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Bhumibol Adulyadej (born 5 December 1927), also known as Rama IX, is the former Monarch of Siam, reigning from 1946 until 1996, and currently holds that title in pretendence. Exiled to France since the fall of the Siamese monarchy in 1996, Adulyadej is the official head of the Siamese Exile Government, based in the former Siamese embassy in Paris. While an autocratic ruler for much of his reign, since being deposed Adulyadej has emerged as a major proponent of democracy and freedom in Siam, and favors a rewritten constitution with a weak monarchy in a post-communist Siam. During the 2011-12 Asian protests, he has declined to involve himself publicly or return to Siam, fearing it would cause further unrest.