Friday, October 14, 2016

District named after members of the Royal family

With the sad passing of HM King Bhumibol - my condolences to all Thai mourning him -, I noticed again that while there are several districts named after members of the Royal family, there so far is none directly named after the late king. There are five districts named Chaloem Phra Kiat (อำเภอเฉลิมพระเกียรติ) which are namedin his honor, as they were created as part of the 50th anniversary of his ascension to the throne, yet their name is not a direct reference to him. While I have no idea why he was not asked to grant his name, or not allowed to grant his name to any district about to be created, I would not be surprised if there will be either a new district created or an existing one renamed as part of the mourning ceremonies.

Using the power of the query engine of Wikidata, its easy to get a list of all the Thai administrative units named after persons, which of course however depends on whether all the Wikidata items have the "named after" property set accordingly. Shortening the list to the districts and those of direct relatives of the late king gives the following list, sorted by the date the districts were created. Interestingly some but not all were directly created as full districts, while other were minor districts at first. Also interesting that his mother and his sister have already two districts in their honor.
  • 2009: Galyani Vadhana, Chiang Mai, named after the sister of the late king
  • 1998: Wachirabarami, Phichit, named after the crown prince and probably next king
  • 1998: Watthana, Bangkok, named after the sister
  • 1996: Srinagarinda, Phatthalung, named after his mother. Royal name was bestowed some month after the minor district was created
  • 1994: Chulabhorn, Nakhon Si Thammarat, named after the youngest daughter
  • 1992: Mae Fa Luang, Chiang Rai, named after his mother
  • 1992: Vibhavadi, Surat Thani, named after the more distantly related Princess Vibhavadi Rangsit
  • 1991: Sirindhorn, Ubon Ratchathani, named after the second daughter
  • 1974: Ubolratana, Khon Kaen, named after the eldest daughter

Friday, September 16, 2016

Province governor reshuffle, part 2

Again it was the Phuket Gazette which made me notice the second part of the province governor reshuffle, this time six reassignments approved by the cabinet in their meeting on Tuesday. The full list of new governors according to the government news agency is as listed below. Hopefully my romanizations of the names aren't too wrong. With this list the reshuffle should be complete, as now no province has its governor post vacant anymore.
  • Suchin Chaichumsak (นายสุจินต์ ไชยชุมศักดิ์), governor of Nakhon Nayok to become governor of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.
  • Chokchai Detamornthan (นายโชคชัย เดชอมรธัญ), governor of Maha Sarakham to become governor of Phuket.
  • Suwat Phromsuwan (นายสุวัฒน์ พรมสุวรรณ), governor of Nan to become governor of Lampang.
  • Phaisan Wimonrat (นายไพศาล วิมลรัตน์), deputy governor of Chachoengsao to become governor of Nan.
  • Narongsak Chaloemkiat (นายณรงค์ศักดิ์ เฉลิมเกียรติ), deputy governor of Samut Sakhon to become governor of Phayao.
  • Wirasak Wichitsaengsi (นายวีระศักดิ์ วิจิตร์แสงศรี), deputy governor of Suphanburi to become governor of Phichit.
  • Phibun Thatthakitkoson (นายพิบูลย์ หัตถกิจโกศล), deputy governor of Pathum Thani to become governor of Phetchabun (in source wrongly said Phetchaburi).
  • Watthana Phutichat (นายวัฒนา พุฒิชาติ), deputy governor of Si Sa Ket to become governor of Phrae.
  • Suebsak Iamwichan (นายสืบศักดิ์ เอี่ยมวิจารณ์), deputy governor of Sing Buri to become governor of Mae Hong Son.
  • Wirachai Phuphiangchai (นายวีระชัย ภู่เพียงใจ), deputy governor of Uttaradit to become governor of Lamphun.
  • Nathaphat Suwanprathip (นายณัฐภัทร สุวรรณประทีป), deputy governor of Lopburi to become governor of Kalasin.
  • Phisut Butyapronpheng (นายพิสุทธิ์ บุษยพรรณพงศ์), deputy governor of Ubon Ratchathani to become governor of Bueng Kan.
  • Sen Nonthachot (นายเสน่ห์ นนทะโชติ), deputy governor of Loei to become governor of Maha Sarakham.
  • Sarit Witoon (นายสฤษดิ์ วิฑูรย์), assistant permanent secretary to become governor of Roi Et.
  • Khumphon Bonthaithuk (นายคุมพล บรรเทาทุกข์), deputy governor of Sakon Nakhon to become governor of Loei.
  • Witthaya Chanchalong (นายวิทยา จันทร์ฉลอง), deputy governor of Buriram to become governor of Sakon Nakhon.
  • Thanakon Ingchitphaisan (นายธนากร อึ้งจิตรไพศาล), deputy governor of Phitsanulok to become governor of Nong Bua Lam Phu.
  • Sirirat Khumupkan (นายสิริรัฐ ขุมอุปการ), deputy governor of Khon Kaen to become governor of Amnat Charoen.
  • Narong Phonla-iat (นายณรงค์ พลละเอียด), deputy governor of Ranong to become governor of Chumphon.
  • Siriphat Phatkun (นายศิริพัฒ พัฒกุล), deputy governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat to become governor of Trang.
  • Wiranan Phengchan (นายวีรนันทน์ เพ็งจันทร์), deputy governor of Pattani to become governor of Pattani.
  • Chatuphot Piyampura (นายจตุพจน์ ปิยัมปุตระ), deputy governor of Ranong to become governor of Ranong.
  • Aichai Innat (นายอวยชัย อินทร์นาค), deputy governor of Surat Thani to become governor of Surat Thani.
  • Nimit Wanchaithonwong (นายนิมิต วันไชยธนวงศ์), deputy governor of Yala to become governor of Chainat.
  • Pradit Yomanan (นายประดิษฐ์ ยมานันท์), deputy director general to become governor of Nakhon Nayok.
  • Khanchat Tansathian (นายคันฉัตร ตันเสถียร), deputy governor of Ubon Ratchathani to become governor of Samut Songkhram.
  • Sanrong Phongcharoen (นายกล้าณรงค์ พงษ์เจริญ), deputy governor of Chanthaburi to become governor of Sa Kaeo.
Interesting to note - this year it was the first time the reshuffle was also announced in the Royal Gazette - part one can now also be found officially here. In the 1950s there were some announcements on province governor assignments, but since then it was only done by ministerial orders.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

