Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Muban consisting of several villages

When I wrote about the different meanings of the word Muban I mentioned the fact that the administrative villages can consist of several real settlements. Coming across the website of the subdistrict administrative organization (TAO) Ba-ngo Sato, Ra-ngae district, Narathiwat province, I found a good example for this case in their list of villages.
หมู่ที่ 1บ้านบาโงตาBan Ba-ngo Ta
1.บ้านบาโงตาBan Ba-ngo Ta
2.บ้านบูเกะบูแยBan Buko Buyae
3.บ้านบือเจาะกลูบีBan Buecho Klubi
4.บ้านปูลาสะมีแลBan Pulasamilae
หมู่ที่ 2บ้านเจ๊ะเกBan Chaeko
1.บ้านเจ๊ะเกBan Chaeko
2.บ้านดางากาแนBan Dangae Kanae
หมู่ที่ 3บ้านลูโบ๊ะบาตูBan Lubo Batuonly one village
หมู่ที่ 4บ้านบละแตBan Balatae
1.บ้านบละแตBan Balatae
2.บ้านบาโงแยะBan Ba-ngo Yae
3.บ้านกาปงบือแนBan Kapong Buenae
หมู่ที่ 5บ้านตราแด๊ะBan Sadae
1.บ้านตราแด๊ะBan Sadae
2.บ้านกำปงนิบงBan Kampong Nipong
หมู่ที่ 6บ้านบาตูบือซาBan Batu Buesoonly one village
หมู่ที่ 7บ้านบาโงสะโตBan Ba-ngo Satoonly one village
หมู่ที่ 8บ้านบาโยBan Bayoonly one village

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

DOPA population statistics 2009

A bit later than last year, now the population statistics down to subdistrict level as of December 2009 is available at the website of the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA). I haven't looked into it in detail, only tried to import them into my parser and that worked except two obvious nonsense entries in the statistics.
  • In Nakhon Si Thammarat, the subdistrict municipality Thon Hong (เทศบาลตำบลทอนหงส์) contains 3 households from Chang Sai subdistrict (ตำบลช้างซ้าย) - even though this subdistrict is in Phra Phrom district, and not Phrom Khiri like the municipality. [Page]
  • In Surin, the subdistrict municipality Lamduan Sunphin (เทศบาลตำบลลำดวนสุรพินท์) contains one household from an entity only named "*** 32880100 ***". While the numerical code fits to a subdivision of the municipality, in these statistics only subdistricts are listed normally. [Page]
Some time ago I already posted a guide on how to read these statistics. Until I check into more detail, the main information is that the population only grew by a modest 0.2% last year.


Monday, March 29, 2010

First district head officer of Galyani Vadhana

After I found the district head officers reassignments of Surat Thani, I tried to look further to find a more complete list. I found a complete list of district head officers as of October 2009, and also two lists of the most recent rounds of reassignments, one in August 2009 and another in February 2010. However strangely both not on the sites of the Ministry of Interior, the August 2090 list was in a gun lover forum, and even more strange the February 2010 list at an insurance company and only available in the Google cache.

As the district Galyani Vadhana was just created in December, only the second list could include a head officer for this district. According to this list, on February 22 2010, Chatthanat Thiankao (ฉัทธนาตย์ เทียนขาว) became the first full head district officer, replacing the acting district officer (รักษาราชการนายอำเภอ) Khunwat Sukhanthakun (คุณวัฒน์ สุคันธะกุล). While I cannot find any full biography of him, I can list the last two positions he held before he became assigned to Galyani Vadhana district. From August 2009 to February 2010 he was in Doi Luang, Chiang Rai province, and before that in Nong Hin, Sisaket province.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Truck registration province codes

Ian Fuller aka Bkkphotographer had a good eye for the details, as he noticed that one number on the license plate for trucks in fact correlates with the province of registration. He even wrote a whole document on the many different kinds of license plates full with his photos, from the private cars over trucks and buses up to diplomatic cars and the Royal household cars.

