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Cabinet mulls end of entertainment ban

BANGKOK: The cabinet will today (Nov 1) consider whether to allow entertainment activities and TV soap operas to resume on Nov 14, when the 30 day suspension of such activities ends.

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Bangkok Post

Tuesday 1 November 2016, 08:52AM

At the same moment that cabinet approved a debate today (Nov 1) over whether to resume night life and TV soap operas, mourners served pointed notice the one-month mourning is barely half over. Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul
At the same moment that cabinet approved a debate today (Nov 1) over whether to resume night life and TV soap operas, mourners served pointed notice the one-month mourning is barely half over. Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

Government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the government’s situation monitoring command centre discussed the issue yesterday (Oct 31) and wants the situation to return to normal as soon as possible.

On Oct 18 the government asked business and entertainment operators as well as television stations to suspend entertainment activities and programmes for 30 days.

As a result, the centre will propose today that the cabinet allow such activities to resume. Local authorities will be encouraged to contact the centre regarding any doubts about which activities will be allowed to resume.

Meanwhile, the centre approved in principle to allow online queue bookings for mourners who want to enter the Grand Palace to pay respects before the body of His Majesty.

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and the Ministry of Science and Technology have been assigned to design the online booking system, said Pongsawat Phanjit, 1st Army deputy commander.

Work is needed to establish quotas for walk-in visitors and those with online bookings, said Maj Gen Pongsawat, who is also the deputy director of the joint Peace and Order Administration Centre (POAC).

The Interior Ministry’s Damrong Tham Centre in each province will assist mourners who want to make online bookings.

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However, Lt Gen Sansern said the proposal needs careful consideration, adding if it proves impractical it will be discarded.

Since Saturday (Oct 29), mourners have been allowed to enter the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall inside the Grand Palace to pay their respects to the late King, except during royal merit-making ceremonies.

However, the royal family allowed the public to enter the throne hall during a merit-making ceremony, and this raised the number of mourners entering the Grand Palace from 30,000 on Saturday to 39,000 on Sunday.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was briefed on efforts to assist mourners as he chaired a POAC meeting at Sanam Luang yesterday.

He asked officials to lay out advance plans to cope with the influx of mourners, urging them to be prepared and take proactive approaches to deal with the issue. Officials must also have plans to deal with security issues and those who violate the laws must be arrested, he noted.

Mourners need to be vigilant during their travels and must alert officials of intoxicated drivers, he said, adding alcohol-test checkpoints should be established on roads leading to Bangkok.

Read original story here.



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