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Commemorative Currency Note Honoring the Late Thai King in Huge Demand

Bangkok, Thu Oct 27 2016
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The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has given assurances this week that the current banknotes will continue to be used despite the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. In response to public concerns that banknotes currently in their possession would soon become obsolete after the King’s passing, BoT Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob urged the people not to worry as the notes will be kept in circulation indefinitely. He stressed that, even when a new set of banknotes is issued in the future, the existing ones carrying images of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej will still be usable. According to the BoT Governor, the new notes will require royal permission from the new King prior to their production and distribution. When the time comes, he said the central bank will notify the people well in advance.

Members of the public interested in commemorative bills of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 7th cycle Birthday Anniversary can now do so at Bangkok Bank branches. Bangkok Bank has prepared 800,000 of these commemorative bills so that the general public in Thailand have the opportunity to have a valuable keepsake of their beloved monarch. The Government Savings Bank meanwhile have begun a similar service which began on October 26. It has prepared around 300,000 commemorative bills. The general public can exchange for these at the headquarters of the Government Savings Bank, several of its branches in Bangkok and its periphery and a number of its branches in certain provinces. The Government Savings Bank will be charging 200 baht for the exchange of these bills which will be provided with specially prepared pamphlets. Because of the huge demand, at least one bank, the Government Savings Bank, said it will limit the sale to five bills per customer. “We believe that all 90,000 bills will be distributed today alone and we are in the process of requesting more bills from the Bank of Thailand,” said Vitai Ratanakorn, a top official of the bank.

Thais waited patiently in long queues outside government banks this week to secure special commemorative 100 baht currency notes in honour of the late King His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The note was released five years ago by the Bank of Thailand, but interest in it was renewed after the King passed away earlier this month. People began lining up in the early morning at banks around the country to purchase the note, which was available for twice its face value at 200 baht. The banknote features images of the king visiting Thai people, planting grass and playing the saxophone. It is printed with metallic gold ink, instead of the red in the regular 100 baht bill. “I want to keep every single note that has a portrait of the king, because one day they’ll be all gone since we’ll be living under a new monarch,” said Surinamon Rakkaew, a 24-year-old.

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death, after a reign of 70 years, has triggered an intense outpouring of grief in Thailand, where the monarchy is revered. Since his death, Thais have been quick to purchase items or partake in activities, such as alms-giving, as ways to commemorate the memory of the late king. “I came to exchange my bills as a memento so that one day I can commemorate the late king Rama IX,” said 35-year-old Pawan Tomuean, using the king’s formal title, as he carefully inserted his newly acquired bill into a protective case. “One day I will be able to celebrate his goodness and all the great things he did for this nation.”

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