor to the Sultan)."
+ Heads of State and Royal Families Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej's Coronation (2006):
'From the time the Thai people established the kingdom of Sukhothai, the first Thai kingdom in Southeast Asia, around BE 1800 (CE 1250) most of the Thai people have upheld Buddhism as their main religion down to the present day. King Ramkhamhaeng, the third king of the Sukhothai Kingdom (reigned BE 1822– 1843), invited senior Lankan monks (thera) to journey with their company from Nakhon Sri Thammarat to establish the Lankan order of Theravāda Buddhism in Sukhothai. The king appointed the Elder Mahāsāmī, the leader of the group, to the position of Supreme (ecclesiastical) Patriarch (saṅgharāja), with a rank higher than all other monks in the kingdom, and he supported Buddhism fully. This is why the kind of Buddhism that later became known as “Lankan Buddhism” enjoyed growth and stability in the Sukhothai kingdom. There was widespread study of the Buddha’s words (Buddhavacana) recorded in the Canon, which led to the arising of Thailand’s first great Buddhist scholar, King Lithai the Great, the fifth king of the Sukhothai kingdom and author of Tebhūmikathā, more commonly known as Traiphum Phra Ruang, the first research work in the history of the Thai people. For this he studied at least 30 primary and secondary texts (pakaraṇa) in the Pāli language.
Administration of the Sangha in the Sukhothai and Ayudhaya periods In terms of administration, the Saṅgha in the time of Sukhothai was divided into two groups, the gāmavāsī and the araññavāsī. Gāmavāsī were monks who lived in monasteries (wat) within the cities or in rural villages. The duties of these monks emphasized ganthadhura—study of the Buddhavacana and teaching the Dhamma to the people. Araññavāsī monks lived in forest monasteries. Their duties emphasized vipassanādhura, the practice of calm (samatha) and insight (vipassanā) meditation for attaining the transcendence of suffering. Administration of the Saṅgha in each of the city (gāmavāsī) and forest (araññavāsī) wats was done by the abbot, just as it is now. All wats in the kingdom, regardless of whether they were gāmavāsī or araññavāsī, were also subject to the administration of the Supreme Patriarch (saṅgharāja) appointed by the king. In the Ayudhaya kingdom, the second Thai kingdom of the Indo Chinese peninsula, administration of the Saṅgha still followed the Sukhothai system. Later it was slightly adapted from that, with the Saṅgha divided into three groups as follows:
1. The “right side” gāmavāsī: the gāmavāsī monks according to the Sukhothai model.
2. The “left side” gāmavāsī: the monks affiliated with a group that traveled to Lanka to receive re-ordination, and when they returned to Thailand established their own group of gāmavāsī monks.
3. Araññavāsī: the monks who lived in forest monasteries, or meditation monasteries according to the model handed down from the Sukhothai period...
For each of these “sectors” a high-ranking thera (elder) served as the head with the responsibility of overseeing the administration of all the wats and the monks under his jurisdiction. The Supreme Patriarch held the position of supreme head of all the monks in the kingdom. As for the king, not only was he the head of the kingdom, but he was also legally the highest administrator of the Saṅgha, having the power to appoint or dismiss the Supreme Patriarch as he saw fit.'
+ ADMINISTRATION OF THE THAI SANGHA: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE (2002):
'Rajabhat University has taken up the directive granted by His Majesty the King for a research and development project on the royally initiated learning pattern known as the "Learn Wisely" method, as a valid concept that results in true learning, and wisdom in learners, under the four principles of the "Learn Wisely" strategies:
- Determination with faith, as the strong will to seek knowledge in good faith, from proper and careful consideration, with impartiality and rationality.
- Seeking knowledge with morality, referring to self-development in the following manners:
- In developing oneself, academic knowledge is needed for future work on the one hand, while moral knowledge is necessary for behavioral development on the other hand.
- The learning has to be complete and thorough, with three means of learning, as explained in His Majesty the King's royal address on 25 June 1981, when he stated that one could learn in three ways, from others' acquired knowledge and ideas, through contemplating by oneself, and through practicing to achieve results. The three means of learning must be in harmony, contributing to one another. Such a complete learning results in desirable personal qualities such as diligence, perseverance, assiduity, and thoroughness.
- The learning must be done with impartiality.
- The learning needs to be complete and thorough, with the clear understanding that all disciplines are linked and contributing to one another.
- Bringing the knowledge into real use wisely, that is, through the use of wisdom to adapt both theoretical and practical knowledge to suit the condition, with honesty and in good faith, showing responsibility toward the discipline and the public.
- Keeping abreast with changes and new developments. Knowledge has to be reviewed and developed in line with the social conditions and the environment.'
'Another learning method suggested by His Majesty is accumulating, as continuous learning, building upon the existing accumulated knowledge as a strong foundation. In a royal address on 30 June 1976, he stated:
"No academic knowledge can be acquired all at once. One has to gradually accumulate the knowledge until it is broad-based and comprehensive. In learning, it is necessary gradually to build up what is learnt, as the base for higher and more in-depth knowledge."
