Thursday, December 31, 2009

Digest of administrative changes in 2009

This year the number of administrative changes was quite high, although in the Royal Gazette it only had a small number of the whole - just like before, most of the municipal changes are still not announced in the Gazette.
In the board meetings were lots of TAO upgrades to municipalities and other municipal changes - despite the silence at the beginning of the year which even made me suspect that this year will have less such upgrades, in fact it was a new record number of changes. I have board meeting transcript on 460 TAO upgraded to subdistrict municipalities, and two subdistrict municipalities to towns; however the DOLA statistics only list 378 as of December 15.

Happy new year... สวัสดีปีใหม่...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

DOLA municipality upgrades list, Part 2

As there are now 1841 subdistrict municipalities, compared to 1468 in December 2008, there must have been 373 upgrades, quite a lot but however less than the 460 I have found in the board meeting transcripts. And there are also some from board meetings which haven't been put on the website.

In the current local administrative data there are two files which list the upgrades in last year.
The most notable thing is the fact that the dates of becoming effective according to these two lists differ from those given in the board meeting, most of them taking place on October 27. A total of 64 upgrades I did not know before from the board meetings, fitting with my earlier assumption. On the other hand, there are about 140 upgrades which are still pending - already decided by the board but for whatever reason delayed.

Already from the case of the upgrade of Ko Samui, which was set to become a city by the board but then actually became only a town, I knew that the board does not have the final word on the municipality upgrades, but it is surprising to see so many changes taking effect on later days than the originally set date. Just sad that these final steps aren't documented on the web, so I only have the annual lists to confirm what I expect from the board meetings.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

DOLA municipality upgrades list

On December 15 the Department of Local Administration (DOLA) added the 2009 municipality statistics on their website. I noticed it a few days late since they kept the old page with extension htm and placed the new data on a new page with extension php.

Thus as of December 15 2009, there are the following numbers of local administrative units. [1.doc]
  • Provincial administrative organizations (PAO, องค์การบริหารส่วนจังหวัด): 75
  • Municipalities (Thesaban, เทศบาล): 2006
    • City (Thesaban Nakhon, เทศบาลนคร): 23
    • Town (Thesaban Mueang, เทศบาลเมือง): 142
    • Subdistrict Municipality (Thesaban Tambon, เทศบาลตำบล): 1841
  • Subdistrict administrative organization (TAO, องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบล): 5770
  • Special administrative units (องค์กรปกครองท้องถิ่นรูปแบบพิเศษ): 2 (Bangkok and Pattaya)
A total of 7853 units.

The numbers for the subdistrict municipalities and the TAO differ quite a lot from those derived by the board meeting transcripts. I will give a more detailed analysis of these tomorrow by checking through the next two files from the website which list all the municipality upgrades.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Municipal decisions for October 29 2009

Meeting number 54 from October 29 2009 with one TAO and one municipality adjusting their boundaries.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Galyani Vadhana district officially created

The 878th district of Thailand and 25th district of Chiang Mai is now officially created. Published in the Royal Gazette on December 25 was the decree titled พระราชกฤษฎีกาตั้งอำเภอกัลยาณิวัฒนา จังหวัดเชียงใหม่ พ.ศ. ๒๕๕๒. The decree is divided into 5 sections.
  • Section 1 just states that the decree is named "Decree on the creation of Galyani Vadhana district, Chiang Mai province, B.E. 2552"
  • Section 2 states that the decree takes effect the day following its publication in the Royal Gazette.
  • Section 3 states that the three subdistricts Chaem Luang, Ban Chan and Mae Daet are split off from Mae Chaem district and form the district Galyani Vadhana
  • Section 4 states that the district office is to be located in Chaem Luang subdistrict, and is under the jurisdiction of Chiang Mai province.
  • Section 5 states that the Minister of Interior to act in accordance with this Royal Decree.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Administrative offices of Phetchaburi

This year I happened to stop over in Phetchaburi two times, and used the time to collect photos of the administrative offices. Which was rather easy as they are all located close to each other on Ratchawithi road, and easy to find as on Phetkasem from bangkok it's just driving straight on instead of taking the turn to the south next to Khao Wang.

