Monday, May 22, 2017

@Amphoe issue 2/2017

This years second edition of the @amphoe magazine has been made available as a PDF file (almost 50MB size), not sure whether it was this time uploaded before it gets available in the province halls and other locations. As usual, there is some limited amount of content in both Thai and English.
  • An interview with Ms. Phumarin Khongpiantham (น.ส. ภูมารินทร์ คงเพียรธรรม), the chief district officer of Na Haeo district in Loei on the specific problems of this very remote district at the boundary to Laos.
  • The touristic highlights of Phrae province. 
  • The number of administrative units, using the graphic I also used in my coverage of that data.
  • An article on the Civil Service Day (วันข้าราชการพลเรือน) on April 1st, which includes a very short summary of the administrative reforms of Prince Damrong and King Chulalongkorn.
This summary is worth a closer look, though sadly a lot is lost in translation.
As for regional administration, mueangs were divided into mueang and amphoe monthons with samuhathesaphibans, governors and sheriffs as the leaders to oversee the well-being of the people in their respective districts. Village headmen and chiefs existed to assist the tambon- and village-level operations. [...] As for local administration, the king had the idea to have the people participate by electing village headmen and chiefs instead of having these positions [appointed].
With my limited Thai and the knowledge from Tej Bunnag's book, it seems what was meant to be said is that as the Thesaphiban reforms, the country was divided into Monthon, Mueang and Amphoe, which have a commissioner (สมุหเทศาภิบาล, Samuha Thesaphiban), province governor (ผู้ว่าราชการเมือง) and chief district office (นายอำเภอ, here translated "sheriff") as the head of their administration respectively; and the Tambon and Muban as the most local divisions with the village headman and subdistrict headman (กำนัน, Kamnan, here translated as "chief") as their leader.

The Mueang became the present day provinces (จังหวัด, Changwat), the term changed in 1915, whereas the Monthon were abolished in 1933, replaced by regional administrations with much less power.

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