His Majesty not only stressed the accumulation of knowledge, but also emphasized the need to enhance the quality of education at all levels, from kindergarten and elementary schools, to prepare students for higher learning, as stated in a royal address on the eve of his birthday anniversary on 4 December 2003:
"Talking about the well-being of the people, the improvement of education is essential. Without good education, people cannot earn their living. The emphasis must be at all levels. If we talk about higher education and the need for scientists of high standing, we must start from elementary or kindergarten levels. Without a good foundation, there is no way to build up higher levels of learning. Presently the base is still weak. When we build on such a foundation, something horrible such as bomb-makers might be the result."
His Majesty the King gave a warning about the need for a high quality of education at all levels. He pointed out that without a good and strong base, at elementary and secondary levels, higher education could not be built in a satisfactory way. Without good education, career development is affected.'
+ King Bhumibol and His Enlightened Approach to Teaching:
"Loyal subjects across the Kingdom organized merit-making ceremonies in dedication to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, marking the 15th day since his passing. In the Northeast, a number of civil servants and local residents in Kalasin province together made merit for the late King at Wat Pracha Niyom in the capital district. The ceremony featured prayers as well as the offering of saffron robes, food and necessities to monks. In the capital district of Ubon Ratchathani, a chapter of ten monks led the locals in holding nine minutes of prayers for His Majesty at Wat Maha Wanaram. In the North, mourners offered alms to 89 monks at Wat Si Khom Kham in Phayao province, dedicating the merit to the beloved monarch on the 15th day of his death. Uttaradit province also held an alms-giving ceremony for 30 monks in front of Wat Khlong Pho, followed by Buddhist, Christian and Muslim prayers for the late King. Similar activities also took place at Wat Kaphang Surin in the southern province of Trang and Wat Yai Intharam in the eastern province of Chon Buri, where local people prayed, listened to sermons and offered alms to Buddhist monks. In the central region, residents flocked to Wat Bang Phli Yai Klang in Samut Prakan to participate in the merit-making ceremony to observe the 15th day since the King’s passing. The people of Samut Prakan feel greatly indebted to His Majesty, who visited the province several times and introduced many of his projects in the area, including the Industrial Ring Road and the Khlong Lat Pho Floodgate. "
+ Thais Nationwide Make Merit for Late King on 15th Day of Passing (2016):
+ Royal Cremation Ceremony for H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Oct-26-2017):
'Thaksin initiated several highly controversial policies to counter a perceived boom in the Thai drug market, particularly in methamphetamine. Earlier policies like border blocking (most methamphetamine is produced in Myanmar), education, sports, and promoting peer pressure had proved ineffective. In a 4 December 2002 speech on the eve of his birthday, King Bhumibol noted the rise in drug use and called for a "War on Drugs." Privy Councillor Phichit Kunlawanit called on the government to use its majority in parliament to establish a special court to deal with drug dealers, stating that "if we execute 60,000 the land will rise and our descendants will escape bad karma".
On 14 January 2003, Thaksin launched a campaign to rid "every square inch of the country" of drugs in three months. It consisted of changing the punishment policy for drug addicts, setting provincial arrest and seizure targets including "blacklists", awarding government officials for achieving targets and threatening punishment for those who failed to make the quota, targeting dealers, and "ruthless" implementation. In the first three months, Human Rights Watch reports that 2,275 people were killed, almost double the number normally killed in drug-related violence. The government claimed that only around 50 of the deaths were at the hands of the police, the rest being drug traffickers who were being silenced by their dealers and their dealers' dealers. Human rights critics claimed a large number were extrajudicially executed. The government went out of its way to publicise the campaign, through daily announcements of arrest, seizure, and death statistics. According to the Narcotics Control Board, the policy was effective in reducing drug consumption, especially in schools, by increasing the market price.
King Bhumibol, in a 2003 birthday speech, praised Thaksin and criticised those who counted only dead drug dealers while ignoring deaths caused by drugs.
"ไอ้การชัยชนะของการปราบไอ้ยาเสพติดนี่ ดีที่ปราบ แล้วก็ที่เขาตำหนิบอกว่า เอ้ย คนตาย ตั้ง ๒,๕๐๐ คน อะไรนั่น เรื่องเล็ก ๒,๕๐๐ คน ถ้านายกฯ ไม่ได้ทำ นายกฯ ไม่ได้ทำ ทุกปี ๆ จดไว้นะ มีมากกว่า ๒,๕๐๐ คนที่ตาย"
"Victory in the War on Drugs is good. They may blame the crackdown for more than 2,500 deaths, but this is a small price to pay. If the prime minister failed to curb [the drug trade], over the years the number of deaths would easily surpass this toll."
Bhumibol also asked the commander of the police to investigate the killings. Police Commander Sant Sarutanond reopened investigations into the deaths, and again claimed that few of the deaths were at the hands of the police.
