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In Loving Memory of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Loving Father of heartbroken nation

Part 2

Peter Cummins,
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 Peter Cummins.

Development
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.

A ‘Simple’ approach

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 pollutants.

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 farmers.

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.”

Epilogue

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 Siamese People.”

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.”


A year on, the Kingdom mourns

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
5 December 1927 - 13 October 2016

It is almost hard to comprehend that a year ago today, at 3.55 p.m. on Oct. 13, 2016, our beloved king passed away in peace. Once again, a year later and as we have done the entire time, the Pattaya Mail Media Group joins the entire Kingdom in sorrowfully extending our heartfelt grief in the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. We wish to join all the people of the world in our most sincere condolences to the entire Royal Family for this 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 when his much loved son, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun presides over commemoration ceremonies today on the anniversary of his father’s death, and over the royal cremation on Oct. 26.

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.


In Loving Memory of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great

Loving Father of heartbroken nation

Part 1

Peter Cummins
Special Correspondent
Photos Courtesy:
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.

Prologue

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.

Musical Tributes

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.

H.M. King 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 Sukhothai Hotel.

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 musical production.

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 a concert.”

The King of Swing, H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Benny Goodman and friends at an impromptu jazz session, Manhattan 1960.

Craker acknowledged 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 compositions.

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.

His Majesty 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.

During the 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.

HM 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 Royal Family.

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.”

His Majesty 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.

HM King 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 Norman Borlaug.

“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.

H.E. Boutros Boutros-Ghali presents a gift to H.M. the King, Chitralada Palace, 10 Apri 1993

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, 2006).

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…


Beautiful China, More than Pandas" Campaign in Chiang Mai

By Nopniwat Krailerg

The 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.

On 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.

Chiang 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.

On the 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.

After 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.

The 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 new height.

At the 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.

This 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.

 


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

In Loving Memory of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej


A year on, the Kingdom mourns

In Loving Memory of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great


Beautiful China, More than Pandas" Campaign in Chiang Mai


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