When driving that way, the first place to see is the city pillar shrine (Lak Mueang), a small shrine located in a nice park with the wooden pillar covered by gold in the center. And as it has a pond within the park, one can of course by food to feed the fish inside. And also as usual with such attractions, it has several souvenir carts as well as small eateries at the parking lot.

The actual offices are located 500 meter further down the street. Starting on the northern side, it has the district office (ที่ว่าการอำเภอ) of Mueang Phetchaburi district first. As there are a few additional buildings between the office and the street I could not get the standard view of the whole office this time - and now I look at the building in Google Earth again I think I have been on the backside only and thus missed the better view on the other side - so I have to return there to check next time.

A few buildings further down the street comes the municipality office (สำนักงานเทศบาล) of the town (thesaban mueang) Phetchaburi (เทศบาลเมืองเพชรบุรี).

Now turning south to the other side of the road it has the province hall (ศาลากลางจังหวัด), the central administration for the whole province. I am not sure what were the two smaller buildings in between - maybe the PAO office is among them-, but then on the other end of the block opposite the district office it has the provincial court (ศาลจังหวัด).

View Phetchaburi administration in a larger map

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New provincial courts

There are many more provincial courts than provinces in Thailand - a complete list seems to be found at, however with expired links - and now yet another one has been created. Published in the Royal Gazette on December 18, a provincial court in Hot district was established, making it the third provincial court within Chiang Mai province.
Additionally, there's the Juvenile and Family Court in Chiang Mai (ศาลเยาวชนและครอบครัวจังหวัดเชียงใหม่) - no weblink because the site is currently spreading malware.

And it seems Hot will not be only new provincial court to be established, as along with an announcement from May 2009 on the set up of a commission to draft the law, there was another commission dealing with the creation of the provincial court Phra Pradaeng (ศาลจังหวัดพระประแดง).

Monday, December 21, 2009

Amphoe Mueang naming scheme

District office Phra Nakhon Si AyutthayaIn every province the district (Amphoe, อำเภอ) which contains the province hall is named same as the province, with the word Mueang (เมือง) added - with the exception of Ayutthaya province, where both the province and the district are named Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (พระนครศรีอยุธยา). And of course Bangkok, which is not a province in the normal sense anyway. On the other hand, there are four districts which have that work in their name without being the capital district.

Now, these weren't the only exceptions, before the provinces Thonburi and Phra Nakhon were merged in 1972, the two capital district had no Mueang in the name either. To find more, one has to go much further into the history of this naming scheme. It was in fact adopted in 1938, with an announcement in the Royal Gazette renaming several districts. To be exact, 43 district became Mueang districts, whereas in 11 cases the word Mueang was stripped from districts which were not capital district. For example, the district Ban Don (อำเภอบ้านดอน) became Mueang Surat Thani (อำเภอเมืองสุราษฎร์ธานี), whereas Mueang Chaiya became simply Chaiya (อำเภอไชยา). Before 1938, the naming scheme was different - only those districts which date back to the provinces before the thesaphiban reforms 1892-1915 had a name with Mueang, and all other districts were named after the central subdistrict (Tambon).

District office Mueang Surat ThaniSince 1938, all newly established provinces had their central district renamed accordingly, also for those provinces temporarily abolished in 1943 the Mueang was removed. There are however two further exceptions, of the four provinces annexed during World War II both Lan Chang and Phibun Songkhram had no district named Mueang.

The four district which now have a name containing Mueang without being a capital district were all created relatively recently, when apparently the fixed naming scheme was not followed that strictly anymore. In detail these are Mueang Suang (1973), Mueang Pan (1981), Mueang Chan (1992) and Mueang Yang (1995).

