Thai­land slowly re­turns to nor­mal

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

THAI­LAND’S party scene may get back into gear in a fort­night af­ter a shut­down to mourn the death of King Bhu­mi­bol Adulyadej, the junta sug­gested on Novem­ber 1.

The death of 88-year-old Bhu­mi­bol Adulyadej on Oc­to­ber 13 thrust a coun­try renowned for its colour­ful nightlife into pro­found mourn­ing.

Thais have donned black, soap op­eras have been pulled from tele­vi­sion sched­ules, fes­ti­vals can­celled and the mu­sic even turned down at Bangkok’s seed­ier bars – with go-go dancers swap­ping the usual gar­ish biki­nis for som­bre black out­fits.

But the junta leader sig­nalled that nightlife may soon be al­lowed to creep back – along with cul­tural cel­e­bra­tions, con­certs and the beloved soap op­eras – when a 30-day ini­tial mourn­ing pe­riod ends on Novem­ber 14.

“Tele­vi­sion will re­turn to nor­mal,” Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told reporters, al­beit warn­ing ac­tors to dress de­murely on screen and re­main “po­lite” be­fit­ting the na­tional mood.

In a nod to a re­lax­ation on re­stric­tions on nightlife he said, “Thai­land is a coun­try of tourism,” adding dis­cus­sions were con­tin­u­ing over the loos­en­ing of con­trols on in­door and out­door venues.

A gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said later nine types of events and venues would op­er­ate as nor­mal, in­clud­ing night­clubs, pubs and bars.

Cul­tural cel­e­bra­tions, fairs, sport­ing events and con­certs can also be re­stored to the cal­en­dar af­ter a month-long sus­pen­sion, ac­cord­ing to an off­i­cal cit­ing the prime minister’s of­fice.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear how that will play out with each local po­lice force likely to en­force their own rules as the na­tional mood light­ens.

Nei­ther is the re­turn of the famed “Full Moon” beach party con­firmed.

The junta has sought to bal­ance re­spect for the ven­er­ated late king, who was the world’s long­est-reign­ing monarch, with keep­ing the coun­try open for busi­ness.

The main tourist sea­son is about to get into full swing and an­a­lysts have warned that any pro­tracted clam­p­down on the party scene could drive vis­i­tors away. –

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