Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to recognize the 84th birthday of the current monarch of Thailand, His Majesty King Adulyadej. The king's birthday was this past Monday, December 5. He spoke at the ceremonial Grand Palace in Bangkok for about five minutes after being driven from a nearby hospital, where he has been staying for more than two years.
As he spoke to a cheering crowd of well-wishers, the king called for his country to unite in response to the areas worst floods in half a century. He said:
The most important thing is you should not be split or fighting each other. We need to inspire and give each other confidence so that the work we do will be fruitful for the well-being of the people and the stability and security of the country.
Year 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between Canada and Thailand. Canada is home to approximately 10,000 people from Thailand.
The king has reigned since June 9, 1946, making him the world's longest reigning current monarch and the world's longest serving head of state.