Friday, October 29, 2010

Wikipedia in Print

From time to time I search for the words like "tambon" not only in Google, but also in Amazon, especially in case their search inside books might return something Google Books does not have yet. That way I stumbled upon a book titled "Subdivisions of Thailand: Monthon, Provinces of Thailand, Amphoe, Administrative Divisions of Thailand, Thesaban, Tambon, Boriwen, Sukhaphiban", which looked like it have exactly the content I am interested about. But when reading the description in more detail I noticed that this book is nothing else but the Wikipedia articles from the category Subdivisions of Thailand printed. Looking around more, there are thousands of similar books from the same publisher with different sets of Wikipedia articles placed together, each printed individually as a Print on Demand book, but each having a unique ISBN number already.

Now this is all perfectly legal, provided that they follow the license of Wikipedia and cite the source correctly. And even though I have written the articles within that specific book myself to a great deal, I don't recommend anyone to buy this book - first I know that the Wikipedia articles are way from complete, there are still lots of points I would love to add if only I could get them researched well enough. When you order the book, you also have no control on which version of the article will be used, most probably the current one, but how to be sure that that version is clear from any vandalism? Also, the price of about 15 US$ for just 52 pages is IMHO way overpriced, especially as not a single cent goes to the author unlike it would in any normal authored or edited book, the only cost they have is the pure printing and shipping.

The best way to use Wikipedia is to read online, as that's the only way to get the latest version of the text, have the ability to check older versions if some part seems dubious and smells of vandalism, be able to interact using the discussion pages or even change the text yourself if necessary. But for those book lovers who prefer to read in actual paper versions, or to be able to read where no internet is available or to create for a technophobe friend there's a great way to get your custom-made book. For quite some time already, Wikipedia has added ways to export article collections as a PDF file as well as get a Print on Demand book. Within few minutes I have reproduced the same contents as the above cited book, which would cost you just 8.90 US$ - and can also alternatively be downloaded as a PDF to print yourself or put in your eBook reader. Too bad that this book won't become a bestseller for sure - even if I would get the six dollar price difference I won't become rich.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Enclave Mueang

Few weeks ago, a new German book on Thailand titled "Kleine Geschichte Thailands" was published, written by Professor Volker Grabowsky, whom I already knew as the editor of the anthology "Regions and national integration in Thailand". As it is written for a non-academic audience, I did not expect to learn much new from it, but already the first pages had a very interesting speciality of the administration at the beginning of the 20th century.
Die politische Zugehörigkeit eines müang hing von den herrschaftlichen Bindungen der dort lebenden Bevölkerung ab. So gehörte der 40km südlich der Stadt Chiang Rai gelegene Distrikt (amphoe) Phan noch zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts als Enklave verwaltungstechnisch zu Müang Lamphun. Phan war nämlich in den 40er Jahren des 19. Jahrhunderts von Siedlern aus Lamphun erschlossen worden, die auch nach der Auswanderung weiterhin ihrem alten Patron, dem Herrscher (cao müang) von Lamphun unterstanden. Diese Bande wogen stärker als geographische und wirtschaftliche Faktoren, die eine Zugehörigkeit von Phan zu Chiang Rai nahegelegt hätten.
Now as most of my readers don't understand German, and trying to translate the above with Google translate will only create garbled nonsense, here's my translation of this paragraph.
The political affiliation of a mueang depended on the stately dependencies of its population. For example, the district Phan located 40km south of the city Chiang Rai, at the beginning of the 20th century formed an enclave and belonged administratively to Mueang Lamphun. Phan was founded in the 1840s by settlers from Lamphun, who after their emigration kept their relationship with their old patron, the ruler (chao mueang) of Lamphun. This relationship was stronger than geographical and economical factors, which would have suggested Phan to be a subordinate of Chiang Rai.
The oldest mention of any changes for Phan district in the Royal Gazette that I am aware of is from 1912, when the minor district Mueang Phan was upgraded to a full district [Gazette].

Monday, October 25, 2010

Red dot in Google Earth

In a thread at the ThaiVisa forum - which I only noticed because a friend of this blog guided the readers here for more detailed information - the question came up what the red dot in Google Earth found for every Tambon is supposed to mean.