Though he did not find a complete list of these numbers, he could deduce them from statistics at the Department of Land Transport, e.g. the new car statistics sheet lists the provinces in the same ordering as found on the license plates. The strange thing is that these numbers very much look like the TIS:1099 (almost identical with ISO 3166-2) codes, even the first digit for the regions is identical. But the second digit is totally different, for example the upper south using the numbers 80 to 86 have the following translation.
CodeTIS:1099License plate
80Nakhon Si ThammaratChumphon
82Phang NgaSurat
83PhuketPhang Nga
84Surat ThaniNakhon Si Thammarat
The same happens in all other regions. It is really surprising that this government department uses codes incompatible with the national standard. The only explanation I have for this would be that these codes are in use for a long time already, before the codes developed by the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) went into use outside the Ministry of Interior and developed into the national standard first published in 1992.

The sad thing last - Ian Fuller passed away suddenly in January, so there won't be any updates on this finding by him nor any other of his photo stories. I only discovered his blog one months before his death, so did not have much chance to interact with him. But even from the few things I saw of his net activities his untimely death is a big loss. May he rest in peace.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Municipality upgrades announced

On last Tuesday, the first TAO upgrades to municipalities since 2008 were published in the Royal Gazette, reducing the backlog of unannounced upgrades a little bit. But there still remain hundreds of similar acts in the pipeline, hopefully coming not in too fast succession so I can continue to announce them all here. Also, these eight announcements are all rather recent ones from 2008 and 2009, yet there are upgrades from 2005 still pending the official announcement in the Royal Gazette.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

District head officer transfers in Surat Thani

On the website of the Surat Thani provincial office of the Department of Provincial Administration I found the transcripts of the monthly meetings of the district officers (รายงานการประชุมนายอำเภอ). At first I only used the one from June 2009 which was available as a WinWord file to add the current names into my province XML. Yet after some more looking around I noticed that these transcript not only show the current names of the district officers listed as participants of the meetings, but also when applicable any new appointments are listed in these documents as well.

The latest such transcript of Meeting 2/2553 held on February 25 2010 (Photos) includes no less than 8 new district officers. Sadly this transcript seems to be only available as a scanned PDF, so I cannot simply copy and paste the relevant contents, but have to type it myself. Each of the reassignments in written in the same style.
นายจิรศักดิ์ ชัยฤทธิ์ ตำแหน่ง นายอำเภอชัยบุรี จังหวัดสุราษฎร์ธานี ได้รับ การแต่งตั้ง (ย้าย) ให้ดำรงตำแหน่งนายอำเภอบ้านนาสาร
Mr. Chinsak Chaiyarit, currently district officer of Chaiburi, Surat Thani, get appointed (moved) to position as district office Ban Na San
So, the other seven reassignments are as follows
  • Natthi Udompramuan (นายณัฏฐ์ธีร์ อุดมประมวล) from Na Khu, Kalasin to Vibhavadhi
  • Prasoet Chitmung (นายประเสริฐ จิตมุง) from Vibhavadhi, Surat Thani to Don Sak
  • Wira Thongphi-chit (นายวิระ ทองพิจิตร) from Kong Ra, Phatthalung to Tha Chang
  • Sanit Siwihok (นายสนิท ศรีวิหค) from Tha Chang, Phatthalung to Kanchanadit
  • Suraphon Limsila (นายสุรพล ลิ่มศิลา) from Pak Phayun, Phatthalung to Chaiburi
  • Suriyan Chirasatsunthon (นายสุริยัณห์ จิรสัตย์สุนทร) from Ban Na San, Surat Thani to Tha Chana
  • Charoensak Wongsuwan (นายเจริญศักดิ์ วงศ์สุวรรณ), sergeant (จ่าจังหวัด) at Surat Thani province become district officer of Ban Na Doem
However, only the new officers in Surat Thani are listed, not what happened with the former office holders - where they were transferred or if they retired, nor how long the office might have been vacant. Only from earlier transcripts I knew that both Kanchanadit and Don Sak were vacant since January.

