On the Phra Sumen Road, Bangkok.
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Reflections on the King’s Speech
By Joe Whitman, 14 December 2013
The conflict in Thailand took a brief break on 5 December 2013 in a mark of respect for King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s birthday. Most years, depending on his health, Thais look forward to the His Majesty’s annual birthday speech for inspiration and instruction. Previous speeches, often unscripted, have exceeded an hour and usually contain messages that provide guidance in difficult times or glimmers of hope in times of deep strife.
In contrast, his speech this year was marked by its brevity. Its contents was not full of the wisdom or timely counsel of speeches in years past. To anyone watching, it was clearly evident that the king’s health is continuing to fade. At a time where Thailand once again has found itself deeply mired in political conflict, both sides … Read More