The above screenshot shows the area around the office of the subdistrict municipality Wat Pradu (เทศบาลตำบลวัดประดู่), located between Surat Thani city and Phunphin. The yellow marker is from my collection of office locations, and as I have passed the office several times I can even show a photo of the office complex - though a not that good one as I was on the wrong side of the big highway. One can see well that the red dot for Wat Pradu is located almost exactly on the office buildings as well. And when looking at the same area in Google Maps, instead of the red dot the name of the subdistrict shows up at the same location.

If this were the case for every Tambon I would have no problem to get XML full with all the locations, and it would be boring to write about these dots. For another office close by, the TAO Bang Chana (องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบลบางชนะ), Google places its dot into a palm plantation in the north of the subdistrict, whereas the placemark in Longdo Map points to an actual building in the very south. Though it is close to the city Surat Thani I haven't been able to verify that location yet, but in this case I believe the Thai map of Longdo much more than Google.

Another thing is that it seems Google has exactly one red dot per subdistrict, so they cannot correspond to the local government units exactly - there are subdistricts with two of them, for example Khanom subdistrict, Khanom district, Nakhon Si Thammarat has both a subdistrict municipality and a TAO, and the red dot points near the district office but nowhere near neither of the two local government offices. and for Talad subdistrict within the city of Surat Thani the red dot is within a private villa, even though there is no administrative office for this subdistrict at all. I'd be curious where did Google get the coordinates for these placemarks at first...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Three years of blogging

Time flies like an arrow, it is already three years since I started this blog, and still not running out of topics. Actually quite the contrary, especially with the now forthcoming new province there are even more things to write about, and its not rare I have postings for several weeks already prepared. It was also the coverage of this plan which made the readership of this blog jump by more than 20 readers well above the 100 reader mark, at least if I can believe Feedburner. But also in the normal access statistics with Google Analytics the month of August was the first one with more than 1000 visitors. This boost of readers is really welcome, as otherwise the numbers were stagnant in all of 2010, and I already thought I have reached most of those interested in the very technical topics of this blog. But oddly still the most popular posting by far is the one on the board game "König von Siam" two years ago. To illustrate the slow but steady growth of readership, below are the graphs both for the direct website hits as well as the feed reader count.

Website hits
Feed readers
Another good development was that Gwillim Law, the webmaster of the statoids website (see my old posting about it) updated his Thailand pages and added a link to this blog. Though it does only give a few extra visitors so far, these are visitors who are probably really interested in these topics and will likely become regular readers.

And last but not least my humble blog was also chosen as September's Blog of the Month by the prime Thailand blog directory Thailand Voice.

As I always do in this annual review posting, I invite every reader to participate in this blog by posting comments - I publish all except spam and those which I think might get me into trouble in Thailand - sometimes an innocent questions turns out to become an interesting posting. If you don't want to discuss publicly, you can also contact me by email.

There are also many more ways to help me to provide a great read here - like helping me to access resources I cannot reach being based in Germany (thanks Ian), collecting the coordinates of administrative offices to make my list more complete, or hinting me to news reports, academic papers or books which contain something to write about.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thung Khli municipal upgrade announced

On Monday, the upgrade of the subdistrict administrative organization Thung Khli (องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบลทุ่งคลี), Doem Bang Nang Buat district, Suphanburi province, to a subdistrict municipality (เทศบาลตำบลทุ่งคลี) was announced [Gazette].

The upgrade was approved in the board meeting on July 14, and announcement was then signed on September 8 by the deputy minister of the interior - the same date it was listed as being effective in the DOLA statistics.

I am a bit surprised to see this upgrade announced in the Royal Gazette so fast, whereas the hundreds of similar upgrades in the last years have not been published yet. But seeing this announcement means that the publication of TAO upgrades was not stopped completely - which would be strange anyway as it seems that the Gazette contains more and more topics each year, like the creation of administrative villages was only added in 2002. I still wonder if all those unpublished upgrade announcements will find their way into the Gazette or not...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Outstanding registration offices award 2010

