Phuket readies security for Swedish royal visit

PHUKET: Security will be tight during the one-week visit to Phuket of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, with more than 100 police officers directly involved in the security effort and units from many other government agencies taking part.

The Swedish royal couple will arrive in Phuket on the afternoon of June 14, following their attendance in Bangkok of the celebrations to mark His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Diamond Jubilee.

Overseeing the security effort is Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura, who received a medal from the Swedish monarch for his efforts in the post-tsunami recovery during the royal couple’s visit to the region in February 2005.

Chairing a meeting on the topic of the royal visit at Phuket Provincial Hall on June 6, Gov Udomsak told attendees that King Karl Gustaf and Queen Silvia will be staying at the Trisara Resort at Nai Thon Beach. Their itinerary may also include a trip to Phang Nga and a visit to Bangkok Hospital Phuket, where a conference room has been named after King Carl Gustaf.

Gov Udomsak said the province should do everything possible to ensure the couple enjoy their visit, as they will also be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary on June 19, which falls during their stay.

The Governor said that a welcome committee would be set up on the tarmac outside the VIP room at Phuket International Airport. He also asked a representative of Airports of Thailand (AOT) attending the meeting to ensure that the airport is decked out in Thai and Swedish flags to mark the occasion.

Police Region 8 and the Tourist Police would be involved in security during land transport, while the Marine Police, Royal Thai Air Force and Royal Thai Navy would ensure the royals’ safety in the sea and sky, he added.

Gov Udomsak said there would be another meeting to finalize last-minute preparations on June 13 at Phuket Provincial Hall, where a center would be set up to coordinate security and other aspects of the royal visit throughout the week.

He added that Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani of Qatar and his wife are also expected to vacation in Phuket after the celebrations in Bangkok, but the exact details of the trip had not yet been made available.

Phuket News
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