The king of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej has used his annual birthday speech to call on the people of the county to come together and support one another.
The King made the address to the nation of Thailand on the day that marked his 86th birthday and called for the people of the country to support each in the speech which came amid a truce following violent clashes in Bangkok.
Demonstrators have been protesting in Bangkok and calling for the government to resign and the protests have led to violent clashes between the demonstrators and the police in the city.
The protests were stopped in honour of the birthday of the king which made his birthday speech the ideal stage to try to encourage peace in the county.
Special transportation was put on to take people to the town of Hua Hin where the King was to make his speech and each year many of the people in Thailand wait eagerly to hear the thoughts of the King for the coming year.
He said in his speech: “All Thais should realise this point (to support each other) a lot and behave and perform our duties accordingly, our duty for the sake of the public, for stability, security of our nation of Thailand.”
It is believed that the protesters in Thailand will resume their demonstrations after the celebrations to mark the birthday of their King but it is hoped that the words of the King may go some way to try and ease the violent situation and unrest in the county.
A well timed political speech from a head of state can often go a long way in changing the feelings of a nation, especially when the head of state is highly respected among the people.
By using his birthday speech to convey a message of peace at the very least it is hoped that his words will help to calm the general public opinion, if no that of the protesters.
Several people have already died in the protests so far and the usually peaceful reputation of the country is now under threat including the threat of losing many tourists to the city and the county on the whole which would have a hugely detrimental effect on the economy of Thailand.
Those who watched the address of the King, who is frail in his health, noted that the speech sounded less like guidance to his people and more like a plea for calm.