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SEAMEO SPAFA mourns His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s passing

SEAMEO SPAFA joins the people of Thailand in mourning the loss of the much beloved and great King, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.

The King, who ascended to the throne 70 years ago and thus making him the world’s longest-reigning monarch before his death, died peacefully at 3:52 p.m. on October 13, 2016 at the age of 88.

Heart of Gold

To the people of Thailand, the King was like a father who watched over them, helped them and sought out what was best for them. He developed the ‘Sufficiency Economy’ philosophy to help improve the lives of the Thai people, which is a concept that may prove beneficial not only within Thailand but to other nations and therefore was presented at the SEAMEO SPAFA-led ‘SEAMEO Youth Leadership Forums’ in October 2014 (first) and March 2016 (second) to tomorrow’s leaders of Southeast Asia.

Before his death, King Bhumibol was the world’s first and only monarch to hold a patent, holding one in 1993 for a waste water aerator named “Chai Pattana” and several patents on rainmaking: the “sandwich” and “supersandwich” rainmaking patent in 1999 and 2004, respectively.

He initiated more than four thousand development projects, which focused on improving problems ranging from irrigation, farming, drought, flood, crops, public health, distance learning, employment promotion and traffic congestion in urban areas. For his efforts in human development to improve the lives of his people across the country, Mr. Kofi Annan (then Secretary-General of the United Nations) presented His Majesty with the United Nation’s first ‘Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award’ in May 2006.

A King with Many Talents

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej had many talents and among them was his gift in music, where he wrote many of his own compositions and performed. He especially loved playing the saxophone. The King also loved Thai classical music and showed this through his concern of the preservation of classical Thai music and by encouraging research in traditional Thai musical scales of different instruments.

Besides being a talented musician, he also excelled in other art forms such as photography, painting and sculpting. So impressive were his talents in the arts that he was awarded honorary membership of the Vienna Institute of Music and Arts, and in 1986, the Office of the National Culture Commission of Thailand gave him the title of “Supreme Artist”.

  • To listen to some of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s musical compositions, click HERE.
  • To read more on His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s musical talents, click HERE.
  • To view paintings by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, click HERE.

A truly noble monarch with many talents and a big heart who was concerned for the well-being of his people, it is easy to see why His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej – the ninth King of Thailand (Rama IX) from the Chakri Dynasty – is known as “King Bhumibol the Great” and whose recent passing is a heart-wrenching loss for the Kingdom of Thailand as they have not only lost their King, but a loving Father.

SEAMEO SPAFA expresses its deepest condolences to the Thai Royal family and people of Thailand.

All government buildings will fly the Thai flag at half-mast for 30 days starting October 14, 2016 and all civil servants have been ordered to wear black clothing for a period of one year as a sign of mourning.

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