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【Global Glance】A great loss for the Thai people


King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, the world's longest-reigning monarch, was born in 1927 and passed away on 13 October 2016 at the age of 88, sparking a nationwide outpouring of grief.


King Bhumibol reigned from 1946 to 2016. From the moment he took the throne, he reigned over a country racked by continuous political upheavals, encountering numerous military coups during his reign. Although he held no political power after the absolute monarchy system ended in 1932, King Bhumibol was always considered as a unifying force for the country.

A great loss for the Thai people

King Bhumibol Adulyadej had the ability to reach out to and connect with ordinary Thai people, a skill which defined him as a proficient diplomat and an exceptionally influential king. He was widely acclaimed for many reasons, just one of which was his success in convincing hill tribes in the north of the country to switch from growing opium to cultivating vegetables, fruit and coffee. As a result of the king’s hard work, opium cultivation declined by 85%. Roads, electricity and irrigation systems for villages were all part of Bhumibol's successful efforts to develop the country’s rural regions and modernize Thai farming.


The global YMCA movement is committed to social responsibility and to providing societies in nations around the world with the appropriate support. To quote the wise words of King Bhumibol: “The will to work of everyone in the country is the best guarantee of national survival”.


Following the example of the late King, YMCAs across Thailand are committed to serving the Thai community; one of the most successful examples of this service is the Orphans Care Centre established by the Bangkok YMCA Foundation in 2000 – a project that aims to assist the child orphans affected by HIV/AIDS by providing them with housing and education.


Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong offers our sincere condolences to the people of Thailand, and stand with them during this period of mourning.


International and Mainland Affairs Section, Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong