Monarchs gather in Thailand
By James Kon in Bangkok

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam will be among the 25 monarchs around the world expected to arrive in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand for the occasion of the Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand's accession to the Throne.

This year's celebration is special because of the 5th cycle of (5x12 years) accession to the throne by Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is considered as an auspicious occasion. And having reigned for 60 years, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has become the longest reigning monarch in the world.

Dubbed the people's king, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has always been loved by the people of Thailand for his immense efforts to help common people through numerous royal projects, which have helped ease the burden and problems faced by people especially in the countryside.

Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai, the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, simply said "Thai people love their King" and they want to celebrate the auspicious occasion with the King. He also revealed a number of successful royal development projects that have been initiated by the King of Thailand

While Dr. Kantathi Suphamongkhol, the Foreign Minister of Thailand shared the same sentiment, in a separate courtesy call, he said the Thai people's support for their Monarch was unanimous and the royal institution was strong.

Clearly showing their love for their king, they displayed pictures and the royal emblem of their monarch at every corner of their streets and shops. People wore yellow shirts too.

The colour represented His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej's birthday which had been on a Monday, a day that was symbolised by the colour yellow.

One of the highlights of the celebrations was the grand Audience ceremony at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall where hundreds of thousands of people gathered for a rare opportunity to meet the King and the Queen who appeared on the balcony to meet the people. The ceremony took place yesterday June 9, 2006.

The whole country came to a standstill with most major roads closed.

Another must-not-miss ceremony is the Royal Barge Grand Procession on the June 12, 2006, where a total of 52 royal barges will be passing by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and invited monarchs including His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

The Royal Barge procession only happens on very special occasions and this would be the first time that His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be taking part as a viewer of the procession, as usually he is involved in the Royal Barge Procession himself.

On June 13, His Majesty the King will host a banquet for foreign monarchs and Royal guests at the Borommaratchasathit Maholan Throne Hall.

There will also be three spectacular firework shows from China and Japan fused with musical rhythm scheduled to take place next week in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. - Borneo Bulletin (10th June 2006)