The war on drugs was widely criticised by the international community. Thaksin requested that the UN Commission on Human Rights send a special envoy to evaluate the situation, but said in an interview, "The United Nations is not my father. I am not worried about any UN visit to Thailand on this issue." After the 2006 coup, the military junta appointed a committee to investigate the anti-drug campaign. Former Attorney General Kanit Na Nakorn led the committee. Concerning the committee's results The Economist reported in January 2008: "Over half of those killed in 2003 had no links to the drugs trade. The panel blamed the violence on a government 'shoot-to-kill' policy based on flawed blacklists. But far from leading to the prosecutions of those involved, its findings have been buried. The outgoing interim prime minister, Surayud Chulanont, took office vowing to right Mr Thaksin's wrongs. Yet this week he said there was insufficient evidence to take legal action over the killings. It is easy to see why the tide has turned. Sunai Phasuk, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, a lobbying group, says that the panel's original report named the politicians who egged on the gunmen. But after the PPP won last month's elections, those names were omitted."
While he was opposition leader, Abhisit Vejjajiva accused Thaksin of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the campaign. After being appointed Prime Minister, Abhisit opened an investigation into the killings, claiming that a successful probe could lead to prosecution by the International Criminal Court. Former attorney-general Kampee Kaewcharoen led the investigation and the investigation committee was approved by Abhisit's Cabinet. Abhisit denied that the probe was politically motivated. Witnesses and victims were urged to report to the Department of Special Investigation, which operated directly under Abhisit's control. As of the August 2011 parliamentary elections, Abhisit's investigation failed to find or publicise any conclusive evidence linking Thaksin or members of his Government to any extrajudicial killings.'
'Protests recommenced in late 2013, as a broad alliance of protestors, led by former opposition deputy leader Suthep Thaugsuban, demanded an end to the so-called Thaksin regime. A blanket amnesty for people involved in the 2010 protests, altered at the last minute to include all political crimes – including all convictions against Thaksin – triggered a mass show of discontent, with numbers variously estimated between 98,500 (the police) and 400,000 (an aerial photo survey done by the Bangkok Post), taking to the streets. The Senate was urged to reject the bill to quell the reaction, but the measure failed. A newly named group, the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) along with allied groups, escalated the pressure, with the opposition Democrat party resigning en masse to create a parliamentary vacuum. Protesters demands variously evolved as the movement's numbers grew, extending a number of deadlines and demands that became increasingly unreasonable or unrealistic, yet attracting a groundswell of support. They called for the establishment of an indirectly elected “people’s council”—in place of Yingluck's government—that will cleanse Thai politics and eradicate the Thaksin regime.
In response to the intensive protests, Yingluck dissolved parliament on 9 December 2013 and proposed a new election for 2 February 2014, a date that was later approved by the election commission. The PDRC insisted that the prime minister stand down within 24 hours, regardless of her actions, with 160,000 protesters in attendance at Government House on 9 December. Yingluck insisted that she would continue her duties until the scheduled election in February 2014, urging the protesters to accept her proposal: "Now that the government has dissolved parliament, I ask that you stop protesting and that all sides work towards elections. I have backed down to the point where I don't know how to back down any further."
In response to the Electoral Commission (EC)'s registration process for party-list candidates—for the scheduled election in February 2014—anti-government protesters marched to the Thai-Japanese sports stadium, the venue of the registration process, on 22 December 2013. Suthep and the PDRC led the protest, of which security forces claimed that approximately 270,000 protesters joined. Yingluck and the Pheu Thai Party reiterated their election plan and anticipate presenting a list of 125 party-list candidates to the EC. On 7 May 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that Yingluck would have to step down as the Prime Minister as she was deemed to have abused her power in transferring a high-level government official. On 21 August 2014 she was replaced by army chief General Prayut Chan-o-cha.'
'Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn has completed his ascension to the throne as King Rama X of Thailand. He will be known officially as His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. The full name of the King in Pali means “Vajiralongkorn Descended by Flesh and Blood of God Indra, Overlord of all Angels”, but the Thai people will mostly refer to him as King Rama X.
“I accept the invitation to fulfill the wish of His Majesty the Late King and for the benefit of all Thai people,” said His Majesty the King during the audience.
The new King led the Buddhist rites marking the 50th day since his father’s death today at the Grand Palace which will continue through Friday.
Surprisingly, the ascension of the new King was made retroactive to 13 October 2016, the day of his father’s death. The then Crown Prince had asked for his ascension to be postponed to give him time to mourn. His father, Bhumibol Adulyadej, died at the age of 88 after long year of ill health. The Crown Prince has a reputation of being a playboy and he has divorced three wives. He has a total of seven children, some of whom were stripped of their titles after the divorce from their mother. The Crown Prince spent much of his time away from Thailand. He owns property in southern Germany and he returned there shortly after the death of his father. He only returned to Thailand earlier today.
The government has declared a full year of mourning for the late King and the people of Thailand have been paying their respects at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. His body will eventually be cremated, although the elaborate pyre is not expected to be completed for several months. The coronation of the new King will only take place after the cremation.'
+ Thailand’s Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn Becomes King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (2016):
'Thailand entered a yearlong mourning period Friday as thousands of people wearing black took to the streets of Bangkok to observe the royal funeral procession of their beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died Thursday at age 88... The funeral procession, in which the monarch’s body was transported from the capital’s Siriraj Hospital to the Grand Palace, comes as the country begins a yearlong mourning period, during which time civil servants are expected to wear black. For the next 30 days, state agency flags will be flown at half-staff and citizens are expected to refrain from taking part in public festivities. Since Bhumibol’s death, Thai television stations and international channels were replaced with black-and-white broadcasts featuring footage of the king throughout his nearly 70-year reign. Thai newspapers followed suit by publishing without color.'
