A Tribute to the KingKing Bhumibol Adulyadej died on October 13 ending his 70 year reign as a visionary and humanitarian who had stabilized Thailand during times of political turmoil and tension. The United Nations paid tribute to the late King of Thailand with a moment of silence and speeches held in the general assembly hall. At the time of his death King Bhumibol was the world’s longest-serving head of state and the longest serving monarch in Thai history. King Bhumibol had been regarded as the heart of the nation in Thailand. He was the “People’s King’, and oversaw a period of extreme social, economic, and developmental transformation which significantly improved the livelihood and wellbeing of the Thai people. At his coronation, he had said “We shall reign with righteousness for the benefits and happiness of the Siamese people” and he worked diligently throughout his life to be successful.
He was known to have a simple lifestyle and lead a modest life. He was an environmentalist who played a principal role in promoting soil science and conservation, and was a leader in sustainable land resource management. He was also instrumental in the development of large-scale irrigation projects in rural areas. His majesty was involved in over 4, 000 development projects including the building of some important infrastructure such as Pa Sak Jolasid Dam. Several of his other projects are thought to have been funded with his own money. He was worth an estimated 30-billion dollars US. Many of his agricultural, forestry and small-scale industrial projects were started as experiments in the garden of his personal residence in Bangkok. Aside from his duties as a king, Bhumibol enjoyed spending time as a painter, musician, photographer, author, and translator. He speaks and understands seven foreign languages and once represented Thailand in the 1967 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games where he won the gold medal in yachting. He earned over 200 honorary doctorates from foreign and domestic universities as well as many international awards including the world’s first UN’s Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. Thank you for all your kindness and hard work over the years.