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Ten Principles of a Righteous King and the King of Thailand

Ten Principles of a Righteous King
and the King of Thailand

Professor Emeritus Borwornsak Uwanno
Faculty of Law, Chulalongkorn University

On 5 May 1950, the Coronation Day, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej affirmed in His Accession Speech in front of the Grand Audience of venerable monks and Brahmins, members of the royal family, cabinet ministers, members of parliament, judges, military officers and civil servants that: I shall reign by Dhamma, for the benefit and happiness of all the Thai people. This Accession Oath was uttered without any obligation under any constitution of law, as would have been the case in some western countries, the constitutions of which stipulate an accession oath to be taken by a king of queen prior to acceding to the throne. (For examples of such constitutions, please see Article 91 of the Belgian Constitution, Section 8 of the Danish Constitution, and Article 61 of the Spanish Constitution.) In common understanding, the word dhamma in His remark refers to Dasarajadhamma or the ten principles of a righteous king, which are Theravada Buddhism based principles. This understanding is actually correct. However, the aim of this article is to demonstrate the ever since His Majesty the King uttered His Accession Oath, He has lived this Oath throughout the 60 years period of His reign and, by so doing, has transformed the ten principles of dasarajadhamma from religious and moral principles into constitutional principles and practice, or Convention of the Constitution, of a modern-day democracy, compatible with the principle of constitutional monarchy. His practices have also turned the dasarajadhamma principles into principles for public and civil management for administrators at all levels in the public, private and civil society sectors and eventually social principles for all members of a society. In all, His Majesty the King has made the religious and moral principles of more than 2,500 years ago contemporaneous for the age of globalization and not less universal than good governance, the principle which the World Bank only highlighted and used in its present meaning for the first time in its report on Sub-Sahara Africa: From Crisis to Sustainable Growth in 1989. I. Dasarajadhamma: Principle to restrain the Kings absolute power since ancient times In the sermon given to His Majesty the King on 5 May 1950, The Venerable Somdech Phra Vachiryanavongse, the Supreme Patriarch of Bowonniwetwihan Temple clarified that dasarajadhamma was a proverb of a sage born prior to the Buddhist era and was later incorporated into the treatise of Buddhism. As it comprised ten elements, it was called Dasarajadhamma, where Dasa means ten and Rajadhamma means principle for kings or rulers. He further noted that it was originated in the Jataka, or books of stories of former incarnations of Buddha. In effect, the dasarajadhamma was initially principles of conduct for absolute monarchs in the pre-Buddhist era, which was later integrated as part of Buddhist teachings. It was both religious and moral principles for kings to restrain the exercise of their absolute power. In addition to dasarajadhamma at the core, there are many other complementary dhamma principles, such as the four principles of sangaha-vatthu (principles of benefaction) and the twelve principles of cakkavatt-vatta (duties of a universal ruler). Religious or moral principles to keep the kings absolute power in check in the old days are necessary. According to the Thai administrative tradition, the King was regarded as the Lord of Life, who could take life away from any of His subjects, and the Lord of the Land, who owned all the land in the kingdom but distributed it to His subjects to make their living. (Pleas see chapter 52, miscellaneous provision, The Law of The Three Great Seal). As such, the exercise of His power would unavoidably affect the lives and properties of His people. Dasarajadhamma therefore served as religious and moral principles that prevented the King from exercising His power at will, thereby adversely affecting His subjects. When a King exercised his power in accordance with raja-dhamma, He was called dhamma raja, which means by definition a king whose righteousness brings happiness to his people. (Raja means the one who makes people happy.) The practice of Dhamma Raja dated back to the Sukhothai period and continues to be followed up until now. The ten principles of Dasarajadhamma comprise the following:

  1. Dana which means giving in a beneficial way, that is, providing things such as the basic necessities, or amisa-dana; giving knowledge and useful advice, or dhamma-dana; and forgiving those who deserve forgiveness, or apaya-dhamma. Generally, human beings have a tendency to acquire rather than to give. Growing propensity to take will develop into greed. And greed makes people keep struggling for what they want which finally could lead to malpractice, such as theft, robbery, or corruption. However, greed can be lessened or even eliminated by the practice of giving, particularly unconditioned giving. If politicians and bureaucrats in every country stand by this dhamma, corruption will be reduced or eventually eliminated.
  2. Sila which means maintaining good conduct so as not to breach religious morals, laws and all ethical norms. This dasarajadhamma encompasses respect for religious principles, morals, rule of law and ethics as restraint for the King not to break any norms. His Majestys practices based of this principle are evident in His remark: I have never ordered anything that contravenes the provisions of the Constitution or law ‚I have never acted upon the ground of liking or disliking. If I ever did that, the country would have collapsed a long time ago, and that I beseech you to do and think of ways that will not contravene the Constitution‚ (Royal remarks to the Judges of the Supreme Administrative Court and the Supreme Court on 25 April 2006)
  3. Pariccaga which means making selfless sacrifice for the greater good. In other words, it means sacrificing everything-money, physical strength, mind, personal comfort, time or even life for a greater good, as Vessandon Bodhisattva did in the Buddha last reincarnation before his enlightenment. Pariccage is therefore more profound than dana because it is aimed at the greater good of the majority, if not everybody. Sacrifice is one of the most important qualities of a leader.
  4. Ajjava which means loyalty, truthfulness and honesty as the Venerable Somdech Phra Vachirayanavongse explained: to have qualities of being truthful, free from deceit, honest to royal allies and kin as well as to all subjects without thinking of deceiving or hurting them unjustifiably.
  5. Maddava which means being gentle and open-minded to reasonable advice and not being arrogant. This dhamma is important because since the Kings authority is reverently feared by all, His gentleness will eliminate the fear. If the King behaves gently, he will win his peoples respect and his governance will be built on loving consent, not hateful fear.
  6. Tapa which means diligence in consistently performing the royal duties, leading a simple life, and restraining His mind from indulgence of sensual pleasure.
  7. Akkodha which means not showing anger, not dwelling in hatred or vindictiveness against others, or in other words, being compassionate. Anger is a cause of misjudgment. If a King is not in anger, He can make judgments in a fair and unbiased manner
  8. Avihimsa which means not afflicting harm on others including animals and all living things, adhering to peace and tranquility for all, and not indulging Himself in His power.
  9. Khanti which means being patient and persevering against all emotions, be they greed, anger, ignorance or may kind of suffering, and against abrasive words against Him, and maintaining calmness in His mind, composure, body and words.
  10. Avirodhana which means being steadfast in righteousness, not allowing any misdeeds, being just, rectifying those who do wrong and rewarding those who do right with justice. This principle is very important because it is more profound than honesty. Avirodhana also encompasses spreading honesty to all others concerned.

IF carefully analyzed, dasarajadhamma is a governance principle from within, i.e. an instrument restraining the spirit or the mind of the King, guiding His physical and vocal conduct in a righteous way. Here, a question may arise: what keeps the Dasarajadhamma from being violated? The answer to this question can be found in the sermon by Somdech Phra Vachirayanavongse, which stated that for these ten principles of dhamma, it was said that when an emperor is wholesome, he is a good ruler who does not harm others with his power. Because he rules with these dhamma principles. All other countries will pay him homage and submit to his rule. This is called to rule with righteousness and not with power. All will be happy and prosper. When the King lives by dasarajadhamma and in wholeness, the royal kin, royal servants and subjects will pay homage to him with reverence, do their duties to serve him whole- heartedly, honestly and loyally, and bring the country to prosper as he aspires‚ II. Dasarajadhamma: Governance of the administration and management in the age of globalization Without careful consideration, we may incorrectly take dasarajadhamma as ancient principles of over 2,500 years ago, incompatible with the present day, which is an age of globalization where the universal values emphasize democracy in politics, good governance in administration, and human rights in governmental actions to others. In fact, people who maintain the above understanding may not be totally wrong because if we look at the religious teachings on dasarajadhamma, often-cited examples are usually old and even written in archaic vocabularies. However, if considering carefully present-day examples, these people had better rethink. The question is, therefore, where to find examples of abstract religious and moral principles being transformed into concrete actions to prove that dasarajadhamma can still apply today and will continue to apply through this millennium. If this thesis can be proved, then dasarajadhamma should be regarded as lasting universal principles which were not originated in the West but in the East There is on better place to find an answer to the above question than in the conduct and multifarious duties of a King, especially those of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej during the past 60 years of His reign.

