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Interior Ministry denies banning fireworks

All provinces are allowed to hold a fireworks display to mark His Majesty's 85th birthday today, Interior Ministry permanent secretary Wibool Sa-nguanphong announced yesterday.

He went on to explain that reports about fireworks being restricted were a misunderstanding.

Wibool said the committee tasked with organising celebrations to mark His Majesty's birthday had decided to only ban fireworks at Sanam Luang on grounds of safety and that the Prime Minister's Office had chosen to overlook this decision elsewhere provided people exercise caution.

He said he had ordered officials to be careful and observe safety measures while setting off fireworks, especially if the displays are positioned on the premises of state offices.

Dissathorn Watcharothai, deputy secretary-general of the Royal Household Bureau, confirmed that reports about the ministry banning pyrotechnics during the celebration were a miscommunication and that His Majesty's birthday would be marked with pomp and circumstance across the country like every year.

"We will continue the traditions and customary vigils to display our loyalty to the King,'' he said.

Democrat Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, meanwhile, lashed out at the Interior Ministry over reports that it had banned fireworks displays, saying such a ban was inappropriate. He said the funds spent on the celebration came from the taxpayers, and all Thais had the right to honour their beloved King.

Reports of the fireworks restriction have gone viral on the Internet. Bloggers have complained that banning fireworks would go against the customary celebrations held in honour of the much-loved monarch, while some anti-government websites have accused PM's Office Minister Nivatthamrong Boonsongpaisal, a long-time close aide to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, of being behind the decision.




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