Thailand starts preparing celebration of king's 84th birthday

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Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Sunday his government has already started the preparation of celebrating King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 84th birthday anniversary next year.

He said 2011 will mark the seventh circle of the king's birthday and the nation will celebrate the occasion throughout the year.

The first major activity will be the ordaining of 999 monks across the country in January, Abhisit said in his weekly national televised address.

He said his wife, Pimpen Vejjajiva, chairs a committee for the purposes, whose members include wives of cabinet ministers.

The revered King Bhumibol is the longest-serving head of state in the world. He has been staying in a Bangkok hospital since September last year, but has made public appearance occasionally.

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