The Royal Household Bureau has denied ordering a nationwide ban on fireworks displays to mark His Majesty the King's 85th birthday tomorrow.
Department stores and shops in the Ratchaprasong area are lit up with decorations to mark His Majesty the King’s 85th birthday tomorrow. PAITPAT JANTHONG
The committee planning national celebrations for the King's birthday had not discussed the fireworks issue, Grand Chamberlain Distorn Vajarodaya said.
"We are not involved in granting or refusing approval [for fireworks]. We do not know who prohibited them," he said, referring to a letter issued by the Interior Ministry which asked provincial governors not to arrange fireworks displays during the celebration.
Mr Distorn personally agrees with the use of pyrotechnics, saying: "If I was a celebration organiser, I would choose to use fireworks. It is part of the spectacle."
The Oct 30 letter, signed by permanent secretary for the interior Wibun Sanguanphong, asks provincial governors nationwide to hold celebrations to bless the King in a manner that follows the style of activities in Bangkok, and to refrain from letting off fireworks.
Fireworks have traditionally been part of the celebrations marking the King's birthday over past years.
"A lack of a fireworks display would not mean disloyalty. It is a resolution of the committee," Mr Wibun said yesterday.
Permanent secretary for the Prime Minister's Office Tongthong Chandransu said "several phuyai" (respected senior figures) had suggested that the committee of the Foundation of King Rama IX the Great, the organiser of the King's birthday celebrations at Sanam Luang in Bangkok, wisely consider the use of budget in arranging suitable activities.
The foundation agreed to display decorative lights rather than set off fireworks at the event in Sanam Luang that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra would preside over, Mr Thongtong said.
As a result, the Interior Ministry apparently extended this concept to provincial governors, he said. Deputy permanent secretary for the interior Charin Chakkaphak said the ministry had "asked for cooperation" from the provincial governors, not ordered them.