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King of Hearts

His Majesty the King’s birthday is an opportunity for the country to review His Majesty’s hard work for the country. Except for the last decade due to his frail health, he has initiated and overseen thousands of development projects to improve the quality of life of the rural poor and to restore the degraded environment.

For more than six decades he spent most of each year visiting villagers in every nook and cranny to listen to their problems, to ask them what they need before helping them to be self-reliant.

His passion for science also produced several cost-effective technologies to deal with drought, flash floods, water pollution, soil erosion, energy shortages and public health.

When unbalanced development destroys the environment, widens disparity and makes the country vulnerable to external shocks, he offers a valuable development model — not only to Thailand but also to the world — that is guided by moderation and moral principles.

As in previous years, His Majesty’s birthday is also an occasion when royal quotes on various topics ranging from national unity, sufficiency, development, the environment to hard work and team spirit are repeatedly aired on various media outlets.

Secretary-general of the Chaipattana Foundation Sumet Tantivejkul once said Thais like to say they love the King, which is true, but they rarely heed his advice. Nor do state authorities learn from his humble and open approach to solving problems.

Mr Sumet hit the nail on the head. The royal works may vary, but they are common in His Majesty’s openness to local input and his respect for cultural and topographical diversity. A willingness is listen is mandatory. When conflicts arise, the main royal advice is patience and tolerance.

“Unity and reconciliation does not mean that everyone must say the same thing. Life is meaningless that way. There must be diversity [in views],” His Majesty once said.

When a lot of political conflicts arise from abuse of the lese majeste law, the royal advice is to let different views be heard, not punished.

To save the country, the powers-that-be must follow His Majesty’s words of wisdom, which hold the keys to peace and national reconciliation.

Long live the King.

See the otiginal article on the Bangkok Post website.

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