RIP Gwillim Law

Gwillim Law, the author of the incredible website, has passed away recently. I was lucky to be able to get a used copy of his book "Administrative Subdivisions of Countries" when I started writing in Wikipedia on these, and later his website became a great resource to find up-to-date information. With time, I was able to get into the Thai subdivision to a much deeper degree and getting access to the primary sources, so for example for the 2010 census I was able to provide him with data as a way to return the favor.

His daughter Shirley has taken over the enormous task of keeping his website running - knowing how much time I spend on just a single country, covering the whole world down to the second level subdivisions must be a full time work. I only hope she can keep up the heritage of her father, and of course whenever there are any changes in Thailand to be included I will notify her same as I did before with him.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Rename of Muban in Nakhon Sawan

Earlier today, the change of name of one administrative village in Nakhon Sawan was announced in the Royal Gazette. Mu 5 of Yang Tan subdistrict, Khok Phra district, was renamed from Ban Ta Nio (บ้านตานิว) to Ban Yang Tan (บ้านยางตาล). The name change was approved by the board to consider name changes in their meeting 1/2559 on April 29 - sadly no transcript or summary of these board meetings is available online.

Interestingly, in my XML I already had the new name, probably copied from the website of Yang Tan subdistrict administrative organization. Checking the other sources I used to compile my Muban list, it showed that the postcode list at noplink had the original name, and also back in 1997 when the subdistrict boundaries were defined officially that Muban was listed as Ban Ta Nio [Gazette].

Friday, August 26, 2016

New Muban in Udon Thani

Yesterday, the creation of a new administrative in Udon Thani was announced in tge Royal Gazette, becoming effective with its announcement.
This announcement is still based on the Ministerial Act มท ๐๓๑๐.๑/ว ๗๔๖๕ from December last year. There were other Muban in Udon Thani created before based on this same Ministerial Act, but I have no idea what caused the delay for this Muban. And even more interesting - the new Muban got the number 21, however the subdistrict so far had just 19 Muban - thus unless this is a mistake the creation of Muban 20 must be still in the pipeline.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

All TAO to become municipalities?

Yesterday, the national reform council (สภาขับเคลื่อนการปฏิรูปประเทศ) has by a big majority approved the plan to reform the local government units. This plan still has to go through some more bureaucratic steps before becoming effective - it must be approved by the cabinet, then reviewed by the Council of State and considered by the cabinet again, and finally going through the parliament to become a law - but as all these are either the military junta themselves or their handpicked subordinates its quite likely this plan will make it to law in the not too far future.