  1. 1. Dasarajadhamma: Convention of the constitution in the age of globalized democracy

Leading constitutional law theorists such as A.V. Dicey, Sir Ivor Jennings of Frances Pierre Avril, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada gave opinions regarding the amendments made to the Canadian Constitution on 28 September 1981. All of them admitted that in the modern constitutional democratic system, there are not only written constitutions but also customs of democracy, which is called convention of the constitution in academic terms. Convention of the constitution means practices which have handed down over the years until becoming consensus and creating a feeling of obligation (opinion juris), or having binding effect, but which cannot be used as basis for indictment in the court of law. Convention of the constitution is usually not stipulated in writing, unless there is a clear consensus that it will be abided by, such as in the case of the Statue of Westminster of 1931, where England accepted the independence of the English language speaking Dominions in writing. Another key feature of convention of the constitution is the sanction against violation of the convention, which is political sanction, not judicial sanction that can be basis for indictment in the court of law. An example for this latter case is the English monarchs royal prerogative of refusal to give royal assent to the bills which the Parliament has approved. Since 1708, when Queen Anne refused to sign the Scottish Militia Bill, which was the last time that such prerogative was used in British history, British kings and queens have never done sot to the bills already approved by the Parliament. It has thus become accepted customs in Britain that a monarch will not refuse to give royal assent to the bills which the Parliament has approved. A question then arises as to whether it would be permissible by law should a British King or queen breach the convention by refusing to give royal assent. The answer is that the monarch can do so legally but the action will be unconventional and therefore unconstitutional. But a case cannot be made against the action in the court of law. The only political criticisms against the monarch him-or herself. Afore-mentioned are examples of Britains convention of the constitution. The same case would not apply to Thailand because a Thai monarch has the royal prerogative in accordance with the Constitution (Section 94) to block a bill. His Majesty the King legitimately exercised this Royal prerogative when errors were found in the Teachers and Educational Personnel Regulations Bill and the Commemorative Coins Bill, and the National Assembly subsequently resolved not to reaffirm both bills. The said bills were thus not enacted. This case will be described later on in this article. For this reason, it cannot be assumed that Thailand shares with Britain the same convention of the constitution that the monarch will never refuse royal assent, because practices and consensus on this issue differ in the two countries. It can be argued, however, that if a This king refuses royal assent to a flawed bill, then the National Assembly will not reaffirm that bill. Regarding convention of the constitution, Sir Ivor Jennings made a comparison that if the constitution. Which is written law. Is a skeleton, then convention of the constitution is flesh and blood that envelop the skeleton and make alive. The Canadian Supreme Court explained that the main purpose of the various conventions of the constitution is to enable the law of the constitution (which may become outdated the author) to continue to apply in accordance with the constitutional principles and value systems of each age. To put it simply, convention of the constitution allows the constitution to live on without becoming outdated or having to undergo formal amendments. As for dasarajadhamma, it is clear that the original objective has been to restrain the enormous royal prerogative of the King under the absolute monarchy system. However, His Majesty the King has impeccably turned this set of principles into flesh and blood that envelop the skeleton of a democratic constitution. In fact, if we examine the provisions of Thailand constitutions since 1932 up to the present, we will find that their skeletons are similar. All of the constitutions reaffirm that the sovereign power emanates from the Thai people, and the King exercises the sovereign power on behalf of people through the constitutional organs, namely, the National Assembly, the Council of Ministers and the Courts, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. (See section 3 of the current Constitution. Hence, we call this system of government constitutional monarchy For instance, the King signs bills which have been approved by the National Assembly, establishes diplomatic relations, issued royal decrees, of appoints senior government officials of the director-general level of higher, upon recommendations by the Council of Ministers. All His signatures shall be countersigned by ministers or other competent persons designated by the Constitution, such as in the case of appointments of independent organs where the President of the Senate shall countersign such appointments. As a consequence, the King is not involved in any political consideration. It is the persons presenting recommendations and countersigning royal commands that maintain political purposes and are politically accountable. There is thus a saying that The King can do no wrong because those presenting recommendations and countersigning royal commands will hold political or legal responsibilities. On this point, Walter Bagehot, a famous British political scientist, wrote in his book The English Constitution that the monarchy is but a dignified part of the Constitution while the Parliament and Council of Ministers are efficient parts of the Constitution. Bagehot nonetheless observed that a constitutional monarch as in the case of Britain retains the right to be consulted, the right to encourage and the right to warn (Bagehot, p 67X and a monarch who has reigned over a long period and endowed with experiences would use these rights for the benefits of the country in a way that other political institutions find it extremely hard to do. When analyzing the principle of a democracy with constitutional monarchy on the basis of its archetypal country, we will find that all constitutional organs which are the efficient parts be they the Parliament or Council of Ministers, have authority to make decisions on whether to do or not to do something as well as on when. The King will not make decisions on the administration of the country but He maintains the right to advise or caution, or the advisory power. His Majesty the King has strictly upheld the afore-mentioned principle throughout His 60 years reign without ever overstepping it, as illustrated in the samples below. The first example is: when the King speaks to the Prime Minister during any Royal audiences requested by the latter, what spoken will be kept confidential. If the Prime Minister acts upon it, then it is the Prime Minister who will be held to account. He shall not refer to the Kings statements. However, there have been two exceptional instances to this convention. One was when the King remarked about the Auditor General case to the Prime Minister (Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra) in February 2006 and the Prime Minister requested Royal permission to recite the Kings remarks in his letter to the Chairman of the State Audit Commission. Subsequently, the Board of Audit Commissioners invited Khunying Jaruvan Maintaka to resume her position as Auditor General in accordance with the Kings remarks. When analyzed carefully, the Prime Minsister could refer to the Kings remarks in his letter only because he had obtained the Royal permission to do so; otherwise, he would have transgressed the convention of the constitution. Nevertheless, even with the Royal permission, the political and legal responsibilities still lie with the efficient parts of the constitution, namely the Prime Minister and the Board of Audit Commissioners, because the Royal remarks were simply expressed, but by reciting them to the Board of Audit Commissioners, the Prime Minsiter had in effect countersigned the Royal remarks in his letter in accordance with Section 231 of the Constitution, which stipulates that all laws, Royal Rescripts and Royal Commands relating to the State affairs must be countersigned by a Minister unless otherwise provided in this Constitution. Similarly, when the Commission invited Khunying Jaruvan to resume her post, it was the exercise of the Commission authority, for which the Commission had to be accountable. The second example is: when the King addressed the Supreme Administrative and Supreme Courts judges during their separate audiences on 25 April 2006, the Royal remarks on the oath-taking and the countrys crisis were made publicly, which is something that the King has rarely done, except in exceptional circumstances. In this case, the principle of confidentiality and non-reference were exempted. But the The King can do no wrong principle still applied. Any action undertaken in accordance with the Royal remarks would have to be consistent with the organs and persons who are the efficient parts of the Constitution. Regarding the above Royal remarks, a foreign academician has made an interesting analysis that while Thais expect their King to intervene and arbitrate in the countrys political problems, or as stated in His remarks, ask the King to make a decision, His Majesty the King pointed out to he judges that the heart of the problem was the lack of judicial oversight, and that the judges had constitutional authority to adjudicate the disputes. The writer made a sound conclusion that Critics may allege that the palace has conspired to hold the ultimate reins of power in Thailand, but with His admonition of the judiciary to do their job, (His Majesty the King) has laid down a legacy of support for modern democracy in Thailand and that the King supports pluralism.