Decorate, Don’t Remove Portraits of Late King: Govt

A portrait of His Majesty the Late King seen Friday at the Government House in Bangkok.

BANGKOK — Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha ordered government agencies Tuesday not to take down portraits of His Majesty the Late King.

Responding to public rancor after some government agencies removed portraits King Bhumibol, Prayuth on Tuesday said agencies should decorate his portrait with ribbons and black and white fabric.

“The government never ordered the portraits removed,” he said. “I already ordered it remedied quickly. There must be no empty frame of the King’s portrait.”

He said it was also the wish of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn for the situation to remain normal like it was before the King died.

Black ribbons should not be placed on portraits showing both King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit, government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said. Instead they must be removed immediately and replaced with photos only of his Majesty the Late King, he said.

Messages such as “Long Live the King” will have to be changed to those of condolences, Sansern added.

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