Thai king urges unity on 80th birthday

Dec. 5, 2007 at 7:03 AM

BANGKOK, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand urged unity among the country's citizens during a short speech marking his 80th birthday.

Bhumibol, the world's longest reigning monarch, said Wednesday in Bangkok unity is necessary for stability, the BBC reported Wednesday.

"Whether soldiers or civilians, (we) must be united, like our legs that must be united -- which means one goes forward and one pushes back before moving forward," Bhumibol said.

"This way, we could walk without falling. Without unity, the country will face disaster," he said.

The monarch's short speech built on a major theme of a televised address he gave the previous evening, the Thai News Agency reported.

"Our country will be stabilized, with all key establishments in society working in unity with full awareness among Thais of their duties and responsibilities," he said.

Bhumibol is scheduled to attend a birthday celebration in his honor Wednesday evening at Amarin Winitchai Throne Hall in Bangkok.

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