(From an article When kings do good by Michael Vatikiotis, International Herald Tribune, 18 May 2006, p.7) This analysis shows that His Majesty the King upholds His role as a constitutional monarch by advising the constitutional organs to perform their duties instead of asking the King to breach His constitutional duties. In fact, His Majesty the King has advised, encouraged and cautioned not only constitutional organs but also groups of people and the general public by means of His discourses and addresses on various occasions throughout the year, as can be seen in the compilation of Royal discourses and speeches by the Office of His Majestys Principal Private Secretary. When carefully analyzed, the Royal discourses and speeches provide guidance on what each person should do, or refrain from doing, in performing his or her duties as well as on personal behavior of a good citizen. The King stresses in particular honesty, integrity, truthfulness, morality and ethics. Therefore, many often look for guidance from His discourses and speeches, which not only reflect His strict adherence to the principle of avirodhana and promotion of this principle, but also His quality as a teacher who guides others, both the constitutional organs and the people, to a correct way. There is no law which requires those listening to His discourses and speeches to act accordingly. Those who act upon them will get benefits for themselves, as those who do not will not get any. The Kings conduct in this regard, besides being consistent with the principles of democracy with constitutional monarchy of the modern day. By implication, a Thai king under the morality of the society (which Bagethot calls virtuous sovereingn and refers to this in the British case as the head of our morality, Begahot, p. 47) Because all of the Kings Royal discourses and speeches are consistent with the principle of righteousness (avirodhana) in the dasarajadhamma, when the country meets with crises and the constitutional organs as efficient parts cannot resolve the problems, the people will look for guidance from the Kings Royal remarks. Once the King speaks, all sides will wholeheartedly act accordingly, thereby miraculously calming down heated political problems, as evident in the cases of the incident on 14 October 1973, the Black May incident in 1992 and the Royal remarks of 25 April 2006. Consequentially, the Thai monarchy has attained a social status of Supreme Arbitrator and Conciliator of the Nation, a status which Heads of State in the presidential system can hardly achieve because leaders in such a system are politicians and have political partisanship. Thai people and political organs wholeheartedly follow Royal advice of His Majesty the King because He in nonpartisan, stands by the interests of the country and the people, and provides advice strictly and correctly in compliance with the Constitution and the law. Actually, if we look at His Majestys constitutional conduct over the period of His reign, we will see that He has always strictly adhered to the Constitution and followed the convention of the constitution in accordance with democratic valued, as stated in His Royal remarks that He (has) never issued any orders without basing them on directives of the provisions of the constitution of the laws When a political conflict emerged between those opposing the Government led by Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra and the Government, it was proposed that the Prime Minister resign and a new one be Royally appointed, arguing that it was within the Royal appointed, arguing that it was within the Rayal prerogative to appoint a prime minister and that when there was no sitting House of Representatives, it would be within the Royal prerogative to decide on anyone as prime minister. The proponents of this proposal cited Section 7 of the Constitution, which stipulates that: Whenever no provision under this Constitution is applicable to any case, it shall be decided in accordance with the constitutional practice in the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of the State. In fact, the proponents realized that had the King exercised His Royal prerogative, a number of other sections of the Constitution would have to be exempted. These included, among others, paragraph 2 of Section 201, which states the the Prime Mintster must be appointed from members of the House of Repersentatives or persons who have been members of the House of Representatives whose membership has terminated under section 118 (7) during the term of the same House, and Sections 202 and 203 regarding the approval of the appointment of Prime Minister by the House of Representatives. In addition, Section 201 might have to be exempted as well so as to allow the President of the Senate to countersign the Royal Command appointing the Prime Minister instead of the President of the House of Representatives Whose terms had been terminated due to the dissolution of the House of Representatives. Finally, paragraph 2 of Section 215 and Section 211 would also have to be exempted in order to allow the outgoing Council of Ministers to leave office without having to carrying out their constitutional duties and to allow the Council of Ministers to assume the administration of the State affairs without having to state its policies before the National Assembly beforehand (because there was no National Assembly in place), respectively. All of the above served as a basis for the Royal statement that I am very concerned that whenever a problem arises, people just call for a Royally-appointed prime minister, which would not be democratic. If you cite Section 7 of the Constitution, it is an incorrect citation. Section 7 cannot be cited. Section 7 has only 2 lines which says that whenever no provision under this Constitution is applicable to any case, it shall be decided in accordance with the constitutional practice, and that (I) affirm that Section 7 does not empower the King to do anything He wishes‚ The King also spoke about the appointment of Prime Minister Sanya Dharmasakti after the incident of 14 October 1973: They refer to the government under Prime Minister Sanya Dharmasakti. Then, I did not overstep the prerogative of the King. At that time, we had a National Legislative Assembly as well as President and Vice-Presidents of the National Legislative Assembly. The counter-singner of the Royal Command was Vice-President of the National legislative Assembly, Mr. Tawee Rangkam ‚ It was based on the rules‚The Sapha Sanam Ma (the National Electoral College-added by the author) did not breach the laws because the Prime Minsiter, Mr. Sanya Dharmasakti, countersigned the Royal Command on it. Hence, I was content that everything was in accordance with the Constitutions guidelines‚ Those interested in Thai political history may recall that during the time of the incident of 14 October 1973, Thailand was using the Constitution of 1972 and when the crisis erupted, Marshall Thanom Kitttikajon resigned as Prime Minister and Sanya Dharmasakti was appointed by Royal Command as Prime Minister in accordance with Section 14 of that Constitution, which stipulated that: The King appoints a Prime Minister and an appropriate number of Ministers as recommended by the Prime Minister constituting the Council of Minister having duties to carry out the administration of the State affairs. Tawee Rangkam, Vice-President of the National Legislative Assembly, acting on behalf of the Assemblys President, countersigned the Royal Command in accordance with Section 18 of the Constitution, which stipulated that: For the appointment of the Prime Minsiter, the President of the National Assembly shall countersign the Royal Command. The appointment of Sanya Dharmasakti was therefore in full compliance with Section 14 and paragraph 2 of Section 18 of the 1972 Constitution, and no provisions were exempted. The dissolution of the National Legislative Assembly and the appointment of the members of a new Assembly during that same crisis were also consistent with the Constitution. In late November and early December 1973, most of the 299 members of the National Legislative Assembly, Royally appointed upon the recommendation of Marshall Thanom Kittikajon, resigned and only 11 members remained in office. Hence, on 10 December 1973, the King issued a Royal Command appointing 2}347 persons as members of a National Electoral College. Giver the large number of its member, the Royal Turf Club (Nang Lerng Horse Race Track) was used to inaugurate the National Electoral Colleges convention in order to select members of the National Legislative Assembly; hence, the National Electoral college commonly name of Sapha Sanam Ma (Horse Race Track Assembly). In the Royal Command appointing the National Electoral College, it was stated that (His Majesty the King) Commands to announce that whereas recognizing that the present situation remains unpredictable and the political foundation of the Kingdom [prior to the enactment of the Constitution has not yet been securely established, and desirous that foundation from the beginning, there is an utmost need to appoint members of a new National Legislative Assembly in line with the current situation. As it is the Royal aspiration that the National Legislative Assembly should comprise persons representing the broadest spectrum of interest groups, professions, knowledge and political views and thinking, His Majesty the King hereby graciously appoints a National Electoral college comprising the persons whose names are attached to this Royal Command and directs the National Electoral College to convene with a view to selecting qualified candidates from amongst its members and recommending them for Royal appointment as members of the National Legislative Assembly. The above Royal Command was countersigned by Prime Minister Sanya Dharmasakti in accordance with paragraph 1 of Section 18 of the 1972 constitution, which stipulated that all laws, Royal Rescripts and Royal Commands relating to the State affairs must be countersigned by the Prime Minister or a Minister. Then, on 16 December 1973, Prime Minister Sanya Dharmasakti presented a Royal Decree to dissolve the existing National Legislative Assembly and countersigned the Royal Command to that effect. In the Royal Decree, it was stated that Whereas many members of the National Legislative Assembly have shown intention to reign, and whereas the remaining member cannot constitute a quorum, it is deemed that the National Legislative Assembly be dissolved so that new members shall be appointed in line with the current situation. After the National Electoral College which convened on 19 December 1973 selected among themselves 299 qualified candidates for the National Legislative Assembly, the Prime Minister presented the name list to the King and the King subsequently appointed all of the 299 candidates as members of the National Legislative Assembly, with the Prime Minister countersigning the Royal Command in accordance with paragraph 1 of section 18 of the 1972 Constitution and the principles of democracy with a constitutional monarchy. Even during the Black May incident of 1992, in which serious confrontation between those opposing the Government and the Government supporters turned violent and led to loss of lives, His Majesty the King remained steadfast in His role as a constitutional monarch. He did not intervene nor make any political decision. Instead, He summoned Major-General Chamlong Srimuang and General Suchinda Kraprayoon, the two main protagonists of the conflict, along with President of the Privy Council, Sanya Dharmasakti, and Privy Councillor, General Prem Tinsulanonda, at about 20.00 hrs. on 20 May 1992, and gave His caution, exercising the right to warn, to both sides as follows: It should not surprise you why I summoned both of you here. All of us know very well how messy the situation is and that such situation can destroy the nation. What might surprise you is probably why I have summoned General Suchinda Kraprayoon and Major-General Chamlong Srimung because there are also other actors. But I have summoned the two of you because you two have been the ones confronting each other from the beginning, and now the struggle or confrontation has spread. That is why I have summoned the two of you. When the confrontation started, the objectives of both sides were quite clear. But some ten days afterwards, we can see that that confrontation has drastically transformed so that whatever the outcome will be, we will all lose. It has caused loss of lives of quite a number of people. There have been material losses to both government and private properties, accounting for high values. There have also been immeasurable spiritual losses and economic losses. So, to let the situation continues, for whatever reasons or whatever causes because the reasons have already changed but to let this confrontation goes on would ruin the nation. It would turn Thailand, which all of us have nurtured for a long time, into a country without meaning or with a very negative reputation. Such an outcome is looming. So the situation must be resolved by looking at the disputes and trying to resolve each one of them. There