Last week DOPA announced the awards for the registration offices, a total of eleven offices will receive the award this year.
  • District registration office (สำนักทะเบียนอำเภอ) of districts with at least 80,001 citizen: Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima district (อำเภอเมืองนครราชสีมา), Nakhon Ratchasima province
  • District registration office of districts with 50,001 to 80,000 citizen: Phan Thong district (อำเภอพานทอง), Chonburi province
  • District registration office of districts with up to 50,000 citizen: Kham Thale So district (อำเภอขามทะเลสอ), Nakhon Ratchasima province
  • District registration office in Bangkok (สำนักทะเบียนท้องถิ่นเขตของกรุงเทพมหานคร): Bang Khen district (เขตบางเขน)
  • Municipal registration office (สำนักทะเบียนท้องถิ่นเทศบาลและเมืองพัทยา) with at least 70,001 citizen: Pak Kret city (เทศบาลนครปากเกร็ด), Nonthaburi province
  • Municipal registration office with 30,001 to 70,000 citizen: Om Noi town (เทศบาลเมืองอ้อมน้อย), Samut Sakhon province
  • Municipal registration office with up to 30,000 citizen: Si Racha town (เทศบาลเมืองศรีราชา), Chonburi province
Additionally, district and municipality offices in the 3 deep south provinces Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala were awarded.

Both Bang Khen and Si Racha did win last year already. The awards will be officially handed over on December 1st, same as the district officer awards.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pranburi area adjustments

Announced in the Royal Gazette yesterday were the area changes of Pran Buri municipality (เทศบาลตำบลปราณบุรี) and Khao Noi subdistrict administrative organization (องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบลเขาน้อย), which I already wrote about when they were mentioned on the transcript of the board meeting on August 9.

The announcement comes in two parts - first is the release of the territory from the TAO Khao Noi [Gazette], and second the change of the area of the municipality [Gazette]. The second one also includes a map, however only showing the municipality. To see the development of the municipal area, one can compare with the map in the announcement on the creation of the sanitary district from 1955 and the enlargement of the area in 1966.

Pran Buri municipality office
Looking at the map in more detail, the strange thing is the location of the municipality office. When I passed through Pran Buri last year and made a short photo stop at the district office slightly north of the town center, I found the municipality office directly next to that one. However, the map not only shows that the area around the district office does not belong to the municipality at all, it also has a marker for the office on the southern side of the town. As I have the photographic proof I am sure my memory did not fool me in this case, also I found a Thai government website with lots of placemarks which confirms that location. Sadly Google Earth still has only medium resolution imagery for Pran Buri, though if the building in the header image of the municipality website should be large enough to be recognizable. Maybe it was just built and opened recently, which explains why it not shows in Google Earth and last year the small office was still used.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Various related Thai stamp

The last months three different sets of stamps have been released by the Thai Post, which are all related with the topics I cover on this blog. Most notable the fourth series of provincial seals, which I nearly missed as sadly the blog to feature the first day covers went silent in February.

The provincial seal stamps were release on July 5 already, and like the ones before another 10 provinces are covered alphabetically. This time the provinces Lop Buri, Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Si Sa Ket, Sakon Nakhon, Songkhla, Satun, Samut Prakan and Samut Songkhram have their seal on a 3 Baht stamp now, all together printed on one sheet. Now 60 of the provinces are covered (the first series covered 20 provinces), thus there is only one more full sheet to be published next year, and then another one with the 6 (or maybe by then 7) remaining seals. I could not find yet the release dates for these, nor know how the final set will be done - my suggestion to make it feature 10 emblems would be to add the seals of the former provinces Thonburi and Phra Nakhon, and then as the final emblem the national symbol Garuda.

Stamp on Election Commission of ThailandOn June 9 a stamp to commemorate the Election Commission of Thailand was issued. The Election Commission has become a very important player in Thai politics since it was introduced 10 years ago. The stamp shows a ballot box, and as the symbol of Thai democracy the central part of the Democracy Monument - the constitution on two ritual offering trays. I only noticed this stamp when it was announced in the Royal Gazette, interestingly a total of 4 months after the sale started.

The third stamp is featuring one of the national symbols of Thailand, the Ratchapruek flower. It is released together with a stamp showing the Thai flag. Again, I noticed this one by the Gazette announcement.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Surat Thani constituencies

As there will be yet another by-election, this time in constituency one of Surat Thani, I'll use the chance to cover the constituency in more detail, same as I did for the Bangkok constituency 6 in July. But don't worry, I won't do like this for every future by-election, I do it because Surat Thani is the province I research in most detail, and also because this election will again get a larger focus due to the candidate. Somewhat surprising, the Democrat Party nominated one of the political heavyweights Suthep Thaugsuban (นายสุเทพ เทือกสุบรรณ), as Deputy Prime Minister responsible for the enforcement of the emergency decree, as their candidate.