Friday, December 18, 2009

Nakhon Pattani

The ISRA news site has a quite detailed analysis of the various proposals for a regional autonomy or a special administrative area for the three Muslim dominated provinces. It guess far beyond the vague proposal from Chavalit Yongchaiyudh earlier this year, and mentions concepts discussed in seminars at Chulalongkorn university in June and at Prince of Songkhla University earlier this month. Maybe the most important part of the article is the part where actual details on the suggested administrative structure are given
In essence, the proposed administrative model calls for the dissolution of all the existing provincial administrative organizations, the tambon administrative organizations and the municipalities on ground that they are duplicating one another and they have little access to the people.
Instead, it proposed the creation of three “nakhons” (cities) namely the Pattani City, Yala City and Narathiwat City, each with its own administrators to be elected by people in the three provinces. The three special zone cities will coordinate with the central government in Bangkok through the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre, an independent body answerable to the prime minister.
Another model, to be called “Pattani Maha Nakhon” (Greater Pattani City) which combines the three southernmost provinces plus four districts of Songkhla together under one single administrative body, has also been floated. It was further reported that a law calling for the creation of this administrative model was being drafted by Akkacha Promsoot, a member of the Political Development Assembly
Thus the first proposal is very similar to the administrative structure in Bangkok, which is well-established there, and should not pose that much legal difficulties to create it in other parts of the country as well.

The Asia Foundation survey I mentioned yesterday already suggests that further steps to decentralization are rather popular - 75% prefer to elect the provincial governor instead of having them appointed by the Ministry of Interior, 69% say more decentralization is better than keeping the current system, and even a slight majority of 48% say that further decentralization or limited autonomy can help to ease the conflict in the deep south.

However given the current political situation in Thailand with the two factions in so deep political battles I don't see any chance for steps towards more decentralization - that would give more power to the local population away from the elites and central government.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Corruption at the local government

Found in yesterday's Bangkok Post "Local officials top graft list"
Local administrative organisations top the list of state agencies embezzling public funds allocated for procurement and development schemes, a government report says.
The report, by the Office of the Permanent Secretary under the PM's Office, looked into alleged irregularities in the use of state budgets for the 2009 fiscal year, which ended Sept 30.
The office was able to conclude its investigations into 67 cases and retrieve 17 million baht. Thirty-three staff were dismissed and 30 had their salaries cut. About 40 cases have gone to the public prosecutors and the courts.
This fits with the survey published by the US-based NGO Asia Foundation in September on the opinions of Thai people to many questions regarding the constitution, the state of democracy and quality of administration. The full report is published as a 117 page PDF which can be freely downloaded. Question 12.5 targets the corruptions in local administration, which however includes both the local government as well as the local officials of the central government.
Some people say that it is often necessary to pay bribes to civil servants if you need something from the government, such as papers, permits, or documents. Others say that this is not true and that the civil servants are
honest. Which view is closer to your own? (Q77)
48% of the answers said yes, bribery is necessary, another 48% said no, and 3% had no opinion. And when asked about personal experience with bribery in the past 5 years, 26% confirmed that they at least personally know someone who had to pay bribes. The authors of the study aren't sure whether the fact that only have of those thinking that bribery is wide-spread actually have direct knowledge is due to a lower than perceived number of corrupt officials or simply due to the fact that many did not have to contact authorities recently.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bangkok birthday celebrations

Bangkok's Birthday Party
Bangkok's Birthday Party
Originally uploaded by Ian Fuller
Bangkok is celebrating its 38th birthday in this week. Anyone wondering now that the city was around way longer - you are of course right, the city was founded in 1782, when the first king of the Chakri dynasty moved the capital to its current position. So the town is 227 years old, but what was started 38 years ago is the current administrative structure of Bangkok. In December 1971 the revolutionary decrees merging the province and municipalities of Phra Nakhon and Thonburi into a single province Krung Thep were issued by the coup group around Thanom Kittikachorn. Finally on December 13 1972 the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) was established, the entity which is now celebrating.

