King maps out funeral etiquette

King maps out funeral etiquette

Volunteers to ensure all are 'well cared for'

The <i>Phra Meru Mas</i> or royal crematorium appears in the early evening light after construction wrapped up with the installation of the nine-tiered umbrella of state in a ceremony presided over on Wednesday by His Majesty the King. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
The Phra Meru Mas or royal crematorium appears in the early evening light after construction wrapped up with the installation of the nine-tiered umbrella of state in a ceremony presided over on Wednesday by His Majesty the King. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

His Majesty the King has advised volunteers to be polite and exercise restraint in dealing with people who will participate in the royal cremation ceremony next week, government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said.

The King was concerned about those due to take part in the royal cremation rites on Oct 25-29 and he does not want them to feel uncomfortable with the regulations which will be put in place during the royal funeral rites, Lt Gen Sansern said.

His Majesty stressed the need for concerned parties to ensure participants in the royal cremation ceremonies are well looked after, the spokesman said.

Volunteers who have registered to help people during the ceremonies must perform their duties for the convenience of participants, Lt Gen Sansern said.

He also urged mourners who will attend the royal ceremonies to be silent and not to shout "Long Live the King" during the royal funeral processions.

They should not use their mobile phones to take selfies with the processions in the background, Lt Gen Sansern said. Mourners should be respectful and pay homage when the royal funeral processions pass, he added.

However, the public is allowed to take photographs using cameras and cellphones but professional cameras and their components -- lenses, tripods -- are prohibited.

He said images of Thai people bidding a final farewell to the late King during the royal cremation ceremonies will be broadcast worldwide.

Lt Gen Sansern said members of the media will not be treated differently from the public. They will be required to produce their ID cards, as well as special cards issued by the Public Relations Department when they pass screening points to enter the ceremonial ground.

Opas Karnkawinpong, deputy permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry, yesterday chaired a meeting of medical and public health units nationwide via video conference to discuss measures to provide healthcare assistance for the public during the royal cremation rites.

Dr Opas said provincial public health units nationwide have been instructed to train public health volunteers to look after people who may feel sad during the royal cremation ceremony.

Saowaree Aumpasuwan, spokeswoman of the committee on public relations for the royal cremation ceremonies, said during the rehearsal there were instances when people were chanting the "Long Live the King" salute, which was not appropriate and will not be permitted on the day.

As a result, members of the public are urged to refrain from shouting this salute during the ceremony of processions on Oct 26.

The public are advised to wear black outfits with long pants or skirts; wearing jeans, spaghetti straps, slim-fit clothes or sleeveless tops is strictly prohibited.

She added that due to the climate, people attending the ceremony are allowed to bring sunglasses, hats, fans and umbrellas as long as they are black or appropriately coloured.

However, when the procession accompanied by members of the royal family is passing, those items must be taken off and participants must pay respect to the royal procession.

To enter the ceremony, each person must present their ID card at the checkpoints and keep it with them at all times.

The public is allowed to stay on footpaths along Maharat Road, Sanam Chai Road and City Pillar on the opposite side of the Grand Palace.

Ms Saowaree recommended the public bring food and drinking water. People who are ill should bring their medication, she said.

Earlier, Royal Thai Police spokesman Wirachai Songmettha warned the public against screening photos of the royal funeral pyre or the late King for use on T-shirts or other commercial purposes.

Anyone who wishes to use a photo of the late King or the Royal Crematorium must first seek permission, he said.

Anyone who has purchased such a T-shirt should keep it at home as a commemorative item, he said.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Busadee Santipitaks said the ministry's permanent-secretary has received the royal flame and the royal matches.

They will be brought to royal Thai embassies and consulate offices around the world.

Mourners who want to lay flowers abroad can check the times and venues of the ceremonies at the following website: http://kingrama9.net.

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