The Government of Thailand
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the current king of Thailand, is probably the most revered and loved one in Thailand's long history of kings. He is renowned worldwide as the longest reigning monarch alive in the world today. In 1996, he celebrated his Golden Jubilee, his fiftieth year on the throne. Last year marked another momentous milestone as he turned seventy-two, completing what is known to Thais as the sixth cycle of one's life. The sixth cycle holds a special place in Thai tradition as the highlight of one's life, which is spent reflecting on past achievements and looking to the future with optimism.
The King certainly has many noteworthy accomplishments to look back on. He has gained much renown worldwide for his talents as an artist, photographer, and jazz musician. More importantly, redefined the monarchy's role at a time the monarchy was on the wane after its loss of absolute rule. The king was able to transform his position from a remote symbol of power into a constant presence and inspiration in the lives of the people, reflecting the changing times. He often steps down from his throne and away from his palace in Bangkok to serve the people, often traveling through rugged terrain to talk to people in remote villages and rural locations about their grievances, giving him the reputation as a "working monarch."
After listening and taking meticulous notes, the King works to devise a solution which is always given as a suggestion, allowing the people to decide. He often utilizes his background in science and engineering to carry out his projects that range from introducing new techniques of growing and harvesting crops to modifying rainfall patterns in impoverished areas through innovative methods discovered by the king himself.
Through his hard work and devotion, the King has fulfilled his pledge in his Oath of Accession to the Throne to "reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people." He rules paternally as a guiding force for the nation, similar to the kings of Ayutthaya, but he strives to keep out of the petty squabbles of politics, refusing to take sides.
However, he finds it necessary to intervene on rare occasions of national importance like the 1973 uprising and 1992 conflict between civilian and military troops. He also made a moving speech to the people about the need to return to traditional ways during the beginning of the economic recession. King Bhumibol Adulyadej great knowledge and foresight has allowed him to lead Thailand through the challenges of the modern era and gain the admiration of its citizen.