The actual decrees were the following
  • Revolutionary decree 24, December 21 1971 - merge of the provinces Phra Nakhon and Thonburi to the province Nakhon Krung Thep Thonburi (นครหลวงกรุงเทพธนบุรี). This includes the merger of the Provincial Administrative Organizations to one new one named องค์การบริหารนครหลวงกรุงเทพธนบุรี.
  • Revolutionary decree 25, December 21 1971 - merge of the municipalities Krung Thep and Thonburi to the city Luang (เทศบาลนครหลวง).
  • Revolutionary decree 335, December 13 1972 - establishing of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (เทศบาลนครหลวง). This includes many smaller changes, like the abolishing of the muncipality, the PAO and the 11 sanitary district; also the district were renamed from Amphoe to Khet, and all of the new posts were defined.
Given the dates, the celebrations must refer to the last decree, but then it would be the 37th anniversary. Or maybe they celebrate the begin of the 38th year of the existence of BMA, which has begun on the first day of celebrations on December 14.

It was BKK Photographer who made me notice the celebrations on this anniversary, which however seem to be rather quiet, with some booths set up on the plaza in front the administration building next to the Giant Swing. For some photos see his set of flickr.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Subdistrict and Muban area demarcation

December 3 two announcements were published in the Royal Gazette, both about the boundaries of either subdistrict or administrative villages. The first one lists three subdistricts in San Sai district, Chiang Mai, and together with the list of the villages within them also defines the current boundaries. The three subdistricts are
  • San Na Meng (ตำบลสันนาเม็ง), 12 villages
  • San Phranet (ตำบลสันพระเนตร), 7 villages
  • San Sai Noi (ตำบลสันทรายน้อย), 10 villages

More interesting is the second one, titled ประกาศจังหวัดกาญจนบุรี เรื่อง การเปลี่ยนแปลงเขตท้องที่ (เขตหมู่บ้าน) - Announcement by Kanchanaburi province on local area changes (Areas of villages). In this, the areas of the two administrative villages 12 Ban Kradon Phrong (บ้านกระดอนโพรง) and 15 Ban Don Sam Lang (บ้านดอนสามหลัง) get changed. The reason for this is the fact that village 12 was partially under the jurisdiction of Phra Thaen subdistrict municipality ( เทศบาลตำบลพระแท่น), whereas the other part is under the subdistrict administrative organization (TAO) Phra Thaen (องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบลพระแท่น). Judging from the Muban list of the TAO, this however wasn't the only Muban shared between both, as otherwise the single male resident of village 7 Ban Kradon Phrong (บ้านกระโดนโพรง) would be very strange.

Monday, December 14, 2009

District council elections in Bangkok

Election campaign truck in Din Daeng
Another Election is Coming
Originally uploaded by Ian Fuller

As BKK Photographer spotted the first truck with election campaign posters, it reminded me that the last elections for the district councils as well as the metropolitan council were already quite some time ago. In fact, they were in 2006, so the four year term ends next year. After some more searching, I finally also found an article giving the approximate dates for the elections.

Map of the districts having council elections in first roundThus same as last time, the election will be split in to rounds. At first 14 district councils in the north and east of the city (see map) will see their end of term on April 29 2010, and therefore will have new election in June; whereas the term of other 36 district councils as well as the metropolitan council end on July 22, so the second round of elections is expected for September. I still have to research a lot on the local government of Bangkok, even the number of councillors I only just learned from the news article about their requested pay rise. As there are 357 Bangkok municipal councillors, the district councils cannot have equal sizes, and with the planned new district these numbers will change for sure.

As I will be in Bangkok in early June, I will at least be able to take several photos of the campaigning, but since none of the 14 district is close to the areas I normally stay I probably won't be able to do real first hand election reporting. But of course will post updates here whenever I learn new details about these forthcoming elections.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Nakhon Sawan municipality office

While adding the locations of the administrative entities into my XMLs in order to have the automatically created map as full as possible, flying to Nakhon Sawan with Google Earth to my surprised showed a 3d model of the municipality office.