It seems that, which also lists the names of the district officers, is quite up to date, at least for Phanom district it already shows Suwit Chuchuaisuwan (นายสุวิชว์ ชูช่วยสุวรรณ), who became district officer in August 2009. But if this holds for all provinces I cannot check, a full list of all district head officers is something I still haven't found online, there's only the photo page of the current officers in Surat Thani. I also haven't checked if for other provinces similar files are available online, it is quite a lot of work to follow the reassignments for one province by reading the transcripts, so I doubt I'd be able to follow more than one province.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New minor districts requested

Published in Royal Gazette on March 17 is the request to create three minor districts - Nong Yang Thoi (กิ่งอำเภอหนองย่างทอย) and Si Thep (กิ่งอำเภอศรีเทพ) in Phetchabun and Sap Hin Dat (กิ่งอำเภอทรัพย์หินดาด) in Nakhon Ratchasima - submitted to the Ministry of Interior on October 9 2009 by Niyom Vorapanya (นายนิยม วรปัญญา), member of parliament from Phetchabun province.

The important parts of the reply of the MOI are as follows
๑) อำเภอศรีเทพ จังหวัดเพชรบูรณ์ ดำเนินการตรวจสอบข้อมูลในการขอจัดตั้งกิ่งอำเภอหนองย่างทอย และตั้งกิ่งอำเภอศรีเทพแล้วปรากฎว่า การขอจัดตั้งนั้นไม่ได้ระบุว่ากิ่งอำเภอ ที่จะขอจัดตั้งประกอบไปด้วยตำบลใดบ้าง ในชั้นนี้อำเภอศรีเทพจึงไม่สามารถพิจารณาได้ว่าการขอจัดตั้งกิ่งอำเภอเป็นไปตามหลักเกณฑ์หรือไม่
Si Thep district, Phetchabun province: Checking the information on the requesting of creation of minor district Nong Yang Thoi and minor district Si Thep, it is not stated which subdistricts are requested to form the new minor districts. In this case the district Si Thep cannot consider the request to establish a minor district.

๒) กรณีการขอจัดตั้งกิ่งอำเภอทรัพย์หินดาด ในท้องที่อำเภอด่านขุนทด จังหวัดนครราชสีมา ตรวจสอบแล้วพบว่า อำเภอด่านขุนทด เคยขอจัดตั้งกิ่งอำเภอห้วยบง เมื่อปี พ.ศ. ๒๕๓๘ โดยขอแยกตำบลห้วยบง และตำบลหินดาด ตั้งเป็นกิ่งอำเภอ แต่ไม่ได้รับการอนุมัติ ซึ่งในปัจจุบันตำบลห้วยบงมีจำนวน ๒๕ หมู่บ้านและตำบลหินดาด มีจำนวน ๒๔ หมู่บ้าน ไม่เป็นไปตามหักเกณฑ์กรจัดตั้งกิ่งอำเภอ ตามมติคณะรัฐมนตรี เมื่อวันที่ ๒ พฤศจิกายน ๒๕๕
For the case of the minor district Sap Hin Dat in the area of Dan Khun Thot district, Nakhon Ratchasima province, finds that in 1995 the district already asked for the creation of a minor district Huai Bong, covering the subdistricts Huai Bong and Hin Dat. However the project was not approved then. Today, the subdistrict Huai Bong covers 25 villages and Hin Dat 24 villages. However, these are not in line with the criteria to establish minor districts as decided in the cabinet meeting on November 2 2014.
This of course means 2004, and the criteria as listed above in the reply are
  • a population of at least 25,000
  • at least 4 subdistrict
  • new district office to be at least 20 kilometer away from the district office of the parent district
  • approval by the local government entities affected
Especially the new districts in southern Phetchabun seem to be a pet project of Niyom, since there are already three similar requests in the Royal Gazette - Na Trakut (กิ่งอำเภอนาตะกรุด) in 1994 and 1996, and Ban Na Trakut (กิ่งอำเภอบ้านนาตะกรุด) in 1985. In fact, the majority of all the requests of new administrative entities I have in my XML were filed by him, and almost all with negative results.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Trat remembrance day

Tomorrow is the annual Trat remembrance day (วันตราดรำลึก), as on March 23 1906 the province Trat was returned to Thai suzerainty after being held captive by the French since 1904. The most remarkable thing about this celebration is that on this day the whole province uses the old flag with the white elephant on a red cloth. This flag was abandoned in 1916, allegedly because the king saw this flag hanging upside down after a flood, and then changed the national flag into a symmetrical one which cannot be hung wrongly. At first the middle bar was red as well, after one year it got the blue color it still has today.

