WORLD’S LONGEST- REIGNING MONARCH

Thailand 2017 | DIPLOMACY | PROFILE

The year 2016 will go down in Thai history as one of the nation's most significant years, since it marks the auspicious occasion of the 70th anniversary of His Majesty the King's accession to the throne.

His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is particularly beloved by the people of Thailand, currently enjoys the distinction of being the world's longest-reigning monarch. Few monarchs have ever attained such longevity on the throne.

The government announced that the official period of celebrations for this special occasion will be from June 9, 2016 to June 9, 2017. People have been encouraged to display the royal ceremonial emblems on their premises in commemoration, and the government has organized a number of projects and activities as part of the celebrations.

'Strength of the Land'

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, also known as Rama IX, is the ninth monarch of the Chakri Dynasty.Born in Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on December 5, 1927, he was the younger son of HRH Prince Mahidol Adulyadej and Mom Sangwan. He is also the direct grandson of His Late Majesty King Chulalongkorn or Rama V, who was renowned for the great reforms that he made to all institutions of Thailand, which brought the country and its people up to date and in line with the rest of the West-orientated world. The ascension of King Bhumibol—whose name translates to “Strength of the Land"—was widely seen as prophetic. “We will reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people" was the promise he made to his people. And for the past 70 years, the King has done exactly that.

After completing his introductory trips overseas in the 1960s, His Majesty the King has not left the country since and has concentrated his time and efforts instead on the well-being of the Thai nation. His Majesty has traveled to all areas of Thailand, including the most remote parts with the most rugged terrain, talking to people to understand their ways of life and problems and to find ways to help them.

So far, King Bhumibol has initiated more than 4,000 development projects, ranging from irrigation, farming, drought and flood alleviation, crop substitution, public health, and distance learning to encourage employment promotion. These have helped improve the lives of Thais in all parts of the country—particularly farmers. The King has also concerned himself with the plight of the urban people, having initiated projects to address such problems as flooding and traffic congestion in Bangkok.

One application of his approach to rural development is “integrated farming practices according to New Theory," which promotes step-by-step development. It starts with building a solid foundation at the family level so that people can be self-reliant without taking advantage of others. People can come together to undertake group or community enterprises. The aim is to strengthen the community by reducing the risk from external factors while also building connections. The end result would then be the expansion of the scope of cooperation at the national level. This task is not smooth sailing. A balanced approach combining patience, perseverance, diligence, wisdom, and prudence is indispensable to cope with critical challenges ahead.

Loved in Thailand, Admired In The World

His Majesty King Bhumibol is also admired internationally for his efforts throughout his reign.

King Bhumibol is the world's first and only monarch to hold a patent, holding one in 1993 for a waste water aerator named “Chai Pattana" and several patents regarding rainmaking since 1955, including the “sandwich" rainmaking patent in 1999 and more recently the “supersandwich" patent in 2004.

His Majesty has received many awards and other forms of recognition from different organizations and agencies under the UN, namely for his contributions to the improvement of the environment and nature conservation. In May 2006, His Majesty was presented with the UN's first Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts to improve the lives of his people across the country. The award was presented by Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the UN.