are problems every day, and in the past few days the problems have changed. The problems are no longer about politics or positions. They are about the degradation of the nation. So we must help one another resolve them. Many people have sent letters suggesting ways to resolve the situation. There are hundreds of letters both from within the country and from overseas. There are many suggestions on what we should do. Initially, it was suggested that the situation be resolved by dissolving the Parliament. But when the Parliament, which comprises 11 political parties, was consulted, the majority said we should not dissolve the Parliament, and only one party said we should. So this suggestion had to be dropped. There are also petitions suggesting various ways, and these have been proposed through the normal channel: when a petition is received, it will be sent to the Secretariat of the Cabinet or the Office of the Prime Minister. But the situation still could not be resolved. So, now there are, on the one hand, the dissolution of the Parliament and, on the other, the amendment of the Constitution to meet the desired objectives, meaning the objectives prior to the confrontation. In fact, I spoke of this latter solution, if you can recall, on 4 December 1991 before an audience of thousands of well-wishers. It seemed to be well received because its underlying reasons might resolve some of the problem. Now I wish to stress why I said that‚. if we can either amend before promulgating or promulgate and then amend and everyone knows what I am talking about the Constitution. At that time, an amendment with a broader scope than the previous amendment could be made to the Constitution anytime. Before speaking at Dusitalai Pavilion, I met with General Suchiada. So let me recount to you that, when I met General Suchinda, he agreed that we should enact this Constitution and then amend it later. This could be done. And now, General Suchinda still confirms that it can be amended. So, it can be amended gradually into what we call democratic. So, I spoke many months ago about how to solve the problems. The important point is why the Constitution should be enacted even though it was not yet complete. It is because the Constitution is better in quality and application than the transitional constitutional law which had been in use for almost a year. The latter had some dangerous provisions and was not complete to apply in the administration of the State affairs. Therefore, if things can be done as I said on 4 December 1991, then it will mean going back to review the old problem but not the problem of today. Todays problem is not about enacting or amending the constitution. It is about safety and morale of the people. These days, the general public everywhere lived in fear of danger and fear that the country would fall apart without simple recourse. From what I heard from abroad, as my son and my daughter are abroad, both of them know the situation very wee and have tried to tell people in those countries that Thailand will be able to resolve the situation. But that idea will be somewhat an overestimation if we cannot end the situation as has happened during the past three days. Therefore, I ask you, especially General Suchinda and Major-General Chamlong to help each other think Get together and do not confront each other because this country does not belong to one or two persons. It belongs to everyone. So get together, do not confront, and resolve the problems. Danger exists when people turn aggressive and use violence against one another. Then they forget themselves, and in the end, they do not know what they were fighting about and what problems they intended to solve. They only think of winning. But who will win. There are no winners. It is all dangerous. There are only losers. Everyone loses. Those who confront each other also lose. The one that loses the most id the country. The people are everyone in the country and not just those in Bangkok. If Bangkok is ruined, then the whole country will be all affected. Then, what use is there for those who think they win when there are only ruins everywhere? So, I have summoned both of you here. Do not confront each other but get together. Both of you represent many sides not just two sides. All sides confronting one another should together help solve today’s problem, which is the violent situation. When the problem can be cured, then talk and consult one another on how to restore this country. This is why I have summoned you. I believe both of you understand that to be the ones to rebuild the country from shambles will be the merits that you have done. How to resolve the situation is up to you to consult. Here is an observation. The President of the Privy Council and Privy Councillor Prem are senior citizens who are ready to give advice and consult with impartiality and loyalty to the country in order to enhance the progress of the country. So, help one another rebuild the country. The Kings Royal statement cautioned everyone to reconcile and use peaceful means and urged all concerned to consult among themselves as to what to do. Subsequently, the National Assembly convened on 25 June 1992 to make amendments to the Constitution, and General Suchinda Kraprayoon resigned as Prime Minister on 24 June 1992. For both of these actions, the persons making the decisions were the National Assembly and General Suchinda. The Prime Minister Contemplated on the Royal advice and did his duty in accordance with the Constitution and was himself politically and legally accountable. Particularly, with regard to amending the Constitution, it was the Royal advice given to the organs with authority to decide, and the National Assembly could have chosen not to proceed accordingly. However, the National Assembly and the Government at the time could risk severe criticisms from the society. In this regard, the Royal advice held such high social status that none could ignore. The King granted the Royal advice in his capacity as Supreme Arbitrator and Conciliator of the Nation, who was nonpartisan and whose advice has never overstepped the Constitution. When General Suchinda resigned, the various political parties voiced their support for Air Marshal Somboon Rahong to become the next Prime Minister. However, Athit Urairat, President of the House of Representative, presented a recommendation to the King to appoint Anand Panyarachun as Prime Minister, and countersigned the Royal Command to that effect. This action was in accordance with Section 159 of the Constitution of 1991, which stipulated that: The King appoints the Prime Minister and not more than forty-eight other Ministers to constitute the Council of Ministers having the duties to carry out the administration of the State affairs. The President of the House of Representatives shall countersign the Royal Command appointing the Prime Minister. Hence, the Kings conduct during the Black May incident of 1992 was in strict compliance with the Constitution as well as all of the convention of the constitution. There was no breach of the Constitution or of the convention of the constitution of Thailand as a democracy. Such conduct demonstrates that His Majesty the King upholds sila and avirodhana of the dasarajadhamma by resperting strictly the rule of law in accordance with the constitution and laws. It also show that both sial and avirodhana remain valid principles and are not some archaic principles as some people might believe. Sila, avirodhana and the rule of law are three compatible principles which complement one another no matter how the world has changed. However, a question remains as to whether a problem may arise if the King abides by the law but the law also provides for exemptions for the King. On this point, it is rather extraordinary that His Majesty the King does not favor any provision that would make exemptions for the King, except in cases where there are international practices. The author himself also had a first-hand experience when he examined the draft amendments to the Minerals Law. The Department of Mineral Resources made a proposal regarding the approval for underground mining that underneath private properties and publicly owned properties, except in certain areas such as military-designated security areas. The Department also intended to exclude palace properties from underground mining as well. To this, Khun Luang Atthasith Sitthisunthorn, Privy Councillor and the President of the Council of State, in which the author was then a member, raised an objection that His Majesty the King often expressed the view that the King had to abide by the law like other people and did not with any law to make exceptions for Him without absolutely necessary grounds. Consequently, the Department of Mineral Resources withdrew the provision exempting the palace grounds from the draft amendment to the Mineral Law. The last example to illustrate that His Majesty the King acted in accordance with sila and avirodhana and in consistence with the convention of the constitution was about His refusal of Royal assent. As earlier described, in Britain the archetypal democracy with constitutional monarchy the royal prerogative to give assent to bills which have already been approved by the Parliament is a royal prerogative under Common Law. This also means that the monarch has the prerogative to refuse royal assent, which is called royal veto. However, it has been the convention of the constitution in Britain since 1708 or almost 300 years ago that British Kings and queens will not refuse royal assent. In Thailand,King Prachadipok (Rama VII) used to exercise the Royal prerogative to refuse assent to the Inheritance Tax and Inheritance Bill and the Regent also refused assent to 3 other bills, which were later reaffirmed by the House of Representatives by votes with simple majority on 4 August 1934 and 29 September 1934, allowing the Bills to be enacted without Royal signatures. Since then, there had been no instances of the exercise of this royal prerogative during the reigns of King Rama VIII and of King Rama IX until 2003. In 2003, the National Assembly deliberated two bills, namely, the Teachers and Educational Personnel Bill and the Bill on Commemorative Coins on the Auspicious Occasion of Her Majesty the Queens Sixth Cycle Birthday Anniversary on 12 August 2004. The first bill contained 18 mistakes including references to wrong sections of law, while the latter contained incorrect descriptions of the Royal Decoration worn by Her Majesty the Queen. When the two bills were presented for Royal signature, the King returned them to the Parliament in accordance with Section 94, which stipulates that: If the King refuses His assent to a bill of an organic law bill and either returns it to the National Assembly or does not return it within ninety days, the National Assembly must re-deliberate such bill. If the National Assembly resolves to reaffirm the bill with the votes of not less than two-thirds of the total number of existing members of both Houses, the Prime Minister shall present such bill to the King for signature once again. If the King does not sign and return the bill within thirty days, the Prime Minister shall cause the bill to be promulgated as an Act in the Government Gazette as if the King had signed it. As a result, the National Assembly convened on 26 November 2003 and resolved unanimously not to reaffirm the two bills. The bills were therefore dropped. Thereafter, the National Assembly re-deliberated and corrected the mistakes in the two bills. When the revised bills were presented to the King, He assented to sign them and the bills were promulgated as laws. When analyzing