Agam's Gecko
Friday, June 09, 2006
HM the King
L O N G   L I V E
H I S   M A J E S T Y
T H E   K I N G

here is great rejoicing in the land. His Majesty the King, Bhumiphol Adulyadej is being honoured with a grand celebration marking 60 years on the throne of Thailand. He is the longest reigning monarch in the world.

There really is no doubt about it: HM the King is the most deeply loved and revered monarch anywhere in the world. There is a reason for that. Throughout his life, he has exemplified the very highest model of what a monarch should be for his people. And in return, his people -- of every religion and ethnic group, from the hill tribe peoples of the north to the Muslims of the south -- love him with all their hearts. Having watched this relationship over the past 15 years, particularly his skillful guidance through times of crisis, I can truthfully say that I love him too.

Virtually everyone today is wearing his colour -- yellow. Vendors of yellow shirts haven't been able to keep up with demand, and the other day an emergency run of half a million was announced. As I cycled to the office this morning (with The Best Dog in the World surveying the situation from my home made "kangaroo" pouch) through the crowded little soi and out into the main road, everyone was wearing the colour. Quite a few (including yours truly) have been wearing it all week.

A lot of special events are taking place over the next few days, with many foreign monarchs in attendance. Fantastic arches have been built over the historic Rachadamnoen Avenue, and the highlight of the celebration will be a Royal Barge Procession along the Chao Phraya River, the River of Kings. The Royal Thai Navy has put up a nice website with information, photos and history of these spectacular craft. A full schedule of events, as well as lots of information on His Majesty's life, video clips and some of his music (he's a jazz musician, and has jammed in the palace with some of the greats) can be found here. This one also offers a live broadcast from Channel 11, and those interested may wish to try it around 10:00 GMT on Monday the 12th for coverage of the Royal Barges. An alternative, if it gets too busy, would be to check ASTV's webcast.

The Bangkok Post's special section has some very good pages in several categories, and some terrific photos. The Nation appropriately calls it's special section King Of Hearts, containing stories and some very nice photo galleries, including a wallpaper gallery of some of the Royal Barges and the spectacular arches and decorations near the Grand Palace. When I say this is a big deal, I'm not kidding.


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