+ Royal Cremation Ceremony For Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Oct 26, 2017):
'King Bhumibol was 24 when he finished his education and returned to Thailand permanently in 1951, as Thais were trying to put their wartime occupation by Japan behind them and rebuild ties with the West. The early years of his reign were marred by friction with the country's postwar government. "When I'd open my mouth and suggest something, they'd say: 'Your Majesty, you don't know anything'," he recalled in an interview in 1989. "So I shut my mouth. I know things, but I shut my mouth." But despite having little actual power in those early days, King Bhumibol worked to revive abandoned Chakri traditions and through many appearances around the country boosted the royal prestige. Senior courtiers and others helped him steer the monarchy into being the country's central institution.
The king created foundations that became operational bases for his philanthropy and development work. His patronage spread through thousands of projects, such as tackling leprosy and tuberculosis and establishing hospitals and clinics and schemes including fish breeding and dairying in rural areas. He presented scholarships and awards to improve the country's poor healthcare system. He helped the poor and disadvantaged, creating the belief among many Thais that he was the source of his kingdom's harmony and Buddhist spirit. He became particularly preoccupied with improving the lives of farmers.
Remaining on the throne during 29 changes of prime minister, 16 coups and 16 constitutions, his stature and political acumen grew while communist revolutions and other turmoil toppled the ancient monarchies of neighbouring Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. By the 1960s royalists allied with the Thai military had resecured the monarchy's financial base and resacralised the institution. Although Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, the king retained more power than the Queen or other constitutional monarchs. He could veto laws passed by parliament, pardon convicted criminals and approve or disapprove cabinet ministers. His pet development projects received priority funding.
"With his image of devotion to the peasantry, constant ceremonial presence, promotion as the centrepiece of national identity and increasing longevity, the king's baramee (accumulated merit) steadily increased," historians Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit wrote, referring to the 1980s.
Thais overwhelmingly saw the king as an earnest, hardworking and gentle ruler with an impeccably simple lifestyle. Slim and impassive, he cut an imposing public figure in royal ceremonies until ill health confined him to a wheelchair when he was in his 80s. He spoke five languages and was a musician, sailor, painter, writer, inventor and photographer. His picture hangs in many Thai homes and offices and Thais stand in respect when a video of him is shown in movie theatres. They prostrated themselves when they were presented before him. Schools taught respect for him and the notion of his near-infallibility and beneficence. One of the king's greatest loves was music. He played the clarinet and saxophone and was a composer. For many years musicians gathered at Bangkok's Chitralada Palace for jam sessions. He always carried his trademark camera.'
+ Life and Times of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej (2016):
'King Bhumibol Adulyadej, an obscure princeling born afar who became patriarch of Thailand, died Thursday in Bangkok at 88, ending his unprecedented reign of 70 years. Years of poor health during which His Majesty was mostly confined to Siriraj Hospital, away from the eyes of a public which kept looking for him to be a unifying figure in his riven kingdom, ended at 3:52pm, according to a statement by the Royal Household Bureau. It did not specify a cause of death. “Although the team of doctors have provided close care and treatment to their utmost ability, his illness did not subside and only worsened,” the statement said.
Bhumibol, whose reign began in 1946 as the ninth in his dynasty, had not been seen publicly in 10 months. The deterioration of his health in recent years had been a source of prolonged anxiety for a nation where he was widely revered as demigod... Bhumibol, who’s also known as Rama IX of House Chakri, is survived by his 84-year-old wife, Queen Sirikit, and his four children: Ubolratana Rajakanya, Sirindhorn, Chulabhorn Walailak and Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, to whom the throne is set to pass.
Born in the United States in 1927 to a little-known nobleman, Bhumibol evolved from the younger years as a secluded, Western-educated, jazz-loving college boy in Switzerland to a reluctant king in Thailand where a democratic revolution decades earlier stripped the monarchy of its traditional glory. The Cold War later turned him into an adept politician who survived numerous coups and Communist insurgency before he attained the deification as the saintly father figure in his later years.'
+ KING BHUMIBOL, MONARCH AND FATHER TO MILLIONS, 88 (2016):
'PRINCESS SIRINDHORN: The most beloved royal after her father, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is commonly referred to as "Pra Thep" — or "Princess Angel" — an abbreviated version of her ceremonial title. The 61-year-old princess is often mistakenly referred to as the "Crown Princess," due in part to wishful thinking among Thais and vague language in Thailand's succession laws that have created speculation she could ascend to the throne. The king and queen's third child has a down-to-earth reputation despite her royal status. When taking field trips to rural Thailand, the princess is often spotted with a camera around her neck, scribbling in a notebook, in much the same way the king did in his younger, more active years. Sirindhorn has never married and does not have children.
