Thais turn out in force to honour Queen

PM Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha joins state officials and members of the public in a candle-lighting ceremony to mark Her Majesty the Queen's 83rd birthday at Sanam Luang yesterday evening.
PHOTO: The Nation/ANN

ON THE occasion of Her Majesty the Queen's birthday and Mother's Day yesterday, Thais nationwide united to wear blue symbolising the Queen's birthday colour and make merit or engage in social activities, while people also expressed gratitude to and went out with their mothers.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha and his wife led Cabinet members, state officials and members of the public to offer alms to 84 Buddhist monks at Bangkok's Klong Padung Krung Kasem, close to Government House.

The canal area also saw a commemorative parade organised by the Culture Ministry, and an event titled "Industries Creating Mother's Day Gifts" was held for the public to attend.

The prime minister and his wife also signed a well-wishers' book for Her Majesty at the Royal Palace, which was also signed by thousands of Thais wearing blue.

Prayut later presided over a candle-lighting ceremony at 19.19 - 7.19pm - to mark the Queen's birthday at Sanam Luang, with similar activities held at the same time at various provincial city halls.

Bangkok Governor MR Sukhum-bhand Paribatra, meanwhile, led officials and members of the public to offer morning alms to 184 monks at the Bangkok City Hall plaza.

The city has also joined with the Foundation of King Rama IX, The Great to host evening musical and cultural performances at Sanam Luang since August 8, with the series of events culminating tonight.

National police chief General Somyot Pumpunmuang led officers and their family members to offer morning alms to 84 monks at the police headquarters in Bangkok.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan led military officers, state officials and board members of the Five Provinces Forest Foundation to express allegiance in front of the Queen's portrait during a ceremony at the 1st Infantry Regiment, King's Own Bodyguard.

Kalasin Governor Puchong Pothikutsai led blue-clad members of the public to release 500,083 fish into the 70-rai (11-hectare) Nong Waeng pond in Somdet district, while Army officers and state agencies in Sa Kaew's Aranyaprathet district hosted a merit-making to offer food to 84 monks and grant five cows - saved from the slaughterhouse - to five poor farmers.

People also performed good deeds to mark the occasion. Dr Anant Sripanaskul opened his private clinic in Khon Kaen's Muang district to provide free ultrasound tests and medicines to the public until noon.

In Roi Et province, 70-year-old villager Mul Meunhawong rode his bicycle on a 90-kilometre round trip from his home town in At Samat district to Muang district's Somdet Phra Srina-karin Park to sign the well-wishers' book for the Queen.

Atthapol Srisantithorn, 31, a shoe-shop owner in Nakhon Ratchasima's Phimai district, revealed the 7,500 images of Her Majesty he had collected since 1999.

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