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School children commemorate the life of the Princess on Koh Maprao

Phuket Bar Owners Asked To Mourn, Too

Monday, November 3, 2008
OWNERS OF bars and entertainment venues can decide for themselves whether to close in mourning for the three days set aside for the funeral rites of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana next week.

A letter from Vice Governor Tri Ukkaradej draws the attention of venues to the significance of the mourning period, from November 14-16.

Princess Galyani, sister of His Majesty King Bhumipol Adulyadej, will be cremated in an extended ceremony in Bangkok. She died aged 84 on January 3.

The elaborate ceremony marks 300 days since she passed away.

On Phuket, a ceremony will be held on November 15 at Vitchit Sangkaram, also known as Wat Kwan, close to Provincial Hall.

Other ceremonies will take place in Thalang at Wat Pra Thong, and Kathu at Wat Get Ho.

All three ceremonies start at 3pm and finish at 10pm.

The letter from the Vice Governor, dated September 29, requests that people wear black between November 14-16.

It also asks that entertainment venues either cease operations during that period, or open but be more subdued.

The letter asks for television and radio to also moderate their broadcasts in sympathy with the mourning period.

Flags should be flown at half mast, the Vice Governor said.

Tourists who visit during that period should not be surprised to find most Thais are less cheerful than usual.

Observing the mourning ceremony for a favorite princess takes precedence over the usual sense of fun.

The princess is the elder sister of two kings of the Chakri Dynasty, HM King Rama Ananda and HM King Bhumibol.

She was much-loved for her lifetime of work in education, with environmental groups, and social improvements of many kinds.

Many of her greatest admirers, and those who benefitted from her work, live on Phuket and on islands close to Phuket.

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