Friday, June 26, 2015

Amphoe created without being King Amphoe

The second issue for the @Amphoe magazine is already available for online reading - hope I can grab a paper copy of this and if possible also the first issue during my forthcoming visit in Thailand - and as a pleasant surprise the amount of English content has increased a lot. Same as in the first issue, the English section "Thing you may not know about Administration" on page 23 is the most interesting, this time it explains that while most Amphoe (อำเภอ, districts) are created as King Amphoe (กิ่งอำเภอ, minor districts), there are a few special cases which were directly created as Amphoe.

Though both King Amphoe and Amphoe are at the same administrative level, the creation of a minor district can be done by a ministerial act, whereas the creation of Amphoe (as well as the upgrade of King Amphoe to Amphoe) need a Royal Act. As the government decided in 2007 to stop using the minor districts to make the administration easier and upgrade all the minor districts to full districts, now all new districts will be created directly as full districts. So far, there was only one, Galyani Vadhana in Chiang Mai created 2009, and probably those two new districts in Yala.

Sadly, the article in this issue however has two problems. Most notably is the fact that the author did not use the official recommended transcriptions of the district names - for example Yasotorn instead of Yasothon - and even within the article uses both "Mueang" and "Mueng". Much less obvious is the claim that the only districts which were created without being King Amphoe are the five Chaloem Phra Kiat districts and four districts named after Royals. I had to check my XML files to confirm that there are more, though not that many. Below is the full list with all cases since the 1932 revolution.
Just hope the editor takes my nitpicking Facebook comment as constructive criticism, as I love to see the topics of this blog getting a somewhat bigger audience with this magazine. And maybe I'll make it into the errata section of the next issue...

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