Loving Father of heartbroken nation
Special Correspondent, Pattaya Mail
Photo Courtesy of the Bureau of the Royal Household
The Chiang Mai Mail
joins the entire Kingdom in sorrowfully extending our heartfelt grief in the
passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej who passed away in peace on
October 13, 2016. We wish to join all people of the world in our most
sincere condolences to the entire Royal Family for their tragic loss.
His Majesty has been our inspiration of
love and hope for the past 70 years, and we wish him a most peaceful journey
into the next realm.
With his passing, the Thai Nation
mourns, in a thousand different ways, with every person from the youngest to
the oldest renewing their pledge of loyalty and devotion to the beloved
King, and to the entire Royal Family.
The following pages contain part 2 of
sometimes repeated, oft quoted excerpts of the incredible life of our most
gracious Father of the Thai Kingdom, written by our special correspondent
for the People
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej established
several Royal Development Study Centres - or, as they are better known -
“Living Museums” - situated in the roughest terrain in their respective
regions. These centres are the locale for experiments in reforestation,
irrigation, land development and farm technology which are conducted to find
practical applications within the constraints of local conditions, geography
and topography. His Majesty’s aim was to restore the natural balance, to
enable people to become self-supporting.
The first centre organized was that of
Khao Hin Son, in the rocky area of Chachoengsao’s Phanom Sarakam District.
Here, the centre studies how to turn the barren soil, caused by
deforestation, back into fertile land again.
Other centres are located at strategic
places around the Kingdom.
The Pikul Thong Centre at Narathiwat
studies the swampy, acidic land of the southern-most region. The Phu Phan
Centre in Sakon Nakhon studies soil salinity and irrigation in the country’s
biggest region, the Northeast, which suffers from endemic drought. The Krung
Kraben Bay Centre in Chantaburi examines the rehabilitation of mangrove
forests and coastal areas following massive destruction. The Huay Sai Centre
in Petchaburi studies the rehabilitation of degraded forests and shows
villagers, in their turn, how to protect the forests.
When he was in doubt, HM the King would
fly over a particular area, armed with aerial photographs and maps of the
terrain, noting features as they passed underneath. And, as he was a good
photographer, he also took His own pictures, later to juxtapose them on area
charts to obtain a complete and detailed image of the specifics which helped
his planning of various development projects.
His Majesty’s insightful approach to
local prevailing conditions enabled him to improvise new theories for
agricultural development, to provide guidelines for educating farmers on
self-sufficiency, and to solve problems of goitre by feeding iodine into
salt roads at strategic points.
During all these works, His Majesty
promoted a simple approach using environmentally friendly techniques and
utilizing moderate amounts of locally available resources. For example,
before environmentalism became a major force in the development equation,
His Majesty was using vetiver grass to prevent erosion, controlling ground
water level to reduce soil acidity, and seeding clouds with simple materials
such as dry ice, to produce rain.
The King’s philosophy to development
problems was to “keep it simple” - relying on an intimate knowledge of
Nature and her immutable law, such as using fresh water to flush out
polluted water or dilute it through utilization of normal tidal
fluctuations. The ubiquitous water hyacinth too can be ‘harnessed’ to absorb
The results of any development, the
King asserted, must reach the people directly as a means of overcoming
immediate problems, translating into “enough to live, enough to eat”, while
looking at a longer-term result of “living well and eating well.”
His Majesty compared this to using
adharma (evil) to fight evil, observing that both pollution and the
water weed are a menace, but they can be used to counteract each other, thus
lessening the damage to the environment.
The King himself practiced this ‘simple
approach’ and brought a down-to-earth approach to which the people could
readily relate. He studied and deliberated exhaustively on the particular
project and then revealed his thinking in short, easy-to-grasp titles. The
very simplicity belies the profundity of the philosophy, for each title
reflects a much deeper insight into a given problem and often, at the same
time, hints at the mode of operation to be employed.
The King undertook the establishment of
the Royal Development Projects in 1969, primarily as a means of arresting
the opium growing and deforestation caused by the Hilltribes’ slash and burn
agriculture and to improve their standard of living. The first was
established at a Hmong village on Doi Pui in Chiang Mai Province and now has
spread to Chiang Rai, Lamphun and Mae Hong Son. Over the years, the Projects
have been instrumental in the conversion of the poppy fields being turned
into groves of temperate fruits and vegetables.
