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Thailand considers naming province in king's honour 29/08/2006
22:58:57

Thailand is to consider creating a new royal province to honour the nation's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Royal spokesman Surapong Suebwonglee said the naming of a new province, centred around the seaside palace where the king spends most of his time, would be a birthday gift to the monarch when he turns 80 in December 2007.

"The cabinet has asked the interior ministry to do a feasibility study to create a new province to commemorate the king's 80th birthday," he said.

The province would include the beach resort town of Hua Hin and the surrounding area on the Gulf of Thailand, where the king has lived since 1999.

Interior Minister Kongsak Vantana said designating the area as a new province would make it easier to provide security to the royal family and government officials who visit him there.

If the cabinet goes ahead with the plan, the king will be asked to choose the name of the new province.

The king is the world's longest serving monarch having spent 60 years on the throne.

Produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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