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King's birthday speech
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  1. #1
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    HIS MAJESTY'S BIRTHDAY SPEECH: ‘Join the drug fight’

    The Nation, Published on Dec 5, 2002

    His Majesty the King urged his subjects to take an active part in the national effort to eliminate the illicit drug trade, which he described as a scourge of Thai society, in his traditional birthday speech, peppered with light-hearted comments on his now-famous pet dogs and their remarkable life stories.

    In the 100-minute speech delivered on the eve of his birthday at the Dusidalai Hall in the royal palace yesterday, the monarch made other suggestions ranging from the need to improve English-language proficiency to ways to control the stray-dog population.

    "I thank all of you who have come to wish me well on the eve of my birthday," the King told more than 22,000 well-wishers led by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and members of his Cabinet. "Good wishes expressed by such a large number of people must be an auspicious thing."

    The King acknowledged the prime minister's speech, which catalogued royal contributions to a wide range of national development initiatives and their achievements in raising the living standards of the people, eliminating social ills and bringing about the general happiness of his subjects.

    But he said the prime minister had omitted to mention his decades-old dedication to stamping out illicit drugs, which have done so much damage to individuals and society, resulting in rising public health costs, social ills and the deployment of huge financial resources for drug suppression.

    The King said the spread of drug production and addiction, which started with opium and heroin decades ago, [and other drugs in recent years] is the legacy of the war against communism, particularly in the North.

    "In a way, it can be said that part of the military campaign against communist insurgents in Thailand, in places like Khao Khor (in Phetchabun province), was Thailand's very own opium war," the monarch said, adding that communist guerrillas succeeded in persuading many opium-growing hilltribe people to put up armed resistance to the government's opium-eradication programme.

    The legacy of this drug war continues to cause suffering to individual drug addicts and serious social problems with drug addiction reaching epidemic proportions, the King said.

    On a lighter note, His Majesty explained why he decided to publish his best-selling book, "The Story of Tongdaeng", in both Thai and English.

    "The bilingual book will hopefully help many Thais improve their English while some English-speaking people may also benefit by brushing up on their Thai," he said.

    The King also suggested that one way to control the stray-dog population was for the authorities to organise a campaign to encourage animal lovers to adopt indigenous Thai dogs and crossbreeds, which form the majority of stray dogs.

    The monarch made it abundantly clear in his book that if his favourite dog, Tongdaeng, an offspring of a stray dog, could be raised and trained to become a well-behaved dog, many other stray dogs could also make good companions.

  2. #2
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    As his royal highness the king's birthday nears, i believe last years speech is still relevant and worth reading.
    " The present is an outcome of the past which will have bearings on the future."
    Bhuddhadasa Bhikku 1906-1993

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