I have found a collection of photos from the Trat day 2007 which show perfectly well that on this day the old flag is much more present than the current national flag. The above illustration is taken from Le Petit Journal of February 26 1905 and shows the occupation of Trat by the French. So instead of the reraising of the elephant flag in 1906 it actually shows the earlier lowering. Trat was given to the French in 1904 in exchange with Chanthaburi, which they occupied in the Paknam crisis of 1893. And though Trat celebrates March 23, for nationalists it would be more a day of mourning, as with the contract which returned Trat the northwestern provinces of Cambodia had to be seized to French Indochina.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Planned new provinces - Bueng Kan

Quite some time ago I learned by the category "Planned provinces" on the Thai Wikipedia that there quite a lot of provinces which were either in planning, discussion or had been proposed in the past. One of these is the province Bueng Kan (จังหวัดบึงกาฬ), which was supposed to cover the eastern part of Nong Khai province. But as the Wikipedia article on this proposal is very short and has almost no details, I thought this is just one old shelved proposal. In fact, the article cites as the sole reference a petition from 1994, which was published in the Royal Gazette.
Map of Bueng Kan province
Bueng Kan province and remaining Nong Khai province
But it turns out the proposal is far from being shelved, as I just found out by fluke just checking Google for any recent website with the term "จัดตั้งจังหวัด", and the latest hit was from February 5 on the website of the Nong Khai provincial police station. Searching further, an article on the website made me notice that the proposal is very active currently again.

The governor of Nong Khai, Khomsan Ekkachai (นายคมสัน เอกชัย), sent the proposal to the Ministry of Interior for consideration in January this year. If approved there, it will be sent for consideration to the cabinet, and then finally to the House of Representatives to decide on the act to create the province. According to the article, by August or September this year it should be known if the province can be created. The preconditions for creating a province are met, since the province of Nong Khai has 17 district, and the new province is supposed to cover eight. If I don't misunderstand the article, even a referendum was held in the province, which gave more than 98% approval; also most of the local government entities approved the new province. Given the very elongated shape of the province Nong Khai along the Mekong river, and the fact that the provincial capital is located quite far into the western part of the province, it makes sense to split the province into two halves just to cut the distance to the province hall significantly.

I now definitely try to have a lookout for any news on this proposal, from my naive thinking I give it a much higher chance of being implemented than the province Fang I mentioned here earlier.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Village headmen tasks

Anthropologist Michael Moerman spent 1959-61 in the village Ban Ping, Chiang Kham district, Chiang Rai province to do anthropology fieldwork. One of the publications based on this research is the 1969 paper A Thai village headman as a synaptic leader, which I found in the book Modern Thai politics. Though probably quite outdated, the paper gives a lot of interesting facts on the work of a village headman 50 years ago. One of the most interesting sections is the following, and I would be surprised if the described behavior wouldn't still be found today.
Keeping records, like keeping the peace, is a major duty which the government requires of the headman who obediently maintains a census of animals and issues animal registration forms; enters marriages, births and deaths; notes the amount of rice which villagers claim to have planted, lost and harvested; witnesses claims of virgin land; and records contributions pf labor, supplies, and money to village projects. He also maintains a list of landholdings which is used by village and regional leaders. The headman of Ban Ping is proud of his ability to keep these records legibly, but ignores discrepancies (so that calves are born to those who have no cows). He permits villagers to falsify information when it benefits them, as by under-reporting landholdings in order to avoid taxes. He advises them about how to misreport (e.g., Should the amount of rice lost to floods be exaggerated in the hope of tax concessions or minimized to avoid the possibility that the government will restrict rice sales and thereby lower rice price?) He boasts about incorrect reports (as of the number of young men or oxcarts available for corvée that help the village. The headman's manipulation of records and information for the benefit of his constituents is a striking role activity.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ministerial order on subdistrict rename

I was trying to find alternative sources for the acts and laws on the changes of the administrative entities, e.g. for those on the administrative villages (muban) which are only published in the Royal Gazette since 2002. Also, it seems a few acts get lost and never show up in the Gazette database. Google found one page which seemed to be on the rename of a muban in 1969 on the website titled
0050/2513 การเปลี่ยนแปลงชื่อหมู่บ้านและตำบลในกฎกระทรวง ฉบับที่ 428 (พุทธศักราช 2512) ออกตามความในพระราชบัญญัติป่าสงวนแห่งชาติ พุทธศักราช 2507
which means "Change of name of village and subdistrict in ministerial order issue 428 (B.E. 2512 = 1969) in order with the national park act B.E. 2507 (1964)". The ministerial order is available both as a scanned PDF as well as plain HTML, and especially the second makes it easy to copy and paste the text to e.g. Google Translate to get more of the meaning.