As I wasn't in Nakhon Sawan yet, the only photo I can show here is one by the user Love Krittaya from Wikimedia Commons, showing the front facade. One can easily see the 3d model is quite close, even though its a bit simplified - the columns are done by a photo texture, not by actual 3d modeling.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New district in Bangkok forthcoming

In petition ๐๘๕/ร the member of parliament and former Deputy Minister of Public Health Wichan Meenchaiyanant (นายวิชาญ มีนชัยนันท์), he asks for improvements in the government of Bangkok. While I don't get all which is said in the petition and in the reply by the Ministry of Interior, one part of the reply caught my attention.

กรุงเทพมหานครอยู่ระหว่างการพิจารณาดำเนินการแบ่งพื้นที่เขตของเขตบางแค ออกเป็น
๒ เขตการปกครอง ซึ่งในขณะนี้อยู่ระหว่างการดำเนินการจัดทำรายละเอียดคำบรรยายแนวพื้นที่เขต และแผนที่แนบท้ายประกาศกระทรวงมหาดไทย

Bangkok is considering to split the area of Bang Khae district to become 2 administrative districts. Currently it is at compiling the detailed boundary description and map to send to the Ministry of Interior.
Not surprising that Bang Khae is the district to be split, since it is the one with the highest population of all the 50 districts. So I suspect the boundary changes of the subdistrict in Bang Khae earlier this year were already in preparation of this split, now the Phetkasem highway could be the natural boundary of the two new districts, since it splits the current district in two approximate equal halves.

According to a news article from August 2007 in Manager, the new district is about to be named Bang Khae Nuea (เขตบางแคเหนือ, Northern Bang Khae), thus the project is already underway for quite some time; and if I can believe this report that new district will be created next year. This would make sense, as in March/April there should be the district council elections, so I expect the new district to be officially created directly before the election date.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tambon maps inaccuracy

Rarely plagiarizing blogs have some good effects, but in this case it helped me to reread an article where I missed an interesting point at first reading months ago. The Huai Hee village blog copied an article without giving any sources, and as I vaguely remembered the maps included and also doubted that this would have been an original posting I searched with Google for the original source. Thus in fact that text was taken out of a the paper Maps for participatory planning in Thailand by Oliver Puginier. Higher resolution versions of the maps can be found at the older paper Can participatory land use planning at community level in the highlands of northern Thailand use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a communication tool?. Or, in the longest form in his dissertation, which also deals with the problems with the decentralization since 1995.

Anyway, the interesting part is the following:
It is interesting to note that Pa Kaa village lies outside the Tambon boundary (in neighbouring Pai district in fact), if the data provided by NNCO are correct. To date there exist no reliable maps from the Royal Survey Department indicating Tambon boundaries and work is in progress to produce this data, yet the provincial office gives the total area of Huai Poo Ling as 37,152 ha. As far as land use planning is concerned it is important to note that there are overlapping areas claimed by adjacent villages (marked in pink), which may lead to conflicting claims over its use.
So while the contradicting maps I had run into were a different case, in the lower scales the boundaries are sometimes not yet completely defined. Maybe the announcements in the Royal Gazette I spotted last year and dubbed "Tambon area clarifications" are the result of such mapping work mentioned as being in progress in the paper.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Village headman life in the deep south

Yesterday I discovered the website deepsouthwatch featuring independent news on the three southernmost Muslim provinces troubled by the insurgency since 2004. Most welcome is of course the English section of the site. I only checked the captions yesterday however, so it was via Bangkok Pundit that I became aware of an interview with a village headman (Phu Yai Ban) showing the depressing situation these official are working in.

