Roads closed as cremation plans step up
The public will be barred from entry to Ratchadamnoen Nai Avenue and areas adjacent to Sanam Luang from Monday through the end of the month, as they will be closed for the preparation of the royal cremation ceremonies of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The areas will be closed until Oct 30 and will be used for rehearsals of the royal procession and preparation of the royal ceremonies which will be held during Oct 25-29.
Only people with permits will be allowed to enter the areas, according to the committee organising the royal cremation.
Also, on Oct 13, His Majesty the King will attend a merit-making ceremony at the Grand Palace commemorating one year since the passing of the late King.
Deputy national police commissioner Pol Gen Dechnarong Sutticharnbancha said 38 units of 30,000 security forces will be deployed to 15 designated zones, 12 operation areas and three surveillance areas to ensure security during the ceremonies.
Reinforcement forces of 20,000 security volunteers who registered earlier will be trained by the Metropolitan Police Bureau at the Army Club on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road Monday.
"Readiness in security and traffic management exceeds 100%," said acting Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Chanthep Sesawech.
He also expressed confidence in security measures that have been put in place at checkpoints around Sanam Luang.
Meanwhile, assistant army chief Apirat Kongsompong has been assigned by the army chief Chalermchai Sitthisad to coordinate with the committee to take care of security during the ceremonies.
He was recently appointed as deputy commander of the National Council for Peace and Order's peace-keeping force, said the source.
As the date of the ceremony is approaching, heads of state and representatives of some countries are starting to announce their plans to visit Thailand to attend.
Last Friday, the Japanese government said Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko will attend the royal cremation ceremony of the late King on Oct 26. The couple will return to Japan the following day.
The government said the names of other guests attending the event will be announced once the list is complete. It is not known how many are on the list so far.
Meanwhile, the Swedish government will hold a ceremony paying tribute to the late King on Oct 26, according to Nash Siamwalla, an author, who posted the message on his Facebook page.
"The ceremony will commence for the late King who was ordained as Knight of the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim, the highest rank of Swedish chivalry, on April 5, 1950," wrote Mr Nash.
He cited former Thai Air Attache Manat Chawanaprayoon, Swedish Defence Attache Lt Col Roger Nilsson and Swedish Royal Palace Commandant Lt Col Richard Beck-Friis Hall as his sources.
The Royal Order of the Seraphim has only one class, a knight.
The order, in place since a reorganisation of titles in 1974, is only conferred on royal family members and foreign heads of state.
The ceremony, known in Swedish as "Serafimerringningen", is a tribute ceremony held for an ordained member of the order when he has passed away.