King calls for New Year unity

King calls for New Year unity

Thais urged to rally behind each other despite any difficulties in 2017

His Majesty the King pledged to unite with the people in carrying out the wishes of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej during his first New Year greetings broadcast to the nation after acceding to the throne last month.

Royal message: His Majesty the King appears on national television to send New Year's greetings to the Thai people. He thanked them for showing their respect for the late King. (Royal Household Bureau photo)

He also thanked the people for their goodwill and for mourning his father.

The country had gone through an important event with the passing of King Bhumibol on Oct 13. His passing had brought great loss for the entire nation and His Majesty said he was touched witnessing people from all walks of life coming out and showing their respect for the late King.

This shows Thai people are good-hearted, grateful, compassionate and patriotic, which are the qualities inherent in the nation.

His Majesty said he believed that whatever obstacles or problems that occur in the country, people are certain to rally behind one another in resolving them.

For this year, the King urged the people to continue to firmly maintain such qualities and consider what comes their way based on the truth with no bias. They also should stay committed to pursuing all tasks in line with guidance given by the late King so that everything will be accomplished and be prosperous for themselves as well as the country.

This is a way of remembering the late King, His Majesty said.

His Majesty also said he would like to join the people in pursuing his duty to his full ability to carry on the wishes of the late King. His Majesty also kept with the royal tradition by presenting a New Year's greeting card wishing the best for Thai subjects.

The front of the card features the emblems of the Chakri dynasty, the late King and the Queen Sirikit.

Inside the card, on the left-hand side, is a message reading "B.E. 2560 (2017) Season's Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year". Appearing on the right-hand side of the card are the emblems of the late king, the Queen Sirikit and His Majesty. The card also features the portraits of the late King, Queen Sirikit, His Majesty the King and his siblings, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, HRH Princess Chulabhorn and Princess Ubolratana.

Meanwhile, to mark the New Year, several public figures, including a highly revered Buddhist monk, also expressed New Year wishes to Thai people

Somdet Phra Buddha Kosachan (Prayudh Payutto): "In Lord Buddha's words, humans are able to find happiness more refined than indulgence through the physical senses. A refined happiness is characterised by one's achievement of self-liberation. A true happiness is self-attained and not subject to influences of external objects. Even if no such objects existed, one would be able to be happy. This balances out the desire to search for or consume externally derived happiness, leading to genuine happiness."

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha: "My wish is for the people to hold to what they have learned and experienced in the past year and adjust it to suit how they plan to lead their lives this year, by being aware of their actions and not being reckless. People should also be united and apply this unity as a collective force to move themselves and the country to a better future. May all of us be happy, prosperous, healthful both of the body and mind, and away from harm.

National Legislative Assembly president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai: "May all find happiness and prosperity and succeed in one's endeavours, be free of dangers and full of health and together work as an important force to advance the country."

Former prime minister Chuan Leekpai: "2016 marks a year of sadness for the tremendous loss we have experienced. But it is through such loss that we Thais, and the world, have learned the facts about the late King's countless achievements and his indescribable generosity throughout the 70 years of his reign.

"This year, for whatever way the situation will become in the country, if all sides uphold and adopt King Bhumibol Adulyadej's guidance, all the problems can be prevented and resolved. May all Thais secure success in every task they pursue throughout this year and many more to come."

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra: "Happy New Year 2017. I wish all Thais happiness, strong health and a better living. May this year also usher in bright changes for everyone."

Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang: "May the civil servants, staff at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and every citizen be blessed with good health, advancements and fulfilment in all aspects of their lives. May our common love and compassion for each other and unity drive us forward."

Suthep Thaugsuban, chairman of the People's Democratic Reform Committee Foundation: "To mark the new year with my love, respect and goodwill to all Thais, may all of us who are protected by Lord Buddha, by His Majesty the King and the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej find happiness, delight and success in their lives with all their hopes fulfilled."

BEST WISHES: From left, Somdet Phra Buddha Kosachan, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, National Legislative Assembly president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, former prime ministers Chuan Leekpai and Yingluck Shinawatra, Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang and Suthep Thaugsuban, chairman of the People's Democratic Reform Committee Foundation.

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