Under the dynamic direction of the
King’s close colleague, Prince Bhisadej Rajani, who was the Director of the
Projects, operating from his base at Chiang Mai University, there are four
research stations and 35 Royal Project Development Centres which incorporate
some 300 villages, comprising 14,000 households and approximately 90,000
The Royal Development Projects Board,
under the Office of the Prime Minister, also serves as the secretariat for
the Chai Pattana Foundation which is directly responsible for the work
related to the royal development projects. Now, many decades later, the
results can be seen in the new life which has come to many of the mountain
villages. Greenery has returned to once-denuded forest areas and barren
hills and the opium cultivation, a cause of extreme national concern, is
virtually a past era.
“The key to the success of the Project
lies in His Majesty’s guidelines,” explained Prince Bhisadej. “They focus on
obtaining knowledge, through research, avoiding bureaucratic entanglements
and swift action to respond to the villagers’ needs, while promoting
self-reliance,” he added. “The effectiveness of this approach has been
applauded internationally.” For example, in 1998 the Royal Project won both
the Magsaysay Award for International Understanding and the Thai Expo Award
for attaining the quality standard of Thai Goods for Export.
HM the King’s own views were that
development must respect different regions, geography and peoples’ way of
life. “We cannot impose our ideas on the people - only suggest. We must meet
them, ascertain their needs and then propose what can be done to meet their
expectations,” HM the King pointed out.
The King’s ideas were in direct
contrast to the bureaucracy’s wish to impose standards from the top down,
with the inflexibility inherent therein. “Don’t be glued to the textbook,”
he admonished developers “who,” he said, “must compromise and come to terms
with the natural and social environment of the community.”
The King saw no need to spare any
sensitivities - if there were any - because he felt that the government
approach is costly and authoritarian which is why it has “failed miserably
to address the country’s problems.”
Thus, through the illustrious decades
of his rule, HM the King was the very embodiment of his Oath of Accession
that, “We will reign with Righteousness for the Benefit and Happiness of the
The world’s longest-reigning Monarch
was “the light of his land, the pride of his people and a shining example to
all peoples of a troubled world.”
Loving Father of heartbroken nation
Royal Household Bureau
The Chiang Mai Mail joins the entire Kingdom in sorrowfully extending our
heartfelt grief in the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the
Great who passed away in peace on October 13, 2016. We wish to join all
people of the world in our most sincere condolences to the entire Royal
Family for their tragic loss.
His Majesty was our
inspiration of love and hope for 70 years, and we wish him a most peaceful
journey into the next realm.
With his passing, the
Thai Nation mourns, in a thousand different ways, with every person from the
youngest to the oldest renewing their pledge of loyalty and devotion to the
beloved King, and to the entire Royal Family.
The following pages
contain part 1 of sometimes repeated, oft quoted excerpts of the incredible
life of our most gracious Father of the Thai Kingdom, written by our special
correspondent Peter Cummins.
It is very difficult to
encapsulate the incredible achievements of our beloved King in this short
article. The writer, rather, has highlighted just some of the events,
honours and accolades which have been dedicated to His Majesty, over the
long years of his reign.
HM King Bhumibol
Adulyadej the Great was born on Monday, the fifth of December 1927, at the
Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In his Coronation Oath,
promulgated on the fifth of May 1950, the newly-crowned Rama the Ninth vowed
that, “We will reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the
Siamese people,” and, in the seven decades which have passed since that
auspicious day, the concept of “righteousness” dominated his reign. In fact,
HM the King constantly revered the age-old Buddhist concept of ‘Kingship’ as
defined in the Sutta Pitaka of the Tripitaka in which a King
is defined as Mahasammata - a King of Righteousness.
Our King steadfastly
reigned by these principles, embodying good kingship in his own life and
example and often speaking out against the affliction of the evils so
clearly spelled out in the Buddhist philosophy.
There will inevitably
be some familiar material in parts of this story, for HM the King’s
development projects have been ongoing for over half a century and there is,
of course, a historical perspective which has been incorporated.
There have been so many
tributes to our King from all corners of the world, that here it is only
possible to outline some of them.
One of the most
pervasive has been in the form of Musical Tributes, not surprisingly, as His
Majesty is an acknowledged composer of classical music and an
exceptionally-talented jazz aficionado.
Bhumibol Adulyadej and six friends formed “probably the most intricately
gadgeted orchestra in Europe,” regularly meeting at his Lausanne villa to
play until the dawn hours. The neighnors never complained.
An Austrian ensemble
who, despite never having worked together, recently succeeded in producing
an album - the Royal Lullaby - that is faithful to the integrity and
authenticity of the original pieces, and in the process created a musical
repertoire of international caliber.
“It all started [when]
we all met for the first time. I played for Her Majesty the Queen and was
asked to include His Majesty’s Love In Spring in the programme. I
didn’t know the music or what to expect so was very curious and I came here
and just fell in love with the music,” said Austrian solo violinist Wolfgang
David, one of the musicians who performed for the album.
