BANGKOK – Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has instructed security agencies to adopt a heightened sense of alert during the Thai New Year.
Stressing the need to ensure road safety and public safety during the Songkran Festival, Gen Prawit said all security units including response teams will be on a 24-hour standby in the event of an emergency.
Road safety centers will operate in every community across Thailand during the “seven dangerous days” of Songkran which is from April 11th to 17th. Statistical data related to road accidents and fatalities in the past three years will be analyzed so as to allow traffic officers to carry out tasks more effectively to bring down the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths.
He also asked holidaymakers to respect traffic laws and celebrate the occasion respectfully.
Also known as the water festival, Songkran is rich with symbolic traditions such as merit-making, alms offering, water pouring on Buddha statues, and the famous Rod Nam Dam Hua ceremony where young people pour water onto the hands of their elders as a symbol of respect and to ask for forgiveness.
By Thammarat Thadaphrom