Prachatai has a long article about this decision, but there seem to be no English sources available. Linked within the article is a scan of the draft law. Being quite lengthy and having lots of technical term I can only get a few parts of the content, the main being section 5 which states that all TAO shall become subdistrict municipalities (Thesaban Tambon), and also states that in case the name collides with an already existing other municipality the one with the highest municipal level or the one being a municipality first shall keep its name. Later sections name the various officials with the TAO, and also the provincial administrative organizaions are mentioned, but my Thai isn't good enough to get any details in these parts.

 The massive upgrade of all 5334 TAO somehow resembles a similar steps done in 1999, when all the 980 sanitary districts were upgraded to subdistrict municipalities. The NCPO announcement 29/2016 already prepared for this occasion to allow the current councilors and mayor to remain in office after the upgrade, to avoid massive vacant offices until the junta believes the country is ready to resume with the local elections. I just hope it will be not just a change in naming, but also taking the chance to merge local governments where applicable, so they are able to perform the additional tasks which a subdistrict municipality has to provide to its citizen.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

2016 province governor reshuffle - part one

Phuket Gazette reports that the province governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada has been assigned as the new governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat, notifying me that the annual reshuffle of the governors has already begun. I found the full list of 19 transfers on Channel 7, but I will omit those which are not related to province governors. There will be further reassignments and also promotions of vice governors later to fill the vacancies, so this is only the the first part of annual reshuffle.
  • Prayoon Rattanasenee (นายประยูร รัตนเสนีย์), governor of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, becomes deputy secretary of the Interior.
  • Dejrath Simsiri (นายเดชรัฐ สิมศิริ), governor of Trang, becomes inspector-general in the MOI.
  • Sanit Khaosa-at (นายสนิท ขาวสะอาด), governor of Phetchaburi, becomes inspector-general in the MOI.
  • Supachai Iamsuwan (นายศุภชัย เอี่ยมสุวรรณ), governor of Phayao, becomes governor of Phitsanulok.
  • Surasak Charoensirichot (นายสุรศักดิ์ เจริญศิริโชติ), governor of Uttaradit, becomes governor of Rayong.
  • Phiphat Ekphaphan (นายพิพัฒน์ เอกภาพันธ์), governor of Mae Hong Son, becomes governor of Uttaradit.
  • Chatchai Uthaipun (นายชาติชาย อุทัยพันธ์), governor of Nakhon Pathom, becomes governor of Samut Prakan.
  • Adiak Thepeat (นายอดิศักดิ์ เทพอาสน์), governor of Sakon Nakhon, becomes governor of Nakhon Pathom.
  • Anuson Kaeokangwan (นายอนุสรณ์ แก้วกังวาล), governor of Roi Et, becomes governor of Buri Ram.
  • Chamroen Tipayapongtada (นายจำเริญ ทิพญพงศ์ธาดา), governor of Phuket, becomes governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat.
  • Phakwan Thianthai (นายภัควรรณ์ เทียนไชย), governor of Sa Kaeo, becomes governor of Chonburi.
  • Suriya Omrarotwonwuthi (นายสุริยะ อมรโรจน์วรวุฒิ), governor of Pattani, becomes governor of Prachinburi.
  • Banthit Thewithiwarak (นายบัณฑิต เทวีทิวารักษ์), governor of Phetchabun, becomes governor of Sara Buri.
  • Chatporn Rajdussadee (นางฉัตรพร ราษฎร์ดุษดี), governor of Phichit, becomes governor of Phetchaburi.
  • Phongsak Prichawit (นายพงษ์ศักดิ์ ปรีชาวิทย์), governor of Bueng Kan, becomes governor of Khon Kaen.
  • Pasin Komolvieh (นายพศิน โกมลวิชญ์), governor of Nong Bua Lam Phu, becomes governor of Sing Buri.
Of these, the governor of Nakhon Pathom, Phetchabun and Bueng Kan were two years at his current position and the one from Sa Kaeo for four years, all other were reassigned after one year already. The governor of Pattani even just started in March this year when he replaced the governor removed by NCPO order 12/2016. Several of those governors replaced are in fact retired, unlike other years I was able to find the list of the 21 governors leaving government service this time as well.