+ H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirindhorn
PRINCESS UBOLRATANA: The eldest child of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit was born on April 5, 1951, in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the young king was studying at the time. She was raised in Thailand and engaged in several activities that the king enjoyed, including sailing. The father and daughter won a gold medal in a sailing competition at the Southeast Asian Games in 1967. Ubolratana graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973 with a biochemistry degree. She married an American, Peter Ladd Jensen, and as a result was stripped of her royal title under palace law. They had three children but later divorced, and Ubolratana returned to Thailand and took part in royal duties. Her son, Poom Jensen, was lost in the 2004 tsunami. Her two daughters live in the U.S. The princess spearheaded an anti-drug campaign among Thai youth and hosts a TV talk show, giving advice to teenagers.
+ H.R.H. Princess Ubol Ratana: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubol_Ratana
PRINCESS CHULABHORN WALAILAK: The king and queen's youngest child was born July 4, 1957, in Bangkok. She has supported a variety of scientific work in the country and was awarded an Einstein Medal from UNESCO in 1986 for her efforts in promoting science. She has worked as a veterinarian at a university animal hospital. She had two daughters with an air force officer before they divorced in 1996. Princess Chulabhorn likes to play the guzheng, or Chinese zither, and is a fan of Chinese culture.
+ H.R.H. Princess Chulabhorn: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chulabhorn
PRINCESS BAJRAKITIYABHA: The first grandchild of the king and the queen, Princess Bajrakitiyabha or "Ong Pa" was born to Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn and his first wife and cousin Princess Soamsawali on December 7, 1978. She went to Thammasat University in Bangkok, where she studied law, and received a doctoral degree at Cornell University in the U.S. She was appointed goodwill ambassador for U.N. women in 2008 and named the Thai ambassador to Austria in 2012. She later returned home to become a public prosecutor. Among other charity projects, the princess focused on working against violence against women and initiated a project that aims at improving the conditions for female inmates and their children in correctional facilities.
+ H.R.H. Princess Bajrakitiyabha: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bajrakitiyabha
PRINCESS SIRIVANNAVARI NARIRATANA: Born in 1987, Princess Sirivannavari is the youngest of five children born to the crown prince and his second wife. The princess's four brothers all migrated to the United States with their mother and do not have royal titles. Sirivanavari has interests in sports and fashion. She represented Thailand in badminton and equestrian events at regional sports competitions. She also studied fashion and textiles at the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts at Chulalongkorn University and studied couture at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. She has shown catwalk collections in Paris and Bangkok and has her own fashion clothing line "Sirivannavari." She is a regular at the Paris Fashion Week.'
+ H.R.H. Sirivannavari Nariratana: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirivannavari_Nariratana
+ A Look at Prominent Members of Thailand's Royal Family (2016):
"King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebpayavarangkun with Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Members of the Royal family of the Chakri Dynasty proceed with the funeral of King Bhumibol Adulyadej King of Thailand at the Dusit Maha Prasat Hall of the Grand Palace. (December 2, 2016 - 11.00 AM)"
+ "14 Oct. 17 :: King Bhumibol's Royal Funeral - พระราชพิธี 1 ปีวันสวรรคต รัชกาลที่ 9" (2017):
"His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun on Friday led a merit-making ceremony at the Grand Palace to mark the 50th day of mourning for King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The King, accompanied by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali and other royal family members, arrived at the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall inside the Grand Palace for the religious ceremony on Friday morning. Merit-making ceremonies were also held across the country to mark the 50th day of mourning for King Bhumibol. The late King Rama IX passed away on Oct 13."
+ HM the King Makes Merit to Mark 50 Days of Mourning (2016):
'Most Thais have only known King Bhumibol on the throne and his influence has superseded that of bickering politicians since the closing days of the second world war. As soon as the palace confirmed the news, the crowd outside Siriraj hospital let out a cry and mourners hugged each other. Some people were wearing yellow – the king’s colour – but many more wore pink, which was named years ago by royal astrologers as a colour beneficial for the monarch’s wellbeing. They had been chanting “long live the king” for much of the day.
Although Bhumibol had been ill for much of the past decade, some people were shocked on hearing he had died. Dozens of mourners who had spent much of the past week at the hospital on the west side of the Chao Phraya river made their way back to central Bangkok dazed and fatigued. “When we saw the news that he was ill, we just hoped it was fake news,” said a woman after stepping off the boat. Another mourner, 24-year-old student Tachpon Techarang, said Thais had spent the evening sending consoling messages to friends and family.
During the king’s reign, there have been close to 20 attempted or successful coups – the last one in May 2014 when a military junta seized power – but the monarchy has remained revered. That Thailand’s many civilian and military leaders crawled on the floor in the presence of the king illustrated how Bhumibol kept the executive in check even with the country ostensibly in a continual state of flux. His constant presence made Thailand one of the most widely cited development successes, becoming an upper-income country in less than a generation. He successfully negotiated many times with military leaders to return democracy to the country, but finally left Thailand to the army.
Critics of the military junta say it used its support for the monarchy as a pretext for grabbing power from the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister of Thaksin Shinawatra, who was also deposed by the military in 2006 and fled the country. The constitutional monarch had been treated by doctors for “water on the brain” and a chest infection in August 2015. On Sunday, the palace said his condition had become unstable. During the closing years of his life, he was mostly hidden from the public, occasionally wheeled out on a bespoke sandy-coloured chair to tour a new supermarket or visit a palace. During these outings, Thais kneeled on the road, some crying as their expressionless and silent monarch passed by.'
+ Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej Dies after 70-Year Reign (2016):
'King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who took the throne of the kingdom once known as Siam shortly after World War II and held it for more than 70 years, establishing himself as a revered personification of Thai nationhood, died on Thursday in Bangkok. He was 88 and one of the longest-reigning monarchs in history... King Bhumibol spent most of his final years in a hospital, ensconced in a special suite. His portrait hung in almost every shop, and as his health declined, billboards proclaimed “Long Live the King,” signaling widespread anxiety about a future without him. In response, he openly fretted about the people feeling so insecure. Thais came to see this Buddhist king as a father figure wholly dedicated to their welfare, and as the embodiment of stability in a country where political leadership rose and fell through decades of military coups. His death ends a reign of 70 years and 126 days, one that few monarchs have matched for longevity... Thailand was transformed during his reign, moving from a mostly agricultural economy to a modern one of industry and commerce and a growing middle class. He presided over an expansion of democratic processes, though it was halting. He witnessed a dozen successful military coups and several attempted uprisings, and in his last years, his health failing, he appeared powerless to stem sometimes violent demonstrations, offering only vague appeals for unity and giving royal endorsement to two coups. Meanwhile a strain of republicanism emerged as the country broke into two camps: on one side, the establishment, with the palace at its core; on the other, the disenfranchised, whose demand for a political voice threatened the traditional order.'
+ Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88, People’s King of Thailand, Dies After 7-Decade Reign (2016):
'On 23 May 1967, Their Majesties the King and Queen observed Visakha Puja Day at the Temple of the Holy Relics of Chaiya in Surat Thani province. On that occasion, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu gave a sermon on the topic of "The Miracle of Dhamma," saying in conclusion:
"What has been cited can be summarized in this way: our physique is Dhamma, the law of Nature that controls our body is Dhamma, our obligation to perform according to the law of Nature is Dhamma, and the consequences of the actions or the enlightenment at the final stage are also likewise Dhamma.
Therefore, the Lord Buddha said, 'Dhammadipa Dhammasarana,' meaning, 'May you all have Dhamma as a guiding light, and Dhamma as your refuge.' At the same time, he said: 'One who sees Dhamma, sees Me. One who does not see Dhamma, does not see Me, even as he holds on to the edge of my robe,' as earlier cited.
Now, it can be said that it has been a great fortune or a tremendous blessing for the Thai people to have the Great Self, or the royal body who is the soul of the nation, who is Dhammikaraja, namely a royal body accomplished in Dhamma, a royal body who praises Dhamma, a royal body who persuades the people to uphold Dhamma, a royal body who prefers those firm in Dhamma, and who patronizes Buddhism for the existence of Dhamma in Thailand and in the world, as evident to all the Thai people by various royal activities."
...The Ten Kingly Virtues can be considered as the first and foremost principle that His Majesty the King adopted and adhered to. On the day of the Royal Coronation on 5 May 1950, His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch, Prince Monk Vajirananavongsa, presented a sermon in the royal presence at the Amarin Winitchai Throne Hall:
"Danam Silam Pariccagam ---------- Ajjavam Maddavam Tapam
Akkodham Avihisanca ------------ Khantinca Avirodhanam
Iccete Kusale Dhamme ------------ Citte Passahi Attani
Tato Te Jayate Piti ------------ Somanassancanappakam.
It may be interpreted in Thai as - 'May Your Majesty the great monarch use talent and wisdom in reckoning with the ten noble values of a monarch, to be implanted as Your Majesty's habits. They are Danam - giving; Silam - good conduct; Pariccagam - self-sacrifice; Ajjavam - honesty; Maddavam - gentleness; Tapam - self-control; Akkodham - non-anger; Avihisanca - non-violence; Khantinca - forbearance; and Avirodhanam - nondeviation from righteousness, making up ten virtues....'
These Ten Kingly Virtues, when closely investigated, can be considered as the virtues not only for the supreme ruler of the land, but for anyone in the position of governing, from a large unit, such as head of state and head of government, to a small unit, such as the head of a family. They are also virtues for the governed, because the administration will be smooth when the governed also uphold the virtues on their part. Therefore, these kingly virtues are the virtues of those living together as a unit, from a family to a country, as proper conduct toward one another for peaceful coexistence and for prosperity.'
Like the Prince Father and the Princess Mother, His Majesty the King took his tasks and responsibilities seriously and devoted himself to his royal activities from the beginning. The first royal proclamation uttered in the Coronation Ceremony, in accordance with ancient royal tradition, became sacred words, an oath or a contract between the King and his people throughout the longest reign the modern world has seen.