What makes this decision more notable is the fact that Suthep has to resign as Deputy PM in order to be able to stand for election, so it is surprising he so willingly moves to be a less prestigious simple Member of Parliament instead of being a member of the Cabinet. One reason I could imagine is that he expects the current government to break apart soon and therefore goes to the lower but more save job. Or he is preparing for the pending party dissolution as suggested by this Bangkok Post opinion article? At least it shows Thai politics will continue to be interesting to watch...

Constituencies 2007
But the actual topic I want to write about is the constituency itself. With the 2007 constitution the constituencies were returned to be multi-seated, so the province Surat Thani has been again divided into 2 constituencies with 3 seats each. As defined in the Royal Gazette announcement (Page 14 of the PDF), the two constituencies cover only whole districts with one exception, the subdistrict Thung Luang of Wiang Sa district is part of constituency two, the other parts of the district belong to constituency one. The map to the right shows their extent in detail - constituency one covers the east of the province including the capital district, whereas constituency two covers the western half.

Interestingly, this is not the first by-election for Constituency One in the parliamentary term. The original result of the 2007 election had Suthep Thaugsuban (นายสุเทพ เทือกสุบรรณ), Praphon Ninwatcharamanee (นายประพนธ์ นิลวัชรมณี) and Chumphon Kanchana (นายชุมพล กาญจนะ) as the winning candidates, all for the Democratic Party.

Suthep resigned his parliamentary seat in July 2009, when a court ruling was imminent which probably would have disqualified him from being a MP. In the by-election which followed his brother Thani Thaugsuban (นายธานี เทือกสุบรรณ) - who was just few months before disqualified as being the chairman of the Provincial Administrative Organization.

Constituencies 1976, 1979, 1983, 1996
Going back into the past, the outline of the constituencies changed several times in order to keep the electoral weight of each vote roughly equal. Until 1974 the whole province was a single constituency, due to a smaller parliament as well as a lower relative population in the province. 1976 was the first time the province was split into two constituencies, constituency one covering the east and number two the less populated west. First defined in 1976 [Gazette], they were kept same in constituency definitions 1979 [Gazette], 1983 [Gazette] and 1996 [Gazette]. The only difference in 1996 was that both constituencies were sending three MPs, whereas in the years before both send two.

Constituencies 1995
In 1995 [Gazette], Surat Thani sent five MPs to the parliament, thus the constituencies had to get a different electoral multiplicity. Constituency One was made the three-seated and thus became larger than in the previous elections, and correspondingly constituency two sent just two MPs and became smaller.

Constituencies 1998
Finally, in 1998 the single seated constituencies were defined [Gazette], which split Surat Thani into 6 constituencies. The population numbers did not fit well enough to use only full districts, so three of the districts were split between two constituencies - Kanchanadit, Khirirat Nikhom and Khian Sa. Only constituency One covered a whole district, the Mueang district.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sanitary district chairmen

When I checked the history section of the website of Wang Nam Yen municipality in order to prepare the posting of the enlargement of the municipality, apart from the dates I already knew - created in 1980, updated in 1999, a third date in 1994 was listed. Roughly translated, the history reads as follows
The creation of sanitary district Wang Nam Yen was announced in the Royal Gazette on April 22 1980. On June 3, the municipality located in the minor district Wang Nam Yen got Pratip Chirawat (นายประทีป จิราวัฒน์), the district officer of Sa Kaeo district, as its first chairman. In 1994, the Ministry of Interior announced Wang Nam Yen as a sanitary district with adequate income to manage sanitation itself. Wanchai Narirak (นายวันชัย นารีรักษ์) was the first chairman who came into office by election.
So it was in the 1990s that sanitary district got electing chairmen (ประธานกรรมการสุขาภิบาล). I wasn't aware of this change before, as the sanitary district are rarely mentioned in the books and papers I have read so far. The history section of the website also mentions the Royal Gazette announcement in which this change was promulgated, so I was able to find a total of nine announcements, which each lists a varying number of sanitary districts which have reached adequate income - in Thai they are all titled ประกาศกระทรวงมหาดไทย เรื่อง รายชื่อสุขาภิบาลที่มีฐานะการคลังเพียงพอที่จะบริหารงานประจำของสุขาภิบาลได้. In detail the nine announcements are as follows:
  • September 9 1987: 18 sanitary districts [Gazette]
  • October 1 1988: 4 sanitary districts [Gazette]
  • February 15 1990: 10 sanitary districts [Gazette]
  • July 7 1992: 21 sanitary districts [Gazette]
  • April 8 1993: 48 sanitary districts [Gazette]
  • July 7 1994: 34 sanitary districts [Gazette]
  • July 24 1995: 51 sanitary districts [Gazette]
  • May 30 1996: 79 sanitary districts [Gazette]
  • June 16 1997: 62 sanitary districts [Gazette]
If adding the numbers these are 327 sanitary district, however there were 980 of these entities - therefore most of them did not yet have elected chairmen when they were upgraded into subdistrict municipalities in 1999.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Outstanding district officer award 2010

