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.

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