THAILAND will go back to being Southeast Asia’s entertainment hub mid-November when the 30-day prohibition on nightlife, TV shows and festivals in wake of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death ends on Nov 14.
According to The Nation, assistant government spokeswomen Colonel Taksada Sangkhachan said Tuesday that the government has resolved to allow entertainment activities to proceed as usual after the month-long mourning period is over.
This, she said, is because the entertainment industry is seen as one of the key drivers of Thailand’s economy.
“The Loy Krathong Festival, Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year are all impending nationwide celebrations.
“If the ban continued, celebrations would be significantly affected, as would the Thai Red Cross fair, the Phi Ta Khon ghost festival as well as multiple concerts, parties, contests and sporting events,” the local daily pointed out in its report.
As such, the government has decided not to impose any limits on entertainment activities, although concert and event organisers have been urged to be considerate of the Thai public, who are still in mourning.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha reportedly said that the government would seek the cooperation of TV stations to limit shows featuring rude jokes.
“We hope they will use polite words,” he was quoted saying.
The 88-year-old King Bhumibol, said to be one of the longest-reigning monarchs in the world, passed away on Oct 13 and ended a 70-year rule, plunging the kingdom into a year-long period of mourning.
His death also sparked fears of instability in the era after his rule, especially as Bhumibol was long revered by his subjects as the kingdom’s demi-God. The Thais loved and still love their late ruler, and saw him as a symbol unity in a country wracked by decades of unrest and political strife.
Since his passing, more than a million people have flocked to the Grand Palace where Bhumibol’s body is lying at rest now to pay homage to the monarch.
Entertainment outlets and TV channels were asked to dial down on their programs, while online media bathed their websites in black and white to show respect for the king.
Tourist venues kept their doors open by the local tourism authority urged visitors to dress appropriately and be mindful of their behavior when in public.
Most Thais wore black daily to show they were in mourning.
Bhumibol’s heir apparent is Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, who is expected to be installed as the new monarch on Dec 1.