In July I reported about the finalists for the outstanding district officer award by the Department of Provincial Administration, now the four winners were officially announced.
  • Northern region: Udom Chantamai (นายอุดม จันตาใหม่), district officer of Mueang Pan, Lampang.
  • Central region: Thiraphon Nutnarot Sirinamuwat (นายธีรพล ศิรินานุวัฒน์), district officer of Khlong Hat, Sa Kaeo.
  • Northeastern region: Loetbut Kongthong (นายเลิศบุศย์ กองทอง), district officer of Kham Muang, Kalasin.
  • Southern region: Thawon Khongkaeo (นายถาวร คงแก้ว), district officer of Phrom Khiri, Nakhon Si Thammarat.
The prices will be handed over on December 1st, interestingly the same date as last year and in 2008. Don't know if this is a coincidence, or December 1st has a special meaning for the district administration.

Monday, October 11, 2010

DOLA municipal statistics 2010

The Thai fiscal year has just ended on September 30, and few days later the Department of Local Administration (DOLA) already made the latest lists of municipalities, TAO and the status and name changes online. Most notably is the fact that there are 320 TAO upgrades to subdistrict municipalities, but in fact 319 of these upgrades were already listed in one file published last December at the same location - only the upgrade of Thung Khli is new. Therefore the at least 161 lost upgrades were obviously really delayed for four year, as by now the new council must have been elected and thus begun their new four year term.

The updated number of different local government units as of September 30 2010 are as following.
  • Provincial administrative organizations (PAO): 75
  • Municipalities: 2008
    • City municipalities: 25
    • Town municipalities: 142
    • Subdistrict municipalities: 1841
  • Subdistrict administrative organizations (TAO): 5767
  • Special administrative areas: 2
In case anyone wants to work through the files himself, there are the following:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ork map for Bangkok

Almost one year ago, a tweet from Newley Purnell pointed me to the maps designed by Ork posters. Since they only cover cities in the US, I tried my luck and applied to the map of Bangkok. These maps are nothing but the boundaries of the boroughs, districts, quarters or whatever other subdivision the corresponding city has, overlayed with the names of the subdivisions in the plain Sans Serif font of DIN 1451.

Luckily fellow Wikipedian hdamm already made a vector map for the districts of Bangkok, so all I had to do was to place the names on top of that. The main difficulty were the very small districts in the center of Bangkok, especially the tiny Samphanthawong with a long name. But nevertheless I think my map doesn't look that bad, especially considering I just spend a few hours creating it and have no earlier record of being an artist or designer. There is probably still some room for fine-tuning the image, also a separate version with the names in the Thai alphabet might be worth considering, especially now I know the standard fonts for the Thai road signs. And of course one could do the same with any other of the 75 provinces, or for the whole country - but there the small provinces near Bangkok make it almost impossible to read.

Since hdamm had his map released under cc-by-sa license, I have to release my artwork under the same terms, thus everyone is free to copy it provided the attribution is given, and derived works are under the same license - though for now I keep the actual SVG for myself only..

Just sad that from the millions I will now earn by selling prints or shirts with this map in Bangkok, most of the money will go to the lawyer to protect me against the lawsuit Ork poster will file for copying their concept... At least I will be able to keep the customer busy, as soon they'd have to buy the upgrade with the planned new district. Actually, I withheld this posting for almost a year so I can make it public after the new district is created, but now the date for its creation is more dubious again I don't want to wait longer for grabbing the publicity this map might give this humble blog.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Upgrade of Ko Samui municipal status officially announced

On Monday, the upgrade of Ko Samui from subdistrict municipality to a town municipality was published in the Royal Gazette. What makes this announcement a bit strange is the fact that the upgrade already happened in 2008, and thus it is published more than 2 years later. In fact, the announcement was signed by then Deptuy Minister of Interior Suphon Fongngam (สุพล ฟองงาม) on June 9 2008. This is also the date which I found in the annual list by the Department of Local Administration as the date on which the upgrade became effective.

