Friday, January 11, 2008

Govt to use Bt150 million to build crematorium for HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana

Govt to use Bt150 million to build crematorium for HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana

The Fine Arts Department is seeking a budget of at least Bt150 million for the construction of a royal crematorium and surrounding structures for the royal funeral of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana.

The elder sister of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away at the age of 84 last Wednesday.

"The budget should be between Bt150 million and Bt200 million," the department's director general, Grienggrai Sumpatchalit, said Monday.

He said the cost estimate was based on the Bt165 million spent for the HRH the Princess Mother's royal crematorium and surrounding structures in 1995.

According to Grienggrai, the design for the royal crematorium for the king's elder sister is a new draft based on old tradiฌtions and ancient beliefs about three worlds (earth, hell and heaven). Surrounding structures will include pavilions, toilets and entertainment halls.

"The construction will take at least four months," Grienggrai said, adding that between 300 and 400 workers will be needed.

Arvudh Ngernchuklin, who chairs the Fine Arts Department's panel in charge of the royalcremation construction, disclosed that the draft design of the royal crematorium for the Princess was now ready to be forwarded to His Majesty for consideration.

Culture Minister Khunying Khasiri Sriarun said the draft would be presented today to the committee organising the Princess's royal funeral. Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont heads the committee.

"The government will then present the draft to His Majesty," she said.

Khaisri met Monday with His Majesty's Deputy Principal Private Secretary Thanpuying Putrie Viravaidya to discuss the necessary preparations for the royal funeral.

She added that relevant officials would be urgently deployed to clean and renovate chariots to be used in the royal crematorium.

Meanwhile, the National Archives of Thailand was now compiling information on the royal cremation for the Princess.

According to Putrie, information from all media, includฌing newspapers and TV broadcasts, will be collected. Documents from the Royal Household Bureau, announcements about the Princess's illness and treatment at Siriraj Hospital, and details about the royal funeral would be compiled.

by Pakamard Jaichalard

The Nation

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