the facts of this latest example, we will see that, first of all, His Majesty the King exercised His prerogative in full compliance with Section 94. Secondly, His refusal of Royal assent was due to the technical errors in the substance of the bills approved by the National Assembly, which, in any case, the National Assembly would have to rectify. Such rectification could be done either after the Kings exercise of His prerogative to refuse Royal assent or by submission of revisions while the King had not yet returned the bills. However, there has never been any instance of the latter case. Therefore, the Kings refusal to give Royal assent put an end to the problem and expedited the process. Thirdly, after the bills were rectified and re-submitted for Royal assent, the King still retained His prerogative to consider the merits of both bills. In addition to the above instance, the Royal prerogative to refuse Royal assent was exercised on the Bill Amending the Criminal Code. The Bill, which was deliberated and presented by the National Legislative Assembly appointed by the National Peace Keeping Council in early 1992, stipulated that the Court may fine those guilty of defamation through advertisement in the amount four times that of the highest fine in criminal offence cases. This bill was heavily criticized by the public and the media as encroaching on freedom of the press and freedom of opinion. Due to the Kings exercise of His prerogative, the bill did not fall through. In this particular case, the Kings exercise of His prerogative was very much in line with the Constitution and the democratic principles because the National Assembly at that time came from appointment and had no opposition to perform the function of check and balance. In addition, there was strong opposition against promulgation of the bill from the public and the media. The Kings exercise of His prerogative to refuse Royal assent was therefore a check and balance vis-a-vis the unchecked power and helped protect the rights and freedoms of the people as demanded by the people themselves. In this regard, it can be contended that the convention of the constitution in Thailand regarding the refusal to give assent to the bills approved by the parliament is that the King will not exercise this Royal prerogative unless the bills clearly contain errors or come from an appointed Parliament. Hence, the Thai convention is different from that of Britain. All of the examples cited in this section of the article show that the principles of sila and avirodhana of dasarajadhamma are consistent and reinforce the democratic principles and human rights of today, and that through the practices of His Majesty the King over the past 60 years of His reign, these two principles have created a convention of the constitution in Thailand, which, while having unique characteristics, is consistent with the democratic principles. 2. Dasarajadhamma: New governance principles for civil and public management The term good governance in its new meaning, i.e. the exercise of decision-making power to allocate limited national resources to various groups of people in a balanced and equitable manner, has been used for just over 10 years. The administration based on good governance comprises three principal pillars, namely: 1. Participation of various groups of people in decision-making; 2. Transparency of the administration; and 3. Accountability of the administrators. It must be noted that the governance principle has its ends in achieving balanced and equitable allocation of resources in the society to various groups of people. Participation, transparency and accountability are means to achieve these ends so as to prevent corruption or misconduct in the administration. Furthermore, this principle is aimed at overseeing the administrative decision-making of the decision-making bodies in allocating resources within to society, or of the constitutional organs which are the efficient part of the Constitution , namely, the Parliament and the Council of Ministers. As for the monarchy under the democratic system, which does not retain any direct decision-making authority on resource allocation and is but the dignified part of the constitution, the application of this governance principle need to be adjusted to suit the nature of the different institutional character. If we look at His Majesty the Kings multifarious duties during the past 60 years, we will find that while the King retains no political decision-making power on resource allocation within the society, which is within the purview of the Government, the King has recognized that most Thais live in rural areas and are poor, and that governmental and bureaucratic efforts to improve their livelihood may not reach every one. He regards the vulnerable rural people as being at the heart of development, as evident in His remarks: Development is facilitation and advancement of people who lack the opportunity to support themselves (14 March 1972). He has thus made it His mission to reach out and visit the people in all areas and provinces, instead of staying within the palace. He would listen to their problems directly, instead of only asking for reports. Hundreds of Royal remarks reflect His first-hand knowledge to the problems. One of His remarks notes that by visiting any parts of the country, I can see the utmost need to look after the well-being of the people. For if the livelihood of the people in any part of the country is deprived, then that could adversely affect the country as a whole. (1 October 2003) In His address on 4 December 1992, His Majesty the King told the audience that we went to the North-East for about two or three weeks. And we went to a place, that is, the district of Khao Vong in the province of Kalasind. We went to see how they were doing and we had the feeling that they had made much progress since we went there ten years ago. Ten years ago, the place was quite desolate. Now it is no longer so. The people are diligent. They are smiling and pleasant. ‚ and seeing that encouraged me to find another location which could be developed. That day we flew by helicopter to look at another location. We can see that in addition to himself visiting and supporting development of impoverished areas, His Majesty the King also made assessment of the implementation of His work to ensure that the people’s lives there actually improved before proceeding to develop another location. The Kings visits to various locations to see and listen to the problems of the people with His own eyes and ears, instead of having the people come to the capital, are indeed the administration With participation in accordance with the principle of good governance. Doing so enabled the King to see the real situation, as stated in one of the Royal addresses: Development must take into account the local environment in terms of physical environment, the sociological environment and the cultural environment. By the local sociological environment, we mean certain characteristics and ways of thinking which we cannot force people to change. We can only suggest. We cannot go in to help people by trying to make them then the same as us. However, if we go in and find out what the people really want and then fully explain how they can best achieve their aims, the principles of development can be fully applied. This is the basis for the principle of access, understand and develop which His Majesty the King advised to the Government in order to resolve problems, especially those in the three southern provinces. It reflects His qualities of pariccaga and tapa in making sacrifices and devoting His strength, mind, personal even though some locations He visited were impoverished and, in many cases, had no road access. Importantly, the King listens to the problems of the people, including even minor ones. This approach is truly based on the principle of participation, as the people are informed of and can express views on the Royal initiatives. It also differs from the usual bureaucratic approach, under which development projects are pre-determined from the center and the people are simple the recipients of the development policy. The result of such bureaucratic approach is that in some cases, the help from the Government does not meet the needs of the people or even does harm to the people in the course of trying to help them. However, in His approach to help the people , the King does not regard the people as the recipient. Rather, He seeks cooperation from them, while also taking into account potential implications which the Royal projects might cause. As evident in the Royal address of 4 December 1995, in which the King told the audience about His helicopter trip from Sakol Nakorn to Khao Vong to visit the villagers, the King said: It is costly to go by helicopter. But if the use of the helicopter yields maximum benefit, then it is worth it. Therefore, we must keep our eyes open and survey the terrain. We happened to pass a place that seemed to be a suitable site for building a reservoir because it would not create any problem for the people. It would not inundate any agricultural land of the people. Thus, it is a very appropriate site. When landed, the King continued, I asked the villagers in the neighbourhood about the past year. They said that they had got in the harvest and pointed to a heap of rice. We went in for a closer look. The rice had grown well but did not produce so many grains ‚ That was a revealing lesson and they spoke to us very straightforwardly. This is a proof that rice is a very rugged plant surviving with just a little humidity from the dew. ‚If we only gave a little help, there could be an improvement and the people could survive. So, the project to be done ‚could be a modest project. We must save the rain water that comes down. An idea came to me that we must do an experiment using ten rain of land typical of that place. Three rain will be used for making a pond that would keep the rain water. If it is necessary to use plastic sheets to prevent seepage, we will use plastic sheets; we must try. And further six rai will be used to plant rice. As for the remaining one rai, it will be used as a service area, that is, for paths or huts ‚ To sum up: Water thirty percent, paddy land sixty percent. I believe that, with the water thus saved, the production of one or two buckets of rice per rai could increase to ten or twenty buckets or more ‚ The next day, news come that at that place ‚ there were two villagers who said that they were willing to contribute five rai of land each for a development project and to be used as we deem fit. ‚They understood that we want to help even though this development project is an experimental one. ‚ this shows that the villagers understand development. If this project is successful, it means that, in the district of khao Vong which is rather dry or in other dry areas, it will be possible to solve the problem of drought. It is clear that the Royal initiative which is the basis of the New Theory is comprehensive and based on the understanding of the peoples plight. There is no forcing, only consulting, cooperation seeking and avoiding any small implications. Even in solving the flooding in the city, the King inspected the canals and found that banana trees grown in the area obstructed the waterways. To let the water drain better, the banana trees had to be removed. The King did not forcibly command the people to do so but He amicably asked the man whom the banana trees belonged to. The man said they were his. So the Kin asked if he was attached to them The man said not really, which means a little bit attached. The King thus said He would not want to trouble the man but if the man did not feel too attached to his banana trees, He would like permission to remove them. So it was just talking. (A story told by Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn) The participatory administration in accordance with good governance is most important because participation enables decision-making to be based on complete information and transparency and makes the decisions acceptable, balanced and equitable. The Kings approach complies with avihinsa, i.e., not afflicting harm on others even in matters considered insignificant, and maddava, I,e,m being compassionate and gentle even with Royal subjects, In addition, when speaking of anything, He acts on His words, thereby complying strictly with ajjava. Having witnessed the plight of the people, His Majesty the King has graciously initiated projects to help them, on matter where they live, in the plain, on the mountains, in rural areas or in cities. The Royally-initiated projects, which as of today amount to more than four thousands, span all provinces of Thailand. These projects do not simply give while the people receive. They emphasize empowerment of people so they can help themselves, or in other words, to help them develop so that they do not have to depend on the King forever but so that they can help themselves. As stated in on of His Majesty the King’s remarks, The important goal in maintaining national security lies with empowering the people so that they can protect their own homes in safety and freedom, help and develop themselves in their livelihood ‚When the people can develop themselves and their homes, then our nation will be truly secured and safe.