The interesting question is why this announcement was kept in the pipeline for this long time, the median value for all the announcements I have already gathered in my XML is that the publication happens at 51 days after the signature - and now this announcement easily captured the maximum position with 847 days. The additional documents added in the announcement - the description of the boundary as well as the map - don't show any indication that were not yet present at time of the signature, the only date shown on both is the June 9 2008. Besides, preparing a map and the boundary description for a municipality which covers the complete island is nothing which should take that long.

I wonder if this announcement now may be the first of the huge backlog of municipal upgrades pending their announcement in the Royal Gazette, most of them upgrades of TAO to subdistrict municipalities however.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Province flags

I have written before about the flags for the Thai provinces, and how strange it is that in a country where flags are flown almost everywhere that these flags are never seen in public - only the national flag, the Buddhist wheel flag and the flags of HM the King or the Queen are seen everywhere. One reason is probably the lack of any regional identity, at least any officially endorsed one.

When I was looking for data on the mayor of Surat Thani, Mrs. Sombun Suwannabut (สมบูรณ์ สุวรรณบุตร), to my surprise within the Google Image search result was one photo I which I could recognize the province flag of Surat Thani.

The photo shows the mayor on the right side holding a flag of the Tourism Authority (TAT), and deputy province governor Somsak Changtrakun (สมศักดิ์ จังตระกูล) holding the province flag on the left side. The photo was taken at the opening ceremony of a car rally, which started at the city pillar shrine of Surat Thani, launched on July 23 2010 in celebration of the 95th anniversary of the province. Well, actually in 1915 was only the rename of the province to Surat Thani, but good enough for celebrating an easy to remember anniversary.

Anyway, from the fact that I have never seen any such provincial flag in real, and in that photo is used by the deputy province governor lets me suspect that these flags are only used by the governor and his deputies. And it looks like I have to refine my design of the Surat Thani flag, as in the photo the chedi is placed on a circular white area, it has the same cloud decorations around as on the provincial seal, and the name of the province is written below it. Don't know what and if there is a completely defined official design.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Municipal decisions from July 14 2010

Meeting number 32 from July 14 2010 with one TAO upgraded to a subdistrict municipality.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lan Na administrative structure

An excerpt from the article A brief history of Lān Nā by Hans Penth (in: Regions and National Integration in Thailand, 1892-1992) - not be confused with the same-titled book by the same author.
Lān Nā was not a single country. It consisted of several countries much as a modern country is made up of districts or partly self-governing states. The basic unit was a settlement called bān "village" (modern Thai: "house"), often a cluster of houses belonging to one family. The leader of the village was the senior relative or otherwise locally elected. A number of villages formed a district, pan nā "1,000 paddy fields". An important village could be fortified by a rampart and a moat; such a settlement was called a wiang "town". If a town was inhabited by senior royalty, the wiang was called a chiang "city". Several ban with a wiang or a chiang formed a müang "country; city state". A müang was an area bordered by hills. Beyond the hills would be another müang.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Province governor reshuffle 2010

Very late this year the annual province governor (ผวจ) reshuffle list has been approved by cabinet and thus now clear to take effect on October 1st, the normal date for the reshuffles. This time 48 governors were moved (5 were promoted earlier already). As four governors were transferred to posts outside the provincial administration and one has been retired, this means a total of 43 provinces thus receive a new leader, more than half of the 75 governors.

Kudos to Richard Barrow who first tweeted the link to a Thai newspaper with the full list, so I did not need to wait till the transcript of the cabinet meeting was made available.

The reason why the list was approved so late were some irregularities within the Ministry of Interior, most strikingly around the promotion of former DOPA chief Mongkol Surasajja, which is still pending, but also complaints at the proposed transfers themselves.

For an analysis of the assignments see the article by The Nation, or the corresponding thread in the 2bangkok forum. The governors of the four provinces where the province halls were burned down in May were assigned to new provinces (by the way the Nation mixes up Nong Bua Lamphu and Mukdahan) except the one from Khon Kaen who is retiring, whereas the four governors who get no new province are said to be demoted to lesser post. Notable is also the fact that now one of the province governors is a woman, rare among the male-dominated administration.

One thing which confused me a lot while working through the list was the fact that the governors of Phichit and Phrae had been only assigned as acting last year, and I overread the word acting in last year's list. But now I have them all in my XML, next step would be to update all the Wikipedia articles - if only I would be more sure about the correct romanized spellings of the new governors...