David and the album’s
producer Chris Craker visited Bangkok to discuss the assembled work. David
also performed a few pieces from the album at the launch held at the
The Royal Lullaby
album also showcases the talents of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Swiss
Conductor Emmanuel Siffert and local pianist Indhuon Srikaranonda. Revered
Thai National Artist Prof Manrat Srikaranonda was also involved in the
Commissioned by Her
Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana, the album highlights 10
compositions that reveal HM the King’s musical ingenuity, including the
well-known Lullaby and Summertime.
“These works are very
important, because I believe Thai musicians have gleaned a lot of influence
from Western music, but I think that American and European listeners will
appreciate this type of music too,” said David explaining the necessity of
creating an album of this stature.
On HM the King’s
compositions, David said, “The music is uplifting, which makes it very
human. That’s why I love to play it because I also believe that music should
lift people’s minds - it’s not just about having a good time for an hour in
The King of
Swing, H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Benny Goodman and friends at an
impromptu jazz session, Manhattan 1960.
that while His Majesty the King was already a respected figure in the
international community, these newly-arranged pieces further enabled Western
audiences to enjoy the music.
Craker also noted that
the album’s juxtaposition of classical and jazz compositions was quite
unusual. “There are elements of Thai folk music in the melodies, but I think
His Majesty was greatly knowledgeable on Western music and was able to
embody all those styles and influences with his own concepts,” he added.
“It’s different in that
most of the pieces were already written, but the arrangements were not. The
melodies have been around for many years, but this orchestration of them is
new. There are no right or wrong arrangements, only how people will feel
towards the music.”
As an interpreter of
the melodies, Chris Craker understood the responsibility that he had in
communicating HM the King’s music to an international audience.
Another tribute to HM
the King’s musical talents came from the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra
which, during the annual Toyota Classics concert featured the
internationally-acclaimed Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of
Tatsuya Shimono, showcasing two of HM’s musical masterpieces in its
programme; namely Kwam Fun Un Soong Sood (A Dream Most Noble)
and Paendin Kong Rau (Our Land).
HM the King was also
well-known as a songwriter who had more than 40 published songs to his
credit. Kwarm Fun Un Soong Sood, a symphonically-conceived piece, was
written in 1971 and has since become one of HM’s most popular and loved
Yet another musical
evening was held by the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra to celebrate His
Majesty’s 69th birthday
in 1996. The Orchestra performed a special concert under the baton of
Hikotaro Yazaki, featuring soloist Pornphan Banternghansa on the piano, at
the Thailand Cultural Centre. The programme comprised Fanfare and
Rhapsody for a Royal Celebration, a specially-composed piece for the
celebration by UK composer Simon Wallace, which was followed by Rhapsody on
a Theme of Paganini, Opus 43 for Solo Piano, by Rachmaninoff, and concluded
with Symphony No. 4 by Brahms.
the King goes Dixie at the Hawaiian governor’s reception, Honolulu 1960.
An evening of HM the
King’s music was led by Sasin Alumni Associations in a concert entitled “The
Royal Composition of His Life Journey: The King and His Music” to celebrate
the 60th anniversary
of His Majesty the King’s accession to the throne.
presentation, the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra performed His Majesty’s
compositions as arranged in an orchestral style by Rear Admiral ML Usni
Pramoj, who was also the conductor.
the King - the World’s Longest Reigning Monarch
It was ten years ago,
in 2006, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary
of his accession to the Thai Throne, Their Majesties the King and Queen
presided over splendid festivities as representatives of 25 royal houses
from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia had come to Bangkok to honour
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great.
The royal guests came
from near and far to enjoy Thai hospitality and the friendship of the Thai
But - and, perhaps,
more significantly - to honour this celebration, millions of people packed
the areas around Bangkok’s Royal Plaza to hear HM the King deliver a rare
public address in which he called for national unity.
“The responsibility to
preserve the nation,” His Majesty reminded his subjects, “does not belong to
any particular person but to all Thais who must do their utmost to develop
the country and make it prosperous, stable and peaceful,” he said.
“Therefore, I, as a Thai, have the same responsibility as all Thais do.”
the King, center left, and Her Majesty the Queen, center right, pose with
the visiting representatives of 25 royal houses from Europe, Africa, the
Middle East and Thailand’s Asian neighbors in the elaborate century-old high
ceillinged Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok June 12, 2006.
In November, 2006,
Time Magazine honoured the King an ‘Asian Hero’ among 65 prominent
figures so designated.
“The King’s stewardship
has been so masterful that in times of crisis, Thais invariably turn to one
man: King Bhumibol,” writes the article published in the magazine’s Nov 13,
2006 issue. “On two occasions - October 1973 and May 1992”, Time
editorialized - “with Thailand descending into chaos, the King, armed only
with his moral authority, intervened to end bloodshed.”
