|Thai king says country comes first
Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej urged the nation to work together for “stability'' in a speech today on his 86th birthday, marked with a lull in tensions after violent anti-government protests.
Thailand remains on edge following several days of street clashes during demonstrations aimed at overthrowing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and curbing the political influence of her brother Thaksin.
Demonstrators and police in Bangkok have been observing a temporary truce since Wednesday.
At a formal ceremony attended by Thai dignitaries including the embattled premier, her political rivals and military heads, the king said the country “has been peaceful for a long time because everybody worked together.’’
“Every Thai should be aware of this and should perform their role for the benefit of the country, which is the stability and security of the country,'' he said in the speech broadcast on television.
The streets near the king's seaside palace were a sea of yellow as thousands of people wearing his signature color turned out to celebrate in the central coastal town of Hua Hin, where he has lived since leaving hospital in August.
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and Yingluck both made speeches in praise of the monarch at the solemn birthday ceremony, the first to be held in Hua Hin.—AFP