Apparently both the district and village Na Bo Kham (ตำบลนาบ่อคำ), Mueang Kamphaeng Phet district, Kamphaeng Phet province, was misnamed Bo Dam (ตำบลบ่อดำ). Actually while writing this posting I discovered that this ministerial order is in fact not a real rename, but a correction for an announcement in the Royal Gazette. Google did not find any website with the subdistrict Bo Dam, and in the Gazette database it has exactly one announcement mentioning it - กฎกระทรวง ฉบับที่ ๔๒๘ (พ.ศ. ๒๕๑๒) ออกตามความในพระราชบัญญัติป่าสงวนแห่งชาติ พ.ศ. ๒๕๐๗ with the additional comment "กำหนดให้ป่าคลองวังเจ้า และป่าคลองสวนหมาก ในท้องที่ตำบลโกสัมพี ตำบลนครชุม ตำบลบ่อดำ ตำบลโป่งน้ำร้อน และตำบลลานดอกไม้ อำเภอเมืองกำแพงเพชร จังหวัดกำแพงเพชร เป็นป่าสงวนแห่งชาติ". This announcement published on June 6 1969 was on the creation of the national forest Khlong Wang Chao (ป่าคลองวังเจ้า) and Khlong Suan Mak (ป่าคลองสวนหมาก), which also covered parts of the subdistrict Na Bo Kham. And in this announcement the subdistrict was misspelled, and hence the correction accessible on that lawreform website.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Constituational referendum results map

This weekend the only topic in Thailand is the big rally of the red shirts protesting against the government, so I can't resist and post something vaguely related to the political troubles in Thailand of the last 4 years. Last week the website displayed a caricature map on their starting page, originally published in the Poojadkuan (ผู้จัดกวน) column of the Thai newspaper Manager (ผู้จัดการ). The caricature, draw by Buncha/Kamin and published on August 21, 2007, placed drawings of Thaksin Shinawatra and his (now divorced) wife Pojaman on top of those provinces where the majority of the voters rejected the new constitution in the referendum - which are not totally surprising areas in the north and northeast where Thaksin's party had its strongest power base.

Since the picture was a scan from the paper page, I played with Inkscape a bit and both created a map with the referendum results according to Thai Wikipedia, and overlayed it with a rendering of the drawings in the newspaper. I did not find the actual numbers for each province, so I could only render the map according to the colors I found in Wikipedia.

If you love such strange maps, there's a whole blog dedicated to them named "Strange Maps", and even a whole book derived from the blog.

To get the latest on the protests this weekend, follow the redshirt keyword in Twitter, the various political blogs like BangkokPundit, or of course the two English newspapers of Bangkok. Yet I still hope all the panic that it we see a replay of last years Songkhran riots will be groundless and all turns out to be just an albeit large rally normal to other democracies.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Muban administration modeled after British colonial model

Google Books can be a very valuable way to search for higher quality sources of information - if only the more of the out of print books would be available to be read online beyond a few lines of text. In the book "The golden peninsula" Charles F. Keyes discussed the difference between the administrative villages and the actual settlements, especially how the administrative villages were created.
In 1887-1889, following the conquest of upper Burma, the British Commissioner promulgated two regulations that redefined "villages" to suit governmental rather than peasant purposes. Furnivall has described the consequences of these acts:
[The new regulations issued by Sir Charles Crosthwaite, the British Commissioner] abolished self-government over any unit larger than the village, and, by converting the village from a social and residential unit into an administrative unit, cut at the roots of organic life within the village.
King Chulalongkorn and his advisers in Thailand made an effort to copy directly the new system of local administration implemented in Burma.
You can continue to read the chapter at Google books, as most parts of the book is available online - just to bad the bibliography is only partially visible, and the source of above quote is on the omitted pages. But I will now try to get myself a copy of this book - though out of print a few used copies are available at the various antiquarian book sellers.

