“The official ceremony on June 9 will dedicate Rajabhakti Park on Surin Beach in honour Their Majesties, HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej and HM Queen Sirikit,” Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapontada announced in an official statement issued by Phuket Provincial Office.
The official ceremony will be held tomorrow in honour of HM King Bhumibol’s 70th Anniversary Celebration Accession to the Throne, Gov Chamroen added.
HM King Bhumibol ascended the throne on June 9, 1946. He is the world’s longest-serving current head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history.
The ceremony tomorrow will also honour the Seventh Cycle Birthday of HM Queen Sirikit, following the Buddhist precept of honouring every birthday in a cycle of 12 years. HM Queen Sirikit will turn 84 years old on her next birthday on August 12.
“There will be many activities such as a sailboat and watersports exhibition, traditional folk sports and a competition for Phuket historical photography,” said Phuket Vice Governor Chokdee Amornwat.
When completed Surin Beach Rajabhakti Park will feature botanical garden, a permanent exhibition highlighting projects by HM The King throughout all 76 provinces, a “sailboat museum” in honour of HM The King’s favourite watersport, sailing, a photography exhibition highlighting visits by members the Royal Family to Phuket, and a “Royal Pavilion” and “museum” to house statues of all Thailand’s Kings, V/Gov Chokdee added.
Dr Kosol Taengutai, Deputy Mayor of Phuket City Municipality, has been called on to assist with organising the event, said, “The area will be transformed into a park and an educational centre for people to learn about HM The King’s many projects.
“There will house a museum featuring historical photography of Royal families during their visits to Phuket and also a learning centre for sailing, which is the favourite watersport of HM The King.
“At the event (on June 9), a committee has been set up to take care of many competitions to be held on that day, such as a cooking competition of Khao Yam and Tom Som, a pineapple competition, and fruit-carving competition.
“There will be cooking demonstrations so people can learn how to make lamb and goat roti as well as goat soup, the traditional Arpo dessert, how to peel pineapples and make pineapple juice, and much more,” Dr Kosol said.
The official programme of events for tomorrow is as follows:
7am – Assembly at Surin Beach
7:30am – Alms-giving to monks
8am – Opening of the book of for people to sign their well-wishes to honour HM King Bhumibol and HM Queen Sirikit
8:20am – Mutli-faith ceremonies (Christian, Islam, Hindu and Buddhist)
9am – Arrival of Fourth Army Region Commander Lt Gen Wiwat Pathompak
- Live music by marching band
- Gen Wiwat to sign his name as president of the event in front of a portrait of HM King Bhumibol
- Candle-lighting ceremony
- More religious ceremonies
- Monk blessing ceremony
- Speech by Gen Wiwat
- Live music by marching band
10am – Cutting of ribbons by Gen Wiwat to open all exhibitions
- Turtle release
The formal announcement asked all people attending the event to wear yellow shirts.
The official “re-opening” of Surin Beach tomorrow follows the mass demolition of beachfront business there on April 20, after years of wrangling over legal rights to tenants renting government-built properties. Military support was called in to ensure demolition crews could carry out their work unimpeded. (See story here.)
Under the redevelopment project, Surin Beach will become home to the second “Rajabhakti Park” honouring Thai monarchs. The first Rajabhakti Park opened in Hua Hin last year, and was later cleared of allegations of corruption involving the terms of agreement for building the statues featured there. (See story here.)