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Obama leads tributes from world leaders

Posted by pakin On October - 14 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Bhutan announces day of mourning

Leaders of countries around the world expressed their condolences to the people of Thailand yesterday on the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

In a message addressed to the Royal Family, the government and people of Thailand, United States President Barack Obama said: “As the revered leader and only monarch that most Thais have ever known, His Majesty was a tireless champion of his country’s development and demonstrated unflagging devotion to improving the standard of living of the Thai people.

“With a creative spirit and a drive for innovation, he pioneered new technologies that have rightfully received worldwide acclaim,” the White House press release read. “His Majesty leaves a legacy of care for the Thai people that will be cherished by future generations.”

Obama met His Majesty in 2012.
At the United Nations headquarters in New York, representatives of member countries held a minute’s silence before their meeting as a mark of respect on the passing of the monarch.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said he hoped Thailand would honour the King’s legacy of commitment to universal values and respect for human rights, his spokesman said in a statement yesterday.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak paid tribute on his Facebook page, saying “King Bhumibol was a towering presence whose contribution to Thailand, and the rest of the region, is beyond words. We join the Thai people in mourning his loss.”

The Myanmar President Office also extended condolences on Facebook.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, tweeted: “[The] people of India and I join the people of Thailand in grieving the loss of one of the tallest leaders of our times, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.”

Jesus Miguel Sanz, ambassador and head of the European Union delegation to Thailand, posted on Facebook: “During my time here I have felt the true love of the Thai people for King Bhumibol, whose contributions touched the lives of many and will be remembered for many generations to come.”

Britain’s Ambassador to Thailand Brian Davidson said on Facebook: “Deeply saddened to hear of death of His Majesty. He will be sorely missed within and outside Thailand. I offer our heartfelt condolences.”

Bhutan has gone one step further by announcing today as a day of mourning. King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and the Royal Grandmother are scheduled to lead prayers today to mark His Majesty’s passing. Bhutan’s national flag will be flown at half-mast, while offices and schools will be closed so people can visit temples and offer prayers for the beloved monarch. Special prayers will be chanted and butter lamps lit at several sacred spots in Bhutan for the next seven days.

“His Majesty the King [Jigme] received the news of the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand with immense sorrow,” said a statement posted on the Bhutanese royal’s Facebook page.

“His Majesty the late King Bhumibol has been an exceptional leader, a comforting presence in the lives of every Thai citizen. His Majesty’s enduring service for the welfare and well-being of his people will be remembered with honour and respect,” the statement said.

“The Royal Families of Bhutan and Thailand have shared exceptionally warm relations over the years, which have be mirrored by strong bonds of friendship between the two countries,” it read.

A lifetime of love and achievement

Posted by pakin On October - 14 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

In his 70 years as the doting monarch of the Kingdom of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumipol Adulyadej brought peace when it was needed and showed the way towards easing the plight of the poor and bringing prosperity. His Majesty’s life was one of great achievement in every field imaginable, from science to agriculture to sport and music. Here is a list of some of the notable moments in his illustrious life.

Dec  5, 1927: Birth of His Majesty the King at Cambridge Hospital, Massachusetts

Dec  13, 1928: Return of HRH Prince Mahidol and his family to Thailand

Sept  24, 1929: Death of Prince Mahidol

May  9, 1933: Mahidol family settles in Lausanne, Switzerland

March  2, 1934: King Rama VII abdicates to London, England

Accession of King Ananda

Nov  15, 1938: Return of King Ananda, 13, to Thailand as sovereign for the first time

June  9, 1946: Death of King Ananda

Prince Bhumibol named King Rama IX

1946: His Majesty writes his first and second music compositions, ‘’Love at Sundown’’ and ‘’Candlelight Blue’’

April 28, 1950: Marriage of HM King Bhumibol and Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kittiyakara

May 5, 1950: Coronation ceremony. “I shall reign with righteousness for the happiness and benefit of the Siamese people.”

