Discuss as:

Thai king, 84, calls for unity amid flood crisis

Athit Perawongmetha / Getty Images Contributor

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej leaves the Siriraj Hospital to go to the Grand Palace on Dec. 5, 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand. King Bhumibol is celebrating his 84th birthday today and is Thailand's longest serving monarch, having reigned as King since 1946.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

People react after seeing King Bhumibol Adulyadej on his return to Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok on Dec. 5, 2011.

The Associated Press reports from BANGKOK:

Thailand's king has called for his countrymen to unite in response to the worst floods in half a century. The revered monarch spoke Monday to mark his 84th birthday and amid deep political divisions plaguing the country.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej spoke at the ceremonial Grand Palace for about five minutes after being driven from a nearby hospital where he has been staying for more than two years. Cheering well-wishers lined the route, waving flags and chanting "Long live the king."

"The most important thing is you should not be split or fighting each other," the King said. "We need to inspire and give each other confidence so that the work we do will be fruitful for the well-being of the people and the stability and security of the country." Read the full story.