Thailand has deployed about 40,000 troops near the Grand Palace to facilitate mourners who want to pay their last respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
According to First Army Commander Lt Gen Apirat Kongsompong, the troops undertook several tasks such as intelligence, public security, traffic management and general services.
“Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and his deputy were concerned with the safety and convenience of large numbers of people visiting the area,” he told the local media in Bangkok today.
The Grand Palace has been the focal point for thousands of Thais who came from throughout Thailand, offering prayers and last respects to the late king who died last Thursday after 70 years on the throne.
Meanwhile, Apirat’s deputy, Maj-Gen Thammanoon Withee, said the First Army had arranged accommodation at 15 locations to serve the 30,000 to 35,000 mourners who visited the Grand Palace daily.
Besides troops from the army, security personnel from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) were also on duty at the grounds near the Grand Palace to monitor security around the clock, he said.
With the army troops and other security personnel, the public should be confident of their safety when visiting the Grand Palace, he added.
In a statement, NCPO spokesperson Col Winthai Suwaree said a joint law and order centre had been set up to coordinate activities at the Grand Palace to ensure convenience for people visiting the venue.
He said a large crowd of visitors were expected to converge on the Grand Palace on Oct 28 when mourners were allowed to enter the Palace’s Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall to pay their last respects to the late king.