Sanam Luang surrounded by checkpoints
More security checkpoints will be set up around Sanam Luang as tens of thousands of mourners are expected to turn up there to watch the royal cremation ceremonies for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej later this month.
Maj Gen Santipong Thammapiya, deputy chief of 1st Army Region, said nine checkpoints will be up and running in the inner area and 20 others in the vicinity including along Ratchadamnoen and Sanam Chai roads.
The royal cremation ceremonies are scheduled for Oct 25-29 with Oct 26 being the cremation day. Large numbers of mourners are expected to turn up to view the royal processions and place cremation flowers at nearby replicas of the royal cremation site.
According to Maj Gen Santipong, people who want to witness the royal funeral processions will be allowed to enter the area after 5am on Oct 25. Staff will be on hand to help direct them to the prepared areas.
He said while bus services will be provided to transport people to inner-city areas, they will have to walk from the drop-off points to Sanam Luang.
Full dress rehearsals have been scheduled for tomorrow and Oct 21, with Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn due to join on the second date.
She visited the royal crematorium at Sanam Luang yesterday morning to check on construction and was informed of progress involving the royal crematorium and other structures by Fine Arts Department director-general Anan Chuchote.
According to Maj Gen Santipong, the two full dress rehearsals will proceed as planned, with 9,676 officials scheduled to take part.
He said a dress rehearsal for the sixth procession, which involves transporting the royal ashes to Wat Ratchabophit and Wat Bowon Niwet, will occur on Oct 22.
The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority has adjusted 10 bus routes this weekend to accommodate the rehearsals. Passengers are urged to check the new timetables.
Australia’s governor-general and his wife will visit Thailand from Oct 25-27 and attend the main ceremony on Oct 26.