The 5th of December is celebrated in Thailand as the national day, as well as the birthday anniversary of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great, and Father’s Day. Today, under the reign of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua, Thai citizens around the world continue to celebrate this occasion, in recognition of the dedication and perseverance that His Majesty the late King exerted towards Thailand’s sustainable development.
His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s activities and contributions were evident not only to the Thai people, but were also recognized by the international community. His Majesty was known as the “Development King” and in this capacity, received many awards from various international institution and organizations in numerous fields. The development work of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and his Sufficiency Economy Philosophy have been recognized internationally as means to self-reliant development and sustainable use of natural resources. Several other countries have applied the knowledge and techniques initiated by His Majesty for their own development.
Upon acceding to the throne as the 10th Monarch of the Kingdom of Thailand, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua continued the legacy of his father as embodied in the existing royal development projects. Examples include irrigation and dike projects at Baan Khao Daeng, Chanthaburi Province, and visits to the people in various regions. When the Kingdom was struck by disaster, His Majesty moved immediately to provide aid, such as when he bestowed valuable advice, life-saving equipment, and supplies to the rescue effort of the Wild Boar Academy Football Team that was trapped in the Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non Cave in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai Province, in June-July 2018.
Similarly, at the beginning of 2019, when the Pabuk Typhoon hit Thailand, His Majesty encouraged all state agencies to integrate their efforts to assist the people and bestowed money from funds raised from the Love and Warmth at Winter’s End (Un Ai Rak Khlai Khwam Nao): the River of Rattanakosin Royal Winter Festival to alleviate the suffering of those affected.
His Majesty has sought to preserve the importance of the institution of the monarchy, whose connection to the nation, people, and religion is profound. From the very start of his reign, he therefore took a number of actions, such as appointing Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong (Amborn Ambaro) the 20th Supreme Patriarch, appointing new Privy Councilors to assist in royal activities, and preserving royal and Buddhist ceremonies that are expressions of the national character and ancestral heritage. His Majesty is also engaged in supporting the activities of all religions in Thailand and carries out administrative duties in accordance with the democratic form of governance. Furthermore, His Majesty has continued to build friendly relations with foreign countries.
His Majesty is highly attuned to issues regarding the environment, waterways, and the changing lifestyle that has resulted from urbanization. Building upon the legacy of his royal father, he established a volunteer network. With the motto of “We do good from the heart”, the network aims to encourage a volunteer spirit among people of all ages and genders to do good for the common benefit of society. The network has since been continuously involved in the cleaning and dredging of canals, waterways, and roads.
His Majesty understands the importance of education in the development of the people and nation. As Crown Prince, he regularly bestowed scholarships drawn from personal assets as well as donated funds. He subsequently commanded the establishment of the His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn Scholarship Foundation, abbreviated in Thai to Mor Tor Sor. Under this scheme, every year, the Committee of the Mor Tor Sor Foundation and the Governors of every province would bring scholarship recipients for an audience with His Majesty to receive their scholarships and a commemorative plaque, giving great joy to both the students and their teachers.