(24 March 1972) In pursuing such development for freedom, His Majesty the King put emphasis on protecting the rural society from collapsing and addressing the people’s basic needs, such as by irrigating water sources, developing cash crops which can sell at good prices, and finding markets for local products, along the line of His philosophy on Sufficiency Economy. His Majesty the King in not only concerned with well-being of people living in rural areas but also of those living in cities. Once when Bangkok was heavily flooded, He traveled around to look at the problem and granted initiatives to solve it. As Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn said, the King saw people suffer. While looking at the maps, the King always thought about ways to alleviate or solve some of the damages. ‚First, he searched for all versions of maps of Bangkok, from the oldest version to the most updated one, to study how water come in and out of the city in the past. Then, he studied the geography how houses were built. He also looked at aerial photographs, from the oldest available ones, and visited many locales Himself. And to produce iodine salt to treat thyroid goiter among people in the North and Northeast, the implementation of which Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn has continued. It is important to note that His Majesty the King initiated these Royal projects by using His personal funds and supported them, until the Government recognized the need to alleviate the financial burden by allocating budgets to support these projects. This demonstrates that the King has practiced dasarajadhamma of dana, i.e., giving, and pariccaga, i.e. sacrificing for the benefits to the majority of people, and adhered to the principle of accountability. When initiating the projects, the King used His personal funds to implement them after having conducted experiments within the compound of chitralada Palace or some For soldiers and policemen who work to defend the country, the King took it upon Himself to establish the Sai Jai Thai Foundation under Royal patronage to help them. For people who suffer from disasters, He established the Ratchapracha Samasai Foundation to help them. For all students, He initiated the publication of junior encyclopaedia. And so on. It would be impossible to cite here all of His initiatives. In the various Royal projects, the King’s initiatives are all encompassing from the four basic needs which are about survival and livelihood, to medicine, public health, agriculture, fisheries, livestock, land reform, artificial rain, development of water sources, road construction, etc. He also thought of minute issues which we usually overlook, such as the projects to provide lunch for poor students Other places. When the Government, seeing the benefits of these projects. Requested Royal permission to transfer them into its responsibility, the King granted His permission. His action in this regard shows that the King differentiates between Royal responsibilities and the responsibilities of the Government. As the various projects, which the King had experimented and initiated under His patronage, met with success and amounted to as many as 4,368 projects, as listed in the table below, the Government, which has direct responsibility, sought Royal permission to transfer them to its responsibility. In other words, if the projects were still in their experimental stage or uncertain, the King would take responsibility for them, especially those projects initiated around 1947, the experimentation of which He undertook within the Chitralada Palace compound. Summary of the Numbers Royally-initiated Projects (1952-2005) Project types Number 1. Agriculture 559 2. Environment 931 3. Public health 50 4. Occupational promotion 325 5. Water resources development 1,770 6. Communications 164 7. Social welfare 179 8. Others 390 Total 4,368 Sources: Project Relations Division, Office of His Majesty the King’s Principal Private Secretary and office of the Royal Development Projects Board His Majesty the King made Royal addresses on many occasions that theoretical Knowledge is necessary, but theories that cannot be put to practice because of their incompatibility with social conditions are of no use. Therefore, when initiating any project, the King would always experiment first before promoting it more broadly. Even with the New Theory of dividing a piece of land into 3 parts, He also experimented on it until proven to be workable before implementing it. For those initiatives which failed in the experimental stage, the King would terminate them, such as the Toh Dang Swamp initiative in Narathiwat Province. In sum, the theory initiated by His Majesty the King has always been based on reality and workability, and not on casual, unsubstantiated or unproven projects. It is also consistent with the concept of new public management. When His development theory is proved effective, His Majesty the King would inform the people about it, without forcing the people or the Government to comply. He has transferred technology to those who are interested to study or use them by establishing Royal Development Study Centres as living natural museums. There are currently 6 such centres located in different regions of the country, namely:

  1. The Khao Hin Sorn Royal Development Study Centre, located at Phamon Sarakham District, Chachoengsao Province, focusing on development and rehabilitation of land and water resources;
  2. The Pikun thong Royal Development Study Centre, located at Muang District, Narathiwat province, focusing on study and development of deteriorating swamp land for agricultural use;
  3. The Puparn Royal Development Study centre, located at Ban Na Nok Khao, Huai Yang Sub-district, Muang District, Sakon Nakhon Province, focusing on experimentation of various aspects of agricultural development for the sandy-soiled areas facing soil deterioration and water shortage;
  4. The Huai Hong Krai Royal Development Study Centre, located at Khun Mae Kuang, Doi Saket District, Chiang Mai Province, focusing on study of development patterns of watershed areas due to deforestation, which causes drought, and forest fires;
  5. The Husi Sai Royal Development Study Centre, located at Sam Phraya Subditrict, Cha-am District, Petchaburi Province, focusing on restoration of ecological balance and rehabilitation of deteriorated forests to prevent desertification;
  6. The Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Centre, located in Kong Kud Sub-district, Tha Mai District, Chantaburi Province, focusing on study, research and experimentation on improvement of the environment relating to fisheries and agriculture in the eastern coastal areas in Chantaburi Province.

These Centres have become venues which integrate theory with practice and from which the general public, educational institutions and international organizations have drawn the various models for development. Such is the concept of knowledge management put into practice well before the concept itself became well-known. In addition, His Majesty the King has applied an innovative administrative system in managing the Centres by turning them into one-stop service centres, where services are provided on every field, be they agricultural promotion, natural resources and environmental conservation, public health or marketing. The Centres also have transparent management processes under the supervision of committees or working groups, with clear plans and budgets. The King Himself also makes assessment and monitors the progress of these Centres constantly. All of these constitute a new management principle called plan, do, check, act or PDCA His Majesty the King has also utilized multi-sectoral organizational methods, combining bureaucratic way with those of non-government organizations (NGO). Hence, besides the Office of the Royal Development Projects Board, which is a department-level governmental body set up by the Government to verse the various Royally-initiated projects, the King set up a number of foundations to take responsibility in development work, such as The Chaipattana Foundation, the Sai Jai That Foundation under Royal Patronge, and the Royal Project Foundation. This was because the bureaucratic system often encounters re-tape and must comply with regulations and procedures, which do not enable it to respond to the problem in a timely manner. In fact, the monarchy is the source of bureaucracy, be they legislative, administrative or judicial, and the root of the word bureaucracy or rachakarn in Thai means service of the King. However, when it comes to helping the people, the monarchy, which should have been even more bureaucratic than any other government agencies, has become bureaucracy that not only uses the bureaucratic approach but also adopts the non-governmental one. His Majesty the King manages His projects to help the people as an NGO would have, because it bureaucratic regulations were applied, the people would not get help in time. At the same time, in helping the people, the King does not think about economic returns of the projects, nor the cost-benefit analysis which Thai economists often use. The King once emphasized that to lose is to gain, and further explained in the Royal address of 4 December 1991 that in Thailand, if we lose in order to gain, it is alright. Take a familiar example which is the Royal projects ‚some says that the Royal projects are not academically sound and not correct. But I think that wherever we can implement a project, we must do so urgently even though the bidding has not yet been made in accordance with the regulations or the costs of the project may be a bit too high ‚ for example, one project costs 10 million bath. If a thorough study is conducted and the bidding is done in accordance with the regulations, the costs may drop to 8 million. But all these processes will take months or years. If we just spend 10 million now, and at the end of this year or early next year