April  5, 1951: Birth of HRH Princess Ubol Ratana

1952: The first rural development project at Huai Mongkol village of Hua Hin is established

July  28, 1952: Birth of HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn

April  2, 1955: Birth of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn

1956: Royal ordination

June  4, 1957: Birth of HRH Princess Chulabhorn

1959: First royal state visit to Vietnam

1960: Revival of royal ploughing ceremony

1965: The King’s Scholarship Fund is launched

1967: His Majesty wins the SEA Games gold medal in international OK sailing with HRH Princess Ubol Ratana

The Royal Medical Team unit is established

1969:  The first trial of artificial rain is a success. Rain falls in the targeted area at Pak Chong district, Nakhon Ratchasima

The Royal Project is established.

June 9, 1971: His Majesty celebrates his Ratchadapisek, or Silver Jubilee.

A demonstration rice mill is set up at Chitralada Palace

1973: His Majesty puts an end to street violence after the Oct 14 democracy protests turn into a bloodbath

1979: Cow and buffalo bank is established

The first Living Museum is opened at Khao Hin Sorn Royal Development Study Centre in Phanom Sarakham district, Chachoengsao province

1988: The Chaipattana Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, is established. His Majesty is named president

The Royal Project wins the Magsaysay Award for international understanding

July 2, 1988: His Majesty celebrates 42 years and 23 days on the throne, an event marked by Rajamangalapisek celebrations to, in the words of His majesty, “apologise for overtaking King Chulalongkorn” as he becomes the longest-reigning monarch in Thailand

1989: The first model of the oxygen-enhancing aerator is installed for trial at Phra Mongkutklao Hospital and Wat Bowon Niwetvihara

May 20, 1992: During street violence in what has become known as the Black May incident, His Majesty convinces then prime minister Gen Suchinda Kraprayoon and protest leader Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang to end their confrontation for the sake of public peace and harmony.

1994: His Majesty unveils his concept of a “New Theory”, a new approach in agricultural development during his birthday speech

June 9, 1996: His Majesty celebrates his Kanchanapisek with the Grand Golden Jubilee Royal Rites at Chakri Throne Hall in the Grand Palace.

1997: His Majesty’s concept of sufficiency economy earns public recognition and helps save the nation from economic crisis

His Majesty’s book, Mahajanaka, is launched

2002: The best-selling book, The Story of Tongdaeng, is released and the Tongdaeng T-shirt becomes a popular item

2004: Tongdaeng comic book by four cartoonists becomes another bestseller

2006: The European Patent Office issues patents on His Majesty’s rain-making technology

His Majesty addresses judges of the Supreme and Administrative Courts to explore legal solutions to get the country out of political gridlock

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan presents the first UNDP Human Development Lifetime Achievement Award to His Majesty the King

June 9, 2006: The sixtieth Anniversary Celebrations of His Majesty’s accession to the throne

Grief sweeps across crowd at Siriraj Hospital

Posted by pakin On October - 14 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

The grief of thousands reverberated throughout the grounds of Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok yesterday evening following the news that His Majesty the King had died – a scene echoed nationwide.

After the official announcement of the King’s death from the Bureau of the Royal Household at around 7pm, the outpouring of grief at the hospital began, with many learning of his passing on social media. They shouted: “Long live the King”.

All day yesterday at the hospital, people sat on the ground around a monument of His Majesty the King’s father and wept. Some passed out. Nurses performed first aid.

“Please don’t leave us,” screamed a tearful Pornprapa Srisang, a 43- year-old businesswoman, who arrived at the hospital late yesterday afternoon. “Please wake up and stay with your people. You just sleep, I know. You are so tired and you just fall asleep. Please stay with us.”

Waraporn Sertsurin, a 28-year-old corporate employee from Bangkok, had refused to believe the rumour that the King was dead, which spread until about 7pm.
After composing themselves, people sang royal songs expressing their best wishes for the King before shouting relentlessly: “May the King go to heaven”.

The singing continued for almost half-an-hour before fading as the crowds descended into a quiet period of mourning.

Some tried to edge closer to the hospital, while others thought they saw a curtain close in a hospital room. It could not be confirmed it was the room where the King had been treated.

