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Phuket honors HM King Chulalongkorn

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PHUKET: The life and achievements of HM King Chulalongkorn were commemorated in a ceremony at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday.

Govenor Nisit Jansomwong led an assembly of officials in adorning the “Chulalongkorn the Great” monument with flowers.

After the ceremony and speeches, Governor Nisit presented five 10,000-baht prizes to students who won an “Abolition of Slavery in Thailand” drawing competition, which was held by the Chula-Alumni Phuket Association.

HM King Chulalongkorn, born on September 20, 1853, was the ninth son of HM King Mongkut, also referred to as King Rama IV.

HM King Chulalongkorn ascended the throne in 1873, making him the fifth monarch of the Chakri Dynasty, hence the title King Rama V.

He reigned for 42 years before he passed away from a kidney disease on October 23, 1908. He was 58 years old.

King Rama V is remembered for introducing many progressive reforms to Thailand, including political, military and democratic changes. He is best remembered for the abolition of slavery.

Before he abolished slavery, more than one-third of the Thai population were slaves. The law at the time had a fixed value for the children of slaves, which was 56 baht for a boy and 48 baht for a girl.

King Rama V also introduced the first Thai banknote and proclaimed the first railway to be built in Thailand, from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima.

October 23, Chulalongkorn Day or Wan Piya Maharat, is marked as a public holiday every year in Thailand in honor of King Rama V.

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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