It was new to me that quite some part of the whole thesaphiban reforms by prince Damrong were modeled after the colonial model adopted in Burma. But it's not that much surprising, as many of the reforms done by King Chulalongkorn were at least inspired by the western administrative systems, like the sanitary districts as the precursor of the municipalities were modeled after the same-named entities in Great Britain.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Census 2010 countdown

The National Population and Housing Census 2010 (สำมะโนประชากรและเคหะ พ.ศ.2553) is coming closer. The reference date is July 1, hence in 113 days. The National Statistical Office (NSO) has set up a special portal site of this census, however sadly only in Thai so far, and it seems not all of the data links are working. From the FAQ I can already see the main difference between the census data and the population data as published by the Department of Provincial Administration - in the census all residents, including foreigner staying more than 3 month in country, will be counted at the location of the actual residence, whereas the DOPA statistics is according to the registration data - for example migrant workers are registered at their home village in the northeast, yet they live most of the year in the urban sprawl of Bangkok for work in a factory. So one should expect to see a much higher population for the urban centers in the census compared to the DOPA numbers. I haven't checked the content of that portal site in detail yet, but there will be further postings on the census for sure, at least when the data will come in.

The postage stamp show at the top of the posting has been issued in January already in commemoration of the census this year. The Royal Gazette announcement of this stamp however just came yesterday...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Provincial election commission websites

The Election Commission of Thailand (คณะกรรมการการเลือกตั้ง ECT), or maybe more exact the provincial branches, are responsible for organizing the elections for the local government entities. Whenever I try to to add some more data to my XML, I use the province of Surat Thani as the testing case, so that one is usually the most detailed XML.

So, I tried my luck to find some data on the local elections, especially the TAO chairmen and municipal mayors, on the website of the Provincial Election Commision (sic!) Suratthani. I found a few PDFs with results, e.g. the mayor and the 12 councilors for Yan Din Daeng subdistrict municipality (เทศบาลตำบลย่านดิน) elected on November 4 2009, sadly only the names of the winners are given, but not the actual vote numbers and the defeated candidates. However, one of the PDFs is missing and gives a 404 error, same as several other links on the main website. Only with Google I was able to find a second page with some older results. But somehow I doubt these were all the recent elections, there must have been more in the last two years than the approximately 10 which are covered in any of the PDFs. But no trace of anything like a complete list of local government entities with the end of term of their councils, so one could easily see when and where elections are forthcoming.

And my usual rant - since I tried to notify the webmaster on the missing PDF, which should contain the results for 9 entities, I noticed that the hotmail address at bottom of the website does not work at all, and at the other address my email was apparently ignored.

The website has a lot of potential of improvement, at least it is not infiltrated by malware - one better does not visit the website of the Provincial Election Commission of Nakhon Pathom...

Friday, March 5, 2010

National symbols of Thailand

At the amphoeyim website I found a document which presents the three national symbols of Thailand. While I knew about the national flower before, I wasn't aware that it also has an official national animal and an architectural item. I even found an announcement in the Royal Gazette dated from 2001, making these three symbols official.

Elephants bathingNational animal is the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), named ช้างไทย (chang thai) or Thai elephant in the announcement. The elephant is strongly interwoven in Thai tradition and history. Especially the white elephant depicted in the emblem is a symbol of the royalty, present on the flag of country till 1917. As being a majestic animal, it was even used as war elephants in the past. My photo shows elephants being bathed in an elephant farm near Chiang Mai.

Flowering Golden shower treeNational flower is the Ratchapruek (ราชพฤกษ์), Cassia fistula L. known as the Golden Shower Tree in the west. One can find this tree very often in Thailand since its yellow flowers make it very ornamental. My photo was taken at the Vin de Ray winery, but actually such a view can be found anywhere in Thailand. The rationale for choosing this plant is that it is native to Thailand, can be grown in all regions, parts of the plant are used in the traditional Thai medicine, and the wood is also good material to build houses. For example, Ratchapruek wood has been used for city pillars, foundation posts of palaces and well as flag posts.