Dee, the leader of Ban Salo (บ้านสโลว์) village, Village 7 of Rueso subdistrict, Rueso district, Narathiwat province, became village headman in 2007 after insurgents killed his father, who was the headman before. Aged just 28 he is probably one of the youngest headmen in the whole country, but has to work under a continuous threat of loosing his life.
It is well-known that being a village head man is one of the riskiest positions. You do not have to have any statistics to prove this statement. For Leader Dee’s case, he was attacked 4 times and survived. If he were a Buddhist, he would have called it a miracle or, he might pray a thousand times to his Buddha amulet hanging around his neck. But as a Muslim, he believes that this is a test from “Allah”.
Not surprisingly he is shown in the photos wearing a bullted proof vest, and His place was surrounded by sandbags and the curtain trees; it was similar to the military camps in the three southernmost provinces. But despite the martial look, he is doing his best to return peace into his small realm.
“It’s a mess. We don’t know what’s going on. The people who are in the middle become victims of the group that intended to use violence for their own benefits.” He concluded.

Because of these reasons, after Leader Dee announced officially to fight as the village headman, he also announced that he will decrease the number of violence in this village and will protect the life of every soldier that camped in this area.
I can only recommend to read the interview completely, it gives the conflict a face which in the news reports is only numbers of dead people.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Since I am often referring to the website of the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA), I should maybe write about this government structure a bit.

DOPA (กรมการปกครอง) is one of the departments of the Ministry of Interior (MOI, กระทรวงมหาดไทย), and it has its offices located within the compound of the ministry.

Another related department of the Ministry of Interior is the Department of Local Administration (DOLA, กรมส่งเสริมการปกครองท้องถิ่น). In fact this department was split off from DOPA in 1997, when the decentralization to the local administration with municipalities and Tambon administrative organization came into the focus. This office is located near Vimanmek palace. The emblem above is the one of DOLA, but the one of DOPA and the ministry use the same lion as their emblem, but I could not find an equally clean picture on the web.

In the great graphical visualization of the 2009 budget created by Markpeak one can directly see the relative importance between DOPA and DOLA. In fact DOLA has a much larger budget than DOPA, 70% of the budget of MOI goes to DOLA, but only 12.6% to DOPA. Or in numbers (in million Baht)

Department of Local Administration (DOLA)136,152.3
Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA)24,705.1
Ministry of Interior (MOI)195,574.1

View Larger Map

Friday, December 4, 2009

Etymology of district name Hot

The origins of place names sometimes quite interesting. I have stumbled upon the one for the district Hot in Chiang Mai reading a book I did not expect to find anything on the administrative entities - Sacred Mountains Of Northern Thailand And Their Legends by Donald K. Swearer. As the title says, the book is on religious folktales, especially on the travels of Lord Buddha in northern Thailand on which he left those footprints and other relics now worshiped by the local people.
After the Buddha spent seven days at Doi Kung he came down from the mountain and journeyed north through a forest for a distance of approximately 20,000 meters to the Mae Ping river. There he met a Lawa farmer who was using a wheel to irrigate a field. When he saw the Buddha approach, the farmer unwound the turban from his head in order to wash the Buddha's feet. After he removed the turban from his head, it miraculously turned into gold. Amazed, the farmer said to the Buddha, "O, Blessed One, by your kindness please reside here in the north with us."
After the Buddha had given the Lawa the precepts, he spoke to the monks: "Before the Tathagatha came here the Lawa had to use a water wheel to irrigate their fields because this a very dry area (Thai, heang hot). Consequently, this place shall be known as Hot.
However, it seems the word Hot (ฮอด) meaning "dry, arid" is not normal Thai, as even the most complete online dictionary Longdo does not have an entry on it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Administrations who blog

Googeling the websites of the local government units - municipalities and subdistrict administrative organizations - I have come across some who are present on the blogging sites Blogspot or Wordpress. Announcing news from the administration is something where a RSS feed comes most handy, so one does not have to visit the website every now and then only to notice that something interesting was announced on short notice and is over already. While any decent content management system would allow RSS feeds to include into the website itself, as well as presenting such news on the site, only very few have such sophisticated websites using all the possibilities. The blogging websites offer a free alternative, and much easier to setup and use than a complex content management system.