His great faith in Buddhism and in the late Supreme Patriarch Prince Monk Vajirananavongsa was evident in his royal address on his entrance into the monkhood on 22 October 1956:
"From the training that I have received, as well as out of my own personal belief, it is my view that Buddhism, which is our national religion, is one of the great religions of the world. Buddhism comprises teachings that lead men to good conduct and is rich in veritable precepts, which are logical, highly impressive, and inspiring. I have always entertained the idea of being ordained as a monk under this great religion and in accordance with royal custom for a period of time, should the opportunity arise, which would also be the traditional way of expressing gratitude to my august ancestors. Some considerable time has elapsed since my ascension to the throne, and it now seems an appropriate occasion for implementing my wish. Moreover, the recovery from the recent illness of His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch, who has favored me personally with his kindness, has given me great satisfaction. If, for my ordination, I could have His Holiness act as my preceptor, I would, in my considered view, be making an appropriate expression of my faith and reverence for him at the same time. Based on these reasons, I have decided to be ordained on the 22nd of this month."
Although it was a brief ordination, in accordance with Thai customs and royal tradition, the image of the King Monk has remained eminent in the minds of all Thais through successive generations up to the present time, in the same manner as that of the "Prince Doctor" left by the Prince Father during the brief period of his working life as a doctor. Moreover, his time in the order virtually transported him into the world of Dhamma. He pursued Dhamma studies and used every opportunity available to propagate Dhamma in Buddhism among his Thai subjects. Because of his strict conduct in accordance with Dhamma, as evidenced in his many works among the Thai people, his royal addresses and speeches, issued as instructions and warnings on many different occasions, have been observed as sacred words, quoted and upheld as guidelines in life.'
+ King Bhummibol Adulyadej | The Great King of Communication - Principles and Philosophies:
"Thais across the nation and abroad took part in activities in tribute to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej Monday, observing his birthday in a solemn manner and pledging to follow his teachings. The events, organised by government agencies and public entities, ranged from alms-giving and handing out food and supplies to the poor, to making pledges to do good deeds. Candle-light ceremonies were held in the evening. About 50,000 people packed Bhumibol Bridge 1 and Bhumibol Bridge 2 in Samut Prakan province early in the morning. They were participating in an event organised by the government, which included giving alms to 999 Buddhist monks and singing a song of remembrance. The event was joined by Deputy Prime Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn, Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul and foreign envoys. The participants stood in silence for 89 seconds before singing 'The Impossible Dream' composed by King Bhumibol, and the royal anthem. They also wrote their vows of good deeds on postcards. The Bhumibol bridges were selected to host the activity in honour of King Bhumibol Adulyadej who presided over their opening in late 2010... In Bangkok, the Royal Household Bureau reported Monday a total of more than 1.23 million people had come to pay respects to the late King in the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall over the past 35 days. The number of mourners on Sunday stood at 56,367 and the bureau extended the opening hours to 12.45am Monday. Between 6pm and 9pm, as many as 26,000 were still waiting. According to the bureau, as of Sunday the public had donated 94.9 million baht in contributions to merit-making activities for the late King. His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun presided Monday over a merit-making ceremony at the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall in tribute to the late monarch."
+ 25 Oct. 2017 :: Pre-Royal Cremation Ceremony พระราชพิธีทรงบำเพ็ญพระราชกุศลออกพระเมรุมาศ (2017):
+ Thais Nationwide Honour Late King (2016):
"King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand is the world’s longest reigning monarch. Indeed, his 65-year reign is one of the longest in world history, an achievement few would have predicted when the Thai king acceded the throne after the mysterious death of his brother in 1946. How did King Bhumibol revive the sinking fortunes of the Thai monarchy? Why has he become arguably the most revered king in Thai history? This illustrated biography tells that remarkable story. Beginning with an introduction explaining the unique history and traditions of the Thai monarchy, King Bhumibol Adulyadej: A Life’s Work offers a fresh and insightful account of his life, from his birth in America and education in Europe to his unexpected accession to the throne. Following him through the Cold War and Indochina War periods, the book shows how the king has used his position to help develop the country and its people while at the same time securing the status of the monarchy itself."
+ King Bhumibol Adulyadej: A Life’s Work (2012):
'As a conscientious leader, and with his great compassion for all the people, His Majesty has been giving the right and proper direction for their self-conduct and livelihood, based mainly on Dhamma in Buddhism. His Majesty emphasizes self-training, mental in particular, as stated in a royal address on the occasion of his private visit to Thammasat University on 4 March 1972 to perform music:
"Each person has an individual life, different from others. So, when you assemble, it is difficult to talk about the direction in life, as each one has his or her way out, own duty, and own character. But speaking about a direction in life in general, after birth, each one has to train oneself constantly, physically and mentally, so as to survive. That's the first step. As for the next step, after considerable self-training - that is, having gained certain knowledge - it is the implementation stage. In putting things to practice, one needs a strong will, honesty, and careful consideration. The next step, the final one, is death. After being born, getting trained, overcoming obstacles and fulfilling duties, one is due to die. By death, if one wants a noble death, as aimed for by each one, one must be relieved for having fulfilled all one's duties."
And in the royal address delivered at the graduation ceremony of Chulalongkorn University for academic year 1972, on 13 July 1973, His Majesty said,
"Training of the mind is essentially important and has to be conducted throughout one's life, so as to remain honest, strong and orderly, not yielding to temptations."