the project works, then the people will gain. The people will earn income if we accept to lose, that is, to spend 10 million from the beginning. There will be gain as the people will get benefits as from the first year. All of this shows that the dasarajadhamma practiced by His majesty the King as seen through Hi multifarious duties over the past 60 years is not outdated but is compatible with the principle of good governance. More importantly, the King had also made use of examples of public-civil administration, deriving from both bureaucratic and non-governmental approaches of management, in allocating resources to the majority of the people, who are poor and live in rural areas, so that the ultimate goal of good governance, namely, the balanced and equitable development for the majority of the people, is achieved. It is therefore not surprising why the United nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented the Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award to His Majesty the King on 29 May 2006 and spoke on the occasion that: For the United Nation, this ceremony has special significance for another reason as well: it marks the very first time that we recognize outstanding contributions to development through this Award. Human development, reduced to its essence, is a very simple concept: it is about empowering people. Not the few, not even the many, but all people. It is about empowering them through education, through opportunity, through health care and nutrition. It is about empowering individuals with choices so that they may live healthy, knowledgeable and creative lives. Human development puts the individual at the centre of development. It emphasizes economic growth and sustainability, human rights and security, equity and political participation‚. And that: .. After all, if human development is about putting people first, there can be no better advocate for it than His Majesty. The United Nations Secretary-General also reflected the feeling of people all over the world towards His Majesty the King that: As the worlds Development King, His Majesty reached out to the poorest and the most vulnerable people of Thailand, Listened to their problems, and empowered them to take their lives into their own hands. ‚ Thus, the Kings models for development used for Thai people and Thailand are being promoted all over the world as the Secretary-General further said: ‚His Majestys visionary thinking has helped shape the global development dialogue. His Majestys Sufficiency Economy philosophy emphasizing moderation, responsible consumption, and resilience to communities everywhere during these times of rapid globalization. The philosophys middle path approach strongly reinforces the United Nations own advocacy of a people-centred and sustainable path toward human development His Majestys development agenda and visionary thinking are an inspiration to His subjects, and to people everywhere. With todays Award, we hope to further promote the ideas and experiences of His Majestys work, and to help draw attention to their underlying thinking well beyond the borders of the Kingdom of Thailand 3. Dasarajadhamma: Dhamam principles at the heart of the society His Majesty the King once wrote in His correspondence with a classmate from His years of study in Europe that ‚I have learned from working here that the source of my existence in this world is to be among my people, that is, all the Thai people‚ This statement is well appreciated by the Thai people. Hence, there should not be any doubt as to why Thai people adore and revere their King more than any other monarchs. They respect him as Father of the people, as the King is the Father who loves His people as His own children, who wisher His children to be free from suffering (metta) and happy (karuna) and who is happy when His children are successful (mudita) without envy. He is the Father who helps others without being asked, who does what He preaches and who preacher what He does. For these reasons, Thai people feel assured to ask the King for what they cannot ask from others, especially justice. They can tell Him what they cannot tell the authorities in the country. And Thai people have done so through petitions or appeals for justice they made when the King visited different parts of the country, which amount to thousands each year and could amount to hundreds of thousands if counted from the beginning of His reign up to today. The subjects of these petitions range from seeking justice on land issues, requests for housing, Education and work, to requests for funds ad loans as well as for Royal clemency and freedom in the cases of those sentenced to death penalties of imprisonment. The statistics on the numbers of petitions made to the King in 1993 alone was 1,290, which can be categorized as follows: 1. Justice on land issues 355 2. Housing 65 3. Resumption of official positions 10 4. Request for assistance 30 5. Justice due to actions of other persons 41 6. Royal support 60 7. Education 43 8. Justice 63 9. Water sources 75 10. Justice due to actions by officials 43 11. Justice in court cases 180 12. Justice on deforestation issues 12 13. Request for work 35 14. Justice on compensation 15 15. Request for electricity and roads 45 16. Expression of opinions 37 17. Distress in livelihood 45 18. Request for funds 56 19. Justice in fraud cases 40 20. Request for consideration on conduct of monks 10 21. Request for loans 30 Total 1,290 The fact that Thai people look for help from their Royal Father proves that Thailand has had the Ombudsmen before any other nations. Since the Sukhothai period, as appears on the stone inscription by King Ramkhamhaeng, there is a bell hanging at the gate. If any commoner in the land is involved in quarrel and wants to make his case known to his ruler and lord, he goes and strikes the bell which the King hung there, When King Ramkhamhaeng, the ruler of the kingdom, hears the bell, He calls the man in and asks him. So the people of this land praise him. The difference between then and now is that in the old days, the people had to travel to the palaces gate to sound the bell, but today, the King reaches out to visit them to receive their petitions. If the petitions received require governmental actions to resolve, the King sends to petitions to the Government through the Secretariat of the Cabinet. What the King can help resolve by Himself, He does, such as accepting patients under Royal patronage or granting scholarships from His personal funds. As a result, it is not surprising that Thai people, no matter how poor, makes contributions for Royal charity causes whenever they can. They do so willingly as children who willingly give money to their parents in return for the parents great kindness, because they are confident that every baht they contribute will be used for their own happiness and prosperity The characteristics of such paternalistic governance may be difficult for westerners to appreciate, as in their societies children have rather loose bonds with parents because they usually move out to live on their own at a relative young age. In fact, the lack of understanding about the bonds between children and father in Thai culture has led some western writer to conclude that Thai people regard their Kings as Deva Raja or semi-gods, and even that such governance system is what is called adaptive feudalism His Majesty the King’s conduct has made the monarchy, which theoretically is regarded as a political institution with political neutrality, a social institution in the same way as the family institution is. The monarchy is thus a social institution which Thai people love, feel bound to and revere as Father of a large family, not as semi-gods in heaven. For that reason, it should be no surprise that whenever problems occur in the counter, be they floods, drought, hunger or political crises, Thai people would look up to their King, like children who are ill will look for their parents to be near and care for them. Likewise, when the King became ill, Thai people felt deep anxiety and would do anything to help Him well again, like children taking care of their ill father. Some made long trips just to sign the King’s visitor’s book in Bangkok. Some prayed to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha to protect their beloved King. Such action is unknown in those materially developed but spiritually deteriorating countries. It cannot be appreciated by those who have never lived in a country where warm ties exist between the ruler and the people as father and children. The leaders of these countries are politicians who have equal status as all other citizens. The ties between them and those who elect them are political in nature, so that once expired, such ties no longer matter, and the latter can make whatever criticisms of their political leaders, citing the freedom of expression. However, Thai people, who love and revere their Father, will never let anyone unfairly criticize their King. Such is the socio-cultural dimension of the Thai monarchy, which those who never feel it will find it hard to understand, like those who are orphaned from birth can, unfortunately, never feel, and thus cannot understand, the love and bond between children and parents! Conclusion His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been discharging His multifarious duties throughout the past 60 years in accordance with dasarajadhamma, a set of early dhamma principles born before almost all of todays western powers. He has astoundingly adapted these early dhamma principles to the context of modern democracy, which was born in the West. Most importantly, He has proved that things which look old in their outer appearance can be modern in their inner essence, in much the same way that the customs and ceremonies of administration in Britain continue to be practiced as they were centuries ago. We still see Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth dress in royally-ornamented attire, sit on the sheep-skinned throne and deliver Her speech from the throne on the government policy in the House of Lords, surrounded by British nobilities in their traditional costumes and wigs while members of the House of Commons are barred to stand listening from the outside. In spite of all these, only ignorant persons would say that the present British government system remains the same as that of centuries ago, because in its essence, Britain is now a full-fledged democracy that is completely different from centuries ago. The dhamma principles of administration born over 2,500 years ago therefore remain contemporary in their essence and are nicely compatible with democracy, mew concept of administration and globalize society. Such demonstrates that these dhamma principles are universal, long-lasting and never outmoded. His Majesty the King has proved this fact through His action, and actions do speak much louder than words and freedom of speech. The 60th Anniversary Celebration of His Majestys Accession to the Throne this year is an auspicious occasion for Thai people to show their gratitude and repay the immeasurable kindness of the King, the great Royal Father, even though nothing could compare to what the King has done for His people over the past 60 years. It is also an opportune moment to make it known worldwide the profundity of dasarajadhamma over the western concept of good governance.

Annex 1
HM the Kings speeches
Which advised to
Discontinue the crisis
(Unofficial Translation)
His Majesty addressed the Administrative and Supreme Courts judges during separate Royal audience at Klai Kangwol Palace in Prachuap
Khiri Khan on Tuesday 25 April 2006.

