BANGKOK — The government voted on Tuesday to celebrate Dec. 4 every year as a “National Unity Day,” a spokeswoman said.
The designation was based on the late King Bhumibol’s pre-birthday speech on Dec 4, 1991, in which he called upon Thai people to value knowledge, love and unity, government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul said.
“It is to honor His Majesty the King and continue his legacy of a king who cared for his people,” Traisulee said.
King Bhumibol, also known as Rama IX, often stressed on the concept of unity in his public speeches, many of them unscripted. Quotes from these speeches are routinely adopted as slogans by the successive governments.
She also said the government wanted to remind Thais of the importance to have unity the day before King Bhumibol’s birthday, which is still celebrated as a public holiday on Dec. 5 despite his death in October 2016.
The National Unity Day itself will not be a public holiday, the spokeswoman added.