Elsewhere, His Majesty
had been named the first recipient of the Norman E Borlaug World Food Prize
Medallion in recognition of His Majesty’s outstanding humanitarian service
in alleviating starvation and poverty, presented by the World Food Prize
Foundation on July 23, 2007.
Bhumibol Adulyadej shakes hands with the United Nations Secretary General
Kofi Annan at Klai Kangwol Palace in Prachuab Khiri Khan province, May 26,
2006. Annan presented a human development lifetime achievement award to His
Majesty as the country celebrated the 60th anniversary of His accession to
the throne. Looking on is HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
The medallion is named
in honour of the World Food Prize founder and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr
“Since his accession to
the throne in 1946, King Bhumibol Adulyadej … displayed a deep concern that
the Thai people have sufficient food and proper nutrition,” said Ambassador
Kenneth M Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation.
The royal projects have
benefited millions of people across Thailand, with a particular focus on
aiding ethnic groups and hill tribes in mountainous regions.
“Dr Borlaug tells of
his visits to Thailand and the time he spent meeting with His Majesty and
walking through the countryside with him as they discussed possible new
approaches to agriculture,” said Mr Quinn.
The King was also
lauded by Kofi Anan, then Secretary-General of the United Nations, as the
“Development King”, acknowledging his dedication to promote child health,
combat iodine deficiency and increase access to education.
Boutros-Ghali presents a gift to H.M. the King, Chitralada Palace, 10 Apri
At the same time, the
United Nations Development Programme presented His Majesty the UNDP Human
Development Lifetime Achievement Award “in recognition of the global
relevance of his call for a sufficiency approach to development” (May,
More recently, the
Budapest-based International Federation of Inventors’ Association (IFIA)
presented the IFIA Cup 2007 for His Majesty’s Chai Pattana wheel used to
treat water. The IFIA also presented its Genius Medal prize to honour His
Majesty’s Self-Sufficiency Philosophy, and his New Theory, which revives
farming techniques, based on Thai wisdom focusing on minimal use of
resources but aiming for higher agricultural productivity.
To be continued…
By Nopniwat Krailerg
round and innocent faces, cute black eye patches, puffy and bulgy
bodies...the naturally and irresistibly adorable giant panda is one of the
most distinguished icons of China, having won the hearts of countless fans
from around the world.
September 24,2017 the "Beautiful China, More than Pandas" Sichuan
tourism promotional campaign, which was hosted by the China National Tourism
Administration and organized by the Sichuan Tourism Administration, arrived
in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The creative panda elements received widespread
praises and swept the city by storm.
Mai is often referred to as "rose of the north" for its idyllic sceneries,
serene mountains, tranquil waters and vibrant local folk culture. In 2003,
Chinese pandas "Chuang Chuang" and "Lin Hui" relocated to the Chiang Mai
Zoo, where a year later they gave birth to female cub "Lin Bing". The family
of three is the apple in the eyes of all visitors, and they have risen in
prominence as superstar animals among the Thai population.
afternoon of September 24,2017 in front of Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center,
Chiang Mai the latest world-class mega mall to open in Chiang Mai, a
passionate and aesthetically expressive "panda theme show" took to center
stage. Many panda figures from Sichuan put on an electrifying dancing
performance that stopped both locals and tourists right in their tracks, and
the whole place was soon packed with people and pulsating with energy.
the end of the "panda flash mob," visitors and tourists alike flocked to
take photos with the panda figures, and after receiving Sichuan tourism
promotion materials, they started to inquire from tourism staffs about
vacationing in Sichuan.
little panda DIY zone was equally popular. The different white panda models
stimulated the imaginative spirit inside locals and students and many came
to paint their own panda models. Their creativity were unleashed and a
myriad of Thai style panda artworks soon came to being, which were
appreciated and well-received by the crowd. The ensuing on-site selection
and award presentation ceremony pushed the liveliness of the atmosphere to
same time, as an integral part of the "Beautiful China, More than
Pandas" Sichuan tourism global promotional campaign, this time the "entering
famous university" panda fans recruitment activity entered Chiang Mai
University, and through online sign-up and on-site recruitment, a total of
eight panda fans were added to the ranks. The fans of the panda will have
the chance to head to Sichuan to tour the Panda Base.
edition of the promotion campaign was a massive hit among local tourism
industry professionals and the general population alike. The event
was reported by almost 130 Chinese and foreign media, successfully
instigating a wave of popularity in Sichuan tourism and instilling new
vitality into the interaction and growth of the tourism markets and sectors
of Sichuan and Thailand.