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King of Thailand calls for calm in birthday speech

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King of Thailand calls for calm in birthday speech

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Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol Abulyadej is celebrating his eighty sixth birthday amid a truce after days of violent protests in Bangkok.

Huge crowds gathered around the king’s palace in the coastal resort of Hua Hin to catch a glimpse of him and hear him speak.

King Bhumibol Abulyadej appealed for calm, saying: “All Thais should consider this very much and focus on doing their duties according to their responsibilities for the greater interest – which is the security and stability of the country,” he said.

The greatly-respected king, who sits at the apex of Thailand’s strictly hierarchical society, is seen as having the highest level of virtue in the land.

Anti-government demonstrators have said their protests will begin again after the king’s birthday celebrations are over.