HM the Kings speech to the Administrative Court judges Your oaths of allegiance is very important because it is broad. The duty of a judge relevant to administration is very broad. I am afraid you could think that this duty is not broad. Actually, it is very board. I should not talk this time, but I listened to someone talking about the election, especially the candidates who received less than 20 per cent of the vote. Beside, some of them were the sole candidates in their constituencies, which is critical. The sole candidatures cannot lead to full membership in the House, because a sole candidate must have support from at least 20 per cent. Is this issue relevant to you? In fact, it should be. The issue of the sole candidacy elections is important because they will never fulfill the quorum. If the House is not filled by elected candidates, the democracy cannot function. If this is the case, the oaths you have just sworn in would be invalid. You have sworn to work for democracy. If you cannot do it, then you may have to resign. You must find ways to solve the problem. When referring the case to the Constitution Court, the court said it was not their jurisdiction. The Constitution Court said they were in charge of drafting the Constitution and their job was finished after completing the draft. I ask you not to neglect democracy, because it is a system that enables the country to function. Another point is whether it was right to dissolve the House and call for snap polls within 30 days. There was no debate about this. If it is not right, it must be corrected. Should the election be nullified? You have the right to say what is appropriate or not. If it is not appropriate, it is not to say the government is not good. But as far as I am concerned, a one-party election is not normal. The one candidate situation is undemocratic. When an election is not democratic, you should look carefully into the administrative issues. I ask you to do the best you can. If you cannot do it, then it should be you who resign, not the government, for failing to do your duty. Carefully review the vows you have made. I heard on the radio this morning about the case in Noppitam subdistrict in Tha Sala district in Nakhon Si Thammarat province. It is not the only case. There are other places (where there were election problems) that can cause the collapse of the country. The nation cannot survive if the situation runs contrary to the law. Therefore, I ask you to carefully study whether you can make a point on this issue. If not, you had better resign. You have been tasked with this duty. You are knowledgeable. You must make the country function correctly. Otherwise, you must have a discussion with the Supreme Court judges who will come in later. Conduct your discussions with people based on knowledge, honesty and faith in your duty to resolve this situation. The country should function according to the law. I will be grateful if you look into the issue. Otherwise, it will cause a problem, because without the House of Representatives, there will not be democracy. We have many types of courts and councils, and every one of them must work together to find solutions. What I am saying may seem a bit strange, but I have to urge you. Otherwise people will cite Article 7 of the Constitution. I affirm that Article 7 does not empower the King to make a unilateral decision. It talks about the constitutional monarchy but does not give the King power to do anything he wishers. If the King did so, he would overstep his duty. I have never overstepped this duty. Doing so would be undemocratic. They refer to the government under Prime Minister Sanya Dharmasakti. Then, I did not overstep this duty. At that time, we had a parliament but the House Speaker was away. The Deputy House Speaker countersigned according to the Constitution. At that time, the prime minister was not Royally appointed. It was not against the Constitution. Installing a Royally appointed prime minister means appointing a prime minister without any rule. At that time, Professor Sanya was appointed as prime minister, but a Deputy House Speaker legally countersigned for his appointment. Go review the history. You are knowledgeable people. You know the guidelines and the principle. At that time, other councils, even the Sapha Sanam Ma (the National Conversion for 1973) that people laughed at, did not breach the law because Mr Sanya was countersigned for. I was content because it was according to the Constitution’s guidelines. But this time, they will violate the Constitution. I do not know who told them to do so I myself feel that it is not right. I am asking you to think and act in a way that will not violate the Constitution’s guideline, to help the nation get through these obstacles and prosper. Thank you. HM the King’s speech to supreme court judges Now, there was an election in order to ensure democracy. But it Parliament lacks a quorum. It is not democratic. Please consult with the people who govern the country. Please consult with the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Criminal Court and with other courts as well. It will help the country be governed by democratic rule. Do not wait for a Royally appointed prime minister because that would not be democracy. I have suffered a lot. Whatever happens, people call for a Royally appointed prime minister, which would not be democracy. If you cite Article 7 of the Constitution, it is an incorrect citation. You cannot cite it. Article 7 has two lines: whatever is not stated by the Constitution should follow traditional practices. But asking for a Royally appointed prime minister is undemocratic. It is, pardon me, a mess. It is irrational. You are Supreme Court judges with clear heads that can think of a method to work this out. The administration must have a House with a full quorum. If not, it would not be functional. I feet that maybe finding a way to establish a House which lacked a quorum would be messing up. I want to apologies again for using the word mess. I have no idea who messed up. You cannot administrate the country by messing up. You cannot think in haste and pass the buck to the King, which is worse than messing things up in other areas, because the King has no authority. Please help the court to think. Now the public pins their hope on the courts, especially the Supreme Court, but other courts as well. The people say that the court is still honest and knowledgeable because the judges have learned about the law and scrutinize them carefully so the country survives. If you do not follow legal principles, correct administration principles, the country will not survive as it is today, because there are not enough MPs to fill the quorum of 500. It cannot function. You have to consider how to work this out. You cannot ask the King to make a decision saying the King has signed his signature. Article 7 does not say that the King has that authority. It does not say that the King has that authority. It does not. Look at Article 7. The article does not say that a constitutional monarch means the King has the authority to make an order. I insist that I have never issued any orders without basing them on directives of the articles of the Constitution, laws and Acts. I strictly and correctly have complied with the Constitution. People have asked for a Royally appointed prime minister, but there is not a rule for this; a prime minister is correctly Royally endorsed every time. There may be people who say that King Rama IX likes to do what he wants, but I have never done that. Since I became King, there have been several rewritings of the Constitution over several decades. I have never acted on a whim. If I had done that, the country would have sunk a long time ago. Now they ask me to act on a whim. If I do what I am asked to do, they will lambaste and gossip about the King, saying the he acts on a whim. I am not afraid. If had to, I would do it, but I do not have to. Supreme Court judges have the right to tell the other courts the Constitution Court and the Administrative Court. There is no restriction on the Supreme Court. Judges have the right to speak out and make a ruling, therefore I would like to ask you to consider, consult with other judges of other courts such as the Administrative Court, about how to work it out and do it quickly. Otherwise the country will collapse. I was watching TV awhile ago; a ship weighing several thousand tons was hit by a storm and sank 4,000 meters under the sea. They still have yet to find the cause why the ship sank. Thailand will sink more than 4,000 meters under the sea. Irretrievable. We would not be able to rescue it. So you would also sink, and innocent people would also sink below the ocean. Now this is the worst crisis to have hit the world. You have the duty to perform and consult with the people who are informed. People call to rescue the nation. Whatever they do, they call rescue the country. What do you rescue? The country has not sank yet. We have to prevent it from sinking; we do not have to rescue it. You have to think carefully how to solve this problem. If you can, please consult with each other. Actually, people across the country and around the world will rejoice and see that the Supreme Court judges are still competent and knowledgeable and have the willingness to retrieve the country when it is time to do so. Thank you everyone who has the willingness to perform their duty correctly, so that the country survives and does not need to be rescued. Thank you for trying to carry out your duties well; people will be grateful. Thank you on behalf of the people, everyone in the country, for being strong Supreme Court judges. Thank you for performing your duties well. Be strong in your fight for righteousness and justice in the country. Thank you. Annex 3

Speech of
Un Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Addressed to the High-Level Panel
On His Majesty the King and Human
Development

‚His Majesty’s visionary thinking has helped shape the global development dialogue‚ ‚Later today, I will have the honour to present the United Nations Development Programmes inaugural Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. I feel especially privileged to do so on the sixtieth anniversary of His Majestys accession to the throne. For the United Nations, this ceremony has special significance for another reason, as well: it marks the very first time that we recognize outstanding contributions to development through this Award. Human development, reduced to its essence, is a very simple concept: it is about empowering people. Not the few, not even the many, but all people, It is about empowering them through education, through opportunity, through health care and nutrition. It is about empowering individuals with choices so that they may live healthy, knowledgeable and creative lives. Human development puts the individual at the centre of development. It emphasizes economic growth and sustainability, human rights and security, equity and political participation. The United Nations prioritizes such development at the very centre of its agenda, and we put tremendous effort into promoting it. We do it through UNDPs global and national Human Development Reports. We do it through the development work of UN Country Teams in 166 countries across the world. And we do it through this Award. After all, if human development is about putting people first, there can no better advocate for it than His Majesty. At his coronation in 1946, His Majesty uttered the famous Oath of Accession: We shall reign with righteousness, for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people. Ever since, His Majesty has lived this Oath, selflessly devoting his time and efforts to the well-being and welfare of the people of Thailand, regardless of their ethnicity, religion or legal status. As the worldDevelopment King, His Majesty reached out to the poorest and the most vulnerable people of Thailand, listened to their problems, and empowered them to take their lives into their own hands. His Majestys rural development projects have benefited millions of people across Thailand. They have prompted small-scale agriculture; appropriate farming technologies; sustainable use of water resources; conservation; and flood and drought mitigation. In northern Thailand, His Majesty’s rural development initiatives have helped reduce opium harvests through crop substitution. At the same time, these projects have improved access To health care and education for the local population, and brought significant benefits to the ethnic groups living in the mountainous region along the Myanmar and Lao borders. His Majestys active support for a wide range of social causes has proved crucial to their success. From promoting child health to combating iodine deficiency, from campaigning against disease to increasing access to education, programmers supported by His Majesty impact the everyday lives of millions of his subjects. At the same time, His Majestys visionary thinking has helped shape the global development dialogue. His Majesty’s Sufficiency Economy Philosophy emphasizing moderation, responsible consumption, and resilience to external shocksÞis of great relevance to communities everywhere during these times of rapid globalization. The philosophy’s middle path approach strongly reinforces the United Nation own advocacy of a people-centred and sustainable path towards human development. His Majestys development agenda and visionary thinking are an inspiration to his subjects, and to people everywhere. With todays Award, we hope to further promote the ideas and experiences of His Majestys work, and to help draw attention to their underlying thinking well beyond the borders of the Kingdom of Thailand. For His Majestys extraordinary achievements and deep and unwavering commitment to human development, this afternoon it will be my great honour to present to His Majesty the UNDP’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award‚

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