At Chitralada Villa on 8 August 1975, in a royal address delivered to a rugby delegation of Vajiravudh College leaving to take part in a tournament in Malaysia, His Majesty's topic was gentlemanly behavior in a troubled world:
"The whole world is in great trouble, because of disunity, strong competition, and serious deviation from gentlemanliness, which will lead the world to disaster. Therefore, one must train oneself to recognize that the real merits are gentlemanliness and courage to do the right thing."
One merit emphasized by His Majesty for the Thai people has been unity. In the royal address delivered to Village Scouts of Nakhon Si Thammarat at Chart Trakan Kosol Stadium on 12 September 1978, His Majesty spoke of unity and harmony:
"Unity means empathy towards one another. Harmony means acting together, not each one in his own way, but all at once. Unity and harmony bring further results, the strengthening of everyone, which leads to individual happiness. As we humans encounter both happiness and suffering. When we are happy, we want to share that happiness with others, thus extending our happiness. When suffering, others can help lessen the sorrow. So unity and harmony are very important."
In his New Year's Eve address to the nation on 31 December 1984, His Majesty had advice on solutions to life's problems:
"In human lives, there cannot be just normalcy, but suffering, dangers, and obstacles are always there, difficult to avoid. It is important for everyone to be prepared, physically and mentally, and be always ready to face and to solve those problems without negligence, but with reasons, academic principles, and unity, so that difficult problems can be lessened and the worst can be bettered."
His Majesty has been constantly warning his subjects of dangers, as in the royal address on the occasion of His Birthday Anniversary on 4 December 1986:
"These days, Thailand still has ample resources, natural and human, which we can tap to create prosperity and permanent stability for the country. It is essential that we learn to use such resources wisely, not squandering them, butputting them to use prudently, based on academic principles, rationalization, and appropriateness, aiming at real benefits for the country at present and in the far future."
Speaking to graduates of Prince of Songkla University at Pattani Campus, on 22 September 1978, His Majesty spoke about the Thai "body and mind":
"The nation can be compared to a human life, factually speaking, comprising body and mind. If the two parts are complete and in control of each other, life can exist. When one part is destroyed, life ends, because the other part will be destroyed as well. Our nation comprises land and people as the body, and learning, customs and tradition, beliefs and united human minds known as "Thainess" compose the mind. Our Thai nation is intact because we have the country and the symbols of the Thai identity. If our identity is lost by whatever means, the nation will disintegrate. Because even with the land and the population, there will not be any bond to keep it intact, like various parts of the body that disintegrate when life ends."'
+ King Bhummibol Adulyadej | An Opinion Leader Who Charts the Course for Thai Society:
'June 9, 1946: 20-year-old King Ananda Mahidol is found dead in his palace bedroom in Bangkok, with a single gunshot wound in the head from a Colt .45 he kept by his bedside. His death shocks the nation. Within hours, his brother Bhumibol Adulyadej, 18, is named the new king. But the latter returns to Switzerland to continue his studies while an uncle acts as Regent. The case is later ruled as murder, and two royal servants and a personal secretary of the late King are convicted and executed for plotting to assassinate him.
October 1948: Bhumibol is injured in a car crash in Switzerland, losing his right eye.
May 5, 1950: Bhumibol, then 22 years old, has returned to Bangkok and is officially crowned King. He is married to Sirikit Kitiyakon, 17, whom he met when she and her family were living in Paris where her father was based as Thailand’s Ambassador to France.
Oct 14, 1973: Pro-democracy students demand the end of the regime of military dictator Thanom Kittikachorn, sparking a military crackdown. King Bhumibol opens the gates of Chitralada Palace to the students fleeing the crackdown. The official death toll is 77. The King later goes on television to announce that the dictator has resigned.
Oct 6, 1976: The return of Thanom in September causes widespread student protests. A large protest is held inside Thammasat University from Oct 4. On the morning of Oct 6, security forces and right-wing extremists storm into the compound. 46 students are killed but the King does not appear to interfere. A series of coups d’etat and counter-coups follow in 1977, 1980, 1981, 1985 and 1991. The King also does not appear to interfere in any of them.
May 1992: Huge protests led by retired general Chamlong Srimuang break out against military coup leader Suchinda Kraprayoon who was selected as Prime Minister in April. As Bangkok descends into anarchy, the King is silent for days but later summons the warring men for a televised lecture. He is even handed, avoiding blame. The conflict is cooled and Suchinda resigns. It is the most direct and visible intervention in politics, with the King’s moral authority dramatically confirmed.
April 2006: After weeks of tightening political deadlock and a failed election, King Bhumibol tells judges that the judiciary should take a hand in sorting out the political “mess”. This triggers an era of judicial activism in politics.
June 2006: Monarchs from around the world gather in Bangkok to mark the 60th anniversary of King Bhumibol’s reign. Up to three million Thais throng historic Bangkok to see him drive past and appear in public.
September 2006: King Bhumibol receives army chief General Sonthi Boonyarataglin who has removed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s government in a coup d’etat.
May 2014: Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha, after seizing power on May 22, dislodging another Thaksin-backed government, receives the essential Royal endorsement from the King.'
+ Key Milestones in the Life of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej (2016):