Thai king calls for co-operation to deal with floods


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The Independent Online

The revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej addressed the nation yesterday to mark his 84th birthday, calling for his countrymen to unite in response to the nationa's worst floods in half a century.

The world's longest-reigning monarch 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. People lined the route, waving flags and chanting: "Long live the King."

Thailand is divided politically and the King has traditionally played a conciliatory role in society, but he has lost influence due in part to his poor health. AP