National architectural item is the pavilion, the Thai Sala (ศาลาไทย). It is chosen since it is unique to Thailand and has a very elegant architecture. The photo shows a Sala within Don Wai temple - I noticed that in my photo stock I have no photo of a Sala for plain people sitting in the shadow, only the much more decorated ones within temples. In the emblem for this symbol, the Sala is placed on a green floor to represent the richness of the country and its agriculture. The light blue sky in the emblem represents the location of Thailand in the tropics and the happy freshness of the climate.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday linkage

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wrong Tambon numbers in preliminary census 2000 reports

For the census 2000, the National Statistical Office (NSO) among other documents published preliminary province reports compiled by the provincial statistical offices. They are only available through the Thai pages on the census 2000.

These files were very useful to extract the census population data for 1990 at the district level for almost all districts, only for the three provinces created in 1993 these numbers were no included. Sadly most of the text is in Thai only, even though they included an English table of contents. Also they include the numbers of (central administrative) subdivisions, i.e. the numbers of district, subdistricts and villages. Since I trusted this source a lot, I used these numbers without checking and among others added them into the Wikipedia articles on the provinces.

But now, when I was searching for one subdistrict which made my statistics deviate from the official number of 7255 subdistricts, I noticed that for 13 provinces these subdistrict numbers are wrong, while funnily the sum of 7254 was just off by one, so the mistakes nearly cancel out each other. The provinces affected are the following.

Ang Thong8173513513
Khon Kaen19819921392252
Nakhon Pathom105106919929
Nakhon Phanom979910401090
Nakhon Ratchasima29328934233599
Nakhon Si Thammarat16516914281509
Samut Songkhram3836284284
Udon Thani15515616821765

The scary thing - these wrong numbers stayed unchanged in Wikipedia ever since I added them in 2004, even in Thai Wikipedia they were never spotted to be mistaken. Of course I have fixed them now. The number of villages seem not that much mistaken, the difference between the numbers from the E-book village list as of 2003 mostly originates from the newly created villages in those three years.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Municipal decisions from February 4 2010

Meeting number 6 from February 4 2010 with five name changes of municipalities and TAO.
  • Pho Nang Dam subdistrict municipality (เทศบาลตำบลโพนางดำ), Sapphaya district, Chainat province, to be renamed to Thep Phithak (เทศบาลตำบลเทพพิทักษ์) in order to avoid confusion with the two adjoining municipalities Pho Nang Dam Tok and Pho Nang Dam Ok.
  • Khok Khram Phatthana subdistrict municipality (เทศบาลตำบลโคกครามพัฒนา), Bang Pla Ma district, Suphanburi province, to be renamed to Ton Kram (เทศบาลตำบลต้นคราม) in order to avoid confusion with the adjoining municipality Khok Khram.
  • Phak Pang subdistrict municipality (เทศบาลตำบลผักปัง), Phu Khiao district, Chaiyaphum province, to be renamed to Phu Khiao (เทศบาลตำบลภูเขียว) in order to avoid confusion with the adjoining TAO Phak Pang.
  • Ban Phru subdistrict municipality (เทศบาลตำบลบ้านพรุ), Hat Yai district, Songkhla province, to be renamed to Ban Rai (เทศบาลตำบลบ้านไร่) in order to avoid confusion with the adjoining town municipality Ban Phru.
  • TAO Ban Mo (องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบลบ้านหมอ), Ban Mo district, Saraburi province, to be renamed to Mueang Khit Khin (องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบลเมืองขีดขิน) in order to avoid confusion with the adjoining Ban Mo subdistrict municipality.

Monday, March 1, 2010

New municipality not covered in DOLA statistics

Already in last autumn the constituency boundary definitions announced in the Royal Gazette helped me to find out about newly created municipalities which were not discussed in any of the available board meeting transcripts. However with the list of all changes up to December 15 2009 from the Department of Local Administration (DOLA) I though I am up to date.

But again that was too much to hope, now there was again a constituency definition in the Royal Gazette for a municipality which according to all my previous sources should still be a TAO. It is the subdistrict municipality Bua Sawang (เทศบาลตำบลบัวสว่าง) in Sakon Nakhon province, which was upgraded and renamed from the TAO Sawang (องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบลสว่าง).

The election of the new municipal council and mayor took place on January 17, so it might be possible that this upgrade did happen after December 15, the cutoff date in the DOLA list. If only DOLA would publish updates to their lists more often, and not just once a year.