By Anapat Deechuay
HRH CROWN PRINCE Maha Vajiralongkorn has instructed the government to make preparations for people who will be paying their respects to the late King inside the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall from October 28.
“We will have to think about their numbers, and also about where they can eat and rest,” Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday.
A massive number of people are expected to turn up at the throne hall as soon as the Royal Household Bureau starts allowing mourners to pay tribute in front of the much-revered monarch’s body on October 28.
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away peacefully at the age of 89 last Thursday, throwing Thailand into deep mourning.
The country is now a sea of black and white as people mourn the passing of their much-beloved King.
Millions of mourners have headed to the Grand Palace since last Thursday to express their undying love and respect for the monarch. At present, the Grand Palace has allowed people to pay respects before his portrait and to sign farewell messages during the day. After night falls, people still show up and pray for the King outside the palace wall.
“We are discussing plans for the preparations,” Prayut said yesterday regarding the expected mass arrivals of mourners after October 28.
The government has set up a situation-monitoring centre since the King’s passing to facilitate arrangements related to the Royal funeral rites. Prayut heads the centre.
The prime minister said the Crown Prince had ordered the government to ensure that mourners do not face safety, health, travel or food problems during their participation in mourning activities.
Members of the public have also joined efforts to provide amenities to mourners heading to the Grand Palace, including free food and transport.
In a related development, Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat said his ministry was preparing personnel for the construction of the royal crematorium, the royal chariot and related decorations for the royal funeral ceremony.
The ministry’s Architecture Office will be responsible for designing the royal crematorium, the Office of Traditional Arts will be in charge of related decorations, and the National Museums Office will handle the restoration of royal chariots, Vira said.
“We will allow public participation where appropriate,” Vira said.
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will oversee the work on the royal crematorium, as assigned by the Crown Prince, who is her elder brother.
Deputy government spokesperson Colonel Atisith Chainuvati told The Nation further details on the construction project had not been discussed in the meeting.