Thailand Armed Forces Day
28 February 2017
Col Pannawat Boonchai, Thailand Defence Attaché hosted a reception to commemorate the Royal Thai Armed Forces Day. The Royal Thai Armed Force’s actual Day is the 18th of January. It commemorates the victory and courage of King Narasuan the great and all the brave Thai kings who fought for freedom and unity of Thailand.
This day was also chosen to remind all Thai people of the significance of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, which has played a great role in protecting our national sovereignty, security and integrity.
At the reception tribute was paid to King Bhumipol Adulyadate the late Thai king. He was the world's longest serving monarch and passed away peacefully on 13 October 2016.
Col Boonchai said, "During His Majesty’s reign, King Bhumibol had fulfilled his oath on his coronation. I quote “reign with righteousness for the benefits and happiness of the Siamese people.” Unquote (Siamese people means Thai people this day) King Bhumibol had been carrying out his duties as both Head of State and the highest commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces. The 70-year Reign of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej began after the Second World War when our Nation was recovering from the deadliest war. During that hard time, Thai People were wishing for a new hope with the young King’s accession to the throne. Throughout His Majesty’s Reign, our nation has been developed in all areas. His Royal Development Projects which aims to improve the quality of life of the Thai people in the rural areas. His Majesty’s initiative known as the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy [SEP] which focuses on moderation, reasonableness and the need of self-immunity to protect one from impacts arising from rapid socioeconomic and environmental changes in the world.
Explaining the succession and mourning period, Col Pannawat Boonchai said, "King Bhumipol had appointed His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn His Heir to the Throne on 28 December 1972. (Which is 45 years ago?). The announcement on the Invitation for the Ascension of the Heir to the Throne had been declared on 1 December 2016 by the President of the National Assembly. I quote 'I wish to announce that His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has succeeded the Throne since 13 October 2016 onwards.'
The mourning period for official Thai civil servants will take place for one year from 13 October 2016 until the Royal funeral service which is expected to be held in October this year. After the Royal funeral service of King Bhumipol, the coronation ceremony for the new king will be commenced. In Thailand now, we have started building the Royal Funeral Pyre at sa nam loung in Bangkok, expecting to be finished before October 2017 for King Bhumipol's Royal funeral service. Millions of mourners came to pay their respects to King Bhumipol."
Col Pannawat Boonchai thanked the SA armed forces for their support during this grieving period and committed himself to strengthening bilateral relations between the Thai and South African Armed Forces.