In no particular order, there are four such blogs I discovered so far, with a varying depth of content. But of course all only in Thai language.
While the above seem to be by the administrations itself, also some of the officers have personal work-related blogs. So far I only found one of this kind, written by the Financial and accounting officer of TAO Siao, Pho Si Suwan, Sisaket. Her blog is named แนะนำอบต.เสียว (Counsel TAO Siao). It's a pity I can only read these blogs with online translators like Google Translate, they could provide some interesting insights on the daily work in the local government.

There is another group of government units using blogs, however these seem to have misunderstood blogging with free webhosting. Instead of more-or-less regularily post news or stories, they have only once posted several articles with the informations on the entity, like the history, location, subdivisions. Two examples are
And some other even made it that far, they have empty blogs where only the header or the sidebar indicate that they were intended to be about the administration.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Satellite Muban

While extracting the Muban lists from TAO websites, I have come across something noteworthy again. The TAO Pang Mapha in Mae Hong Son on the data page give their subdivision as follows

องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบลปางมะผ้า มีพื้นที่รับผิดชอบ จำนวน 11 หมู่บ้านและ 3 หมู่บ้านบริวาร ได้แก่
หมู่ที่ 1 บ้านแม่ละนา
หมู่ที่ 2 บ้านปางคาม หมู่บ้านบริวารบ้านน้ำจาง
หมู่ที่ 3 บ้านไม้ฮุง หมู่บ้านบริวารบ้านปางคามน้อย
หมู่ที่ 4 บ้านจ่าโบ่
หมู่ที่ 5 บ้านยาป่าแหน หมู่บ้านบริวารบ้านผาเจริญ
หมู่ที่ 6 บ้านผาแดง
หมู่ที่ 7 บ้านไม้ลัน
หมู่ที่ 8 บ้านห้วยเฮี๊ยะ
หมู่ที่ 9 บ้านลุกข้าวหลาม
หมู่ที่ 10 บ้านผาเผือก
หมู่ที่ 11 บ้านบ่อไคร้

The new thing I did not notice before elsewhere are the three Muban Boriwan (หมู่บ้านบริวาร). Boriwan (บริวาร) is the Thai word for satellite, so though I could not find any official description of the meaning of Muban Boriwan, I can guess these are the secondary settlements covered into one administrative village. When I wrote on the different types of villages I already explained that an administrative village, the central administrative unit with one elected village headman and his deputies, can consist of several settlements if they are too small to form an administrative village by themselves.

A Google search returned several websites using this term, including several TAO websites especially from the less populated areas, so I am quite certain that satellite villages are nothing but the secondary villages in an administrative village.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

More special administrative areas?

Just on Friday I mentioned an old clipping on a planned special administrative area for Laem Chabang, I found the one below at thephuketinsider posted on last Friday as well.
News out of the nation's capitol has the island of Koh Samui and Mae Sot in Tak Province as lead contenders for upgrades to Special Administration Zones. Currently in Thailand only Bangkok and Pattaya fall under this sector. One of the key benefits of falling into this category is the ability to elect senior local Government officials rather then appointments that are routinely rotated throughout the various provinces of the country.
While there seems to be some confusion caused by the fact that the two cities Pattaya and Bangkok are both called "special administrative areas", the administrative structure is totally different - Pattaya is merely a special kind of municipality, while Bangkok is both a province and a municipality. Since I already knew that a special administrative area modeled after Pattaya was discussed for Mae Sot before, this is probably not about new province-like entities similar to Bangkok.

I found one additional article in Thai already dating from September mentioning both Mae Sot and Ko Samui, naming the new administration "เมืองพิเศษ" (Mueang Phiset, special town) - yet in another government press statement from October Mae Sot is named "เขตเศรษฐกิจพิเศษ", meaning just "special economic zone", which not necessarily includes administrative changes.

What surprises me is the fact that Ko Samui is proposed to be changed as well. Just one and a half year ago Ko Samui was upgraded from subdistrict municipality to town municipality, and even at first planned to become a city municipality. But anyway, it will be interesting to see what will happen with these two, whether the government will make separate style of special administrative areas for these two, or will extend and generalize the Mueang Pattaya act to these two areas instead.