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Thai King 60th Anniversary Celebrations

Pauline Go

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Thailand celebrated with all grandeur, the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol’s accession to the royal throne. Termed as the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Thai King’s 60th anniversary celebrations included a series of events describing the reign of King Bhumibol.

King Bhumibol ascended the royal throne in 1950 after the untimely death of his brother, King Ananda Mahidol. Since then, he has been the longest serving monarch in the Thai history. He initiated several developmental projects for the welfare of the people of Thailand and is the most revered ruler of Thailand.

Several international dignitaries were invited during the five-day long celebrations. Prominent among them include the United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan, Japan's Emperor Akihito, Queen Beatrix of Netherlands and UK's Prince Andrew. During the Thai King’s 60th Anniversary Celebrations, King Bhumibol was honored with the prestigious United Nations First Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award. The diamond jubilee celebrations included the Royal barge procession on Chao Phraya River, fireworks displays, dance and song competitions, grand feasts and art exhibitions.

On the eve of Thai King’s 60th Anniversary Celebrations, around 25,000 prisoners were given mercy and released. In the honor of their King, the people of Thailand organized a three-month long International Botanical Exhibition and an Official Royal Flora Expo in Chiang Mai Province.

Addressing the public gathering on this occasion from the balcony of Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, King Bhumibol urged his countrymen and his subjects to stay united since only unity can bring prosperity to the nation. The celebrations were officially closed on January 16, 2007.

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