Tuesday, January 15, 2008

100 days of mourning sought


100 days of mourning sought

The cabinet will today consider extending the official mourning period for Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana from 15 to 100 days. The proposal received the backing of Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont during a luncheon he hosted yesterday for high-ranking ministerial officials.

Gen Surayud agreed the proposal should be tabled by the Prime Minister's Office today calling for government and state enterprise officials to wear black for 100 days, ending on April 10.

Government agencies, Thai embassies and consulates, and places of education across the country will fly their flags at half-mast during the mourning period.

The Princess' body will be kept at the Dusit Maha Prasart Throne Hall inside the Grand Palace for at least 100 days, and funeral chanting rites will be held daily during this period.

Initially, His Majesty the King declared a 100-day mourning period for members of the Royal Family and palace officials.

The Princess, the King's elder sister, passed away on Jan 2 after a long battle with abdominal cancer. She was 84.

City Hall will host special activities on Teacher's Day tomorrow to honour the Princess, said deputy governor Bhuddhipongse Punnakanta.

Fine Arts Department chief Kriengkrai Sampatchalit said the Office of Traditional Arts is checking repair and replacement works needed for royal ornaments to be used in the cremation.

''We will start with the major repair of the royal funeral chariots used to carry the royal urn and the Princess' body, and other vehicles. We will build the pyre on the west side of Sanam Luang, which will be off-limits to the public. We are asking the Bangkok governor [Apirak Kosayodhin] to also use the southern part of the park,'' he said.

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