At 9pm, some people began to leave the hospital grounds, while others stayed and continued to sing the royal songs and shout: “Long live the King”.

Nationwide, millions of people simultaneously were grief stricken. Several residents in the far Western Tak province, who were praying with monks in temples, burst into tears after learning the news.

In Chiang Mai, people had followed reports on the King’s health in major venues including the busy markets via TV, before falling into silence upon learning of his death. The old city went quieter than usual.

Ubon Ratchathani resident Supit Phongsri was shocked by the news, and struggled to accept it.

“I feel today is the saddest day in my life, but I do wish he rests in peace and goes to heaven,” Supit said.

A retired Royal Irrigation Department chief who worked for His Majesty, Pramote Maiklad, said he felt very lucky to have had the chance to serve him closely.

Pramote said that in the King he saw genius, which he wholeheartedly embraced as a guide for his own life.

“His Majesty the King was very knowledgeable and masterful,” he said. “He was also extremely patient, not giving things up easily. And more importantly, he worked well with others for the best outcomes.”

Rattana Vejjanchai, a civil official, wished that the news of the King’s death was not true but she would continue to follow in his footsteps – working for the people without thinking of herself.

State agencies including the Secretariate of the House of Representatives, praised His Majesty the King as a champion of democracy.

The Office of the Prime Minister issued an instruction to government officials nationwide to wear black to mourn the King for one year and fly flags at half mast for 30 days.

KPN Motor has listing in sights

Posted by pakin On August - 8 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

KPN Motor Car Co says its ambitious plan to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand is still on track despite unfavourable conditions including a slow economic recovery.

Founder Keattisak Keeratiyakornsakul said the company’s two main businesses, assembly and distribution of taxis, and tyre distribution, have performed strongly with about 1 billion baht in combined revenue.

Mr Keattisak, who is also managing director, said KPN Motor is conducting a feasibility study to offer hire-purchase loans to taxi drivers who want to buy their own vehicles.

He said at least four financial companies have offered to serve as financial advisers and offer loans for the company to manage hire purchase, an activity that will strengthen the financial status of KPN Motor.

At present, the business of taxi-assembly and selling taxicabs has a small margin of only 3-5%, but financial services are likely to create higher profit, according to Mr Keattisak.

He said before listing the company on the bourse, KPN should operate a hire-purchase business, together with taxi assembly and tyre distribution.

The company has no connection with KPN Group Corporation, a conglomerate owned by the Narongdej family.

KPN Motor Car was formed in 2000 by Mr Keattisak as a small auto-parts trader before expanding into the wholesale trade for auto parts for Toyota.

The company later expanded into selling several tyre brands. Its distribution channels includes two outlets and an online platform.

In 2008, it started to assemble and distribute taxicabs. Since then, the company has distributed more than 5,000 units, said Mr Keattisak.

The competition in the taxi-assembly business is intense with a number of assemblers.

However, the potential remains strong thanks to the growing demand for replacement taxis in Bangkok and Greater Bangkok.

The number of taxis in the metropolitan area totalled 97,766 with 72,439 drivers as of April, according to the Land Transport Department. In 2015, new registered taxis rose by 23.1% to 9,409 units in Bangkok and Greater Bangkok.

About 10,000 taxicabs need to be replaced every year as the average lifetime of a taxicab is only nine years.

KPN’s taxicabs are sold via 25 outlets in Bangkok and vicinities, 20 of which are partnerships with Toyota dealers and gas installers. The rest are run by KPN.

Toyota’s Altis is a popular model for taxi assembly and the model sells at 800,000 to 900,000 baht a unit.

Other models from Toyota such as the Innova, Camry and Fortuner are also available.

Mr Keattisak expects to sell 1,000 taxicabs this year.

After listing on the stock market, Mr Keattisak said the company will expand into property development with its first project, a low-rise condominium on Pradit Manutham Road, scheduled to start construction in 2019.

“Urbanisation and new mass-transit routes in Greater Bangkok are positive factors for the property sector to develop both residential and commercial projects,” he said.

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