EXOTIQ The Phuket News Private Villa For Sale The Phuket News Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas
The Phuket News Login   |   Create Account   |  
Poll - The Phuket News   Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News   LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News  
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News THURSDAY  |  July 31, 2014  |  Last update: 10:14 AM.
Phuket Radio Phuket TV The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News PHUKET NEWS  The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News Phuket News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Phuket village heads rally in battle of old versus new

PHUKET: More than a hundred village chiefs – kamnan and phu yai baan – gathered at Provincial Hall this morning (October 5) to protest against an attempt by a group of MPs to slash their terms in office from lifetime to just five years.


Nattha Thepbamrung

Friday 5 October 2012, 05:09PM


Their uniforms freshly pressed, village chiefs crowd into the area in front of Provincial Hall, carrying wreaths 'for the politicians who want to destroy the institution of kamnan and phu yai baan'.
Their uniforms freshly pressed, village chiefs crowd into the area in front of Provincial Hall, carrying wreaths 'for the politicians who want to destroy the institution of kamnan and phu yai baan'.

Currently – under a system that has existed for 98 years – phu yai baan, the elected representatives of villages, and the kamnan, elected by their peers from a group of villages, and traditionally the bridge between villagers and the district, or amphur officials, stay in office until retirement at the age of 60.

The draft act to shorten the term in office to just five years, was proposed by a cross-party group of MPs led by Prasert Boonruang of Kalasin, Noppakun Ratpatai of Chiang Mai, Niyom Worapanya of Lop Buri and Ponpen Boonsiriwattanakul of Chaiyapoom (all Pheu Thai MPs) and Sampan Tangbenjapol, a Democrat MP from Sukhotai.

Today’s protest was led by Komin Nopparat, the chairman of Phuket Kamnan-Phu Yai Baan Association. It was not the first such protest in Thailand; others have already been staged in Sakon Nakorn, Pratum Thani, Ayutthaya, Nakorn Ratchasima, Nong Khai, Pitsanulok, Sukhotai and Trang, demonstrating the power and cohesiveness of the traditional grass-roots politicians.

Mr Komin handed an official protest letter with the signatures of all the village chiefs in Phuket to Deputy Governor (palad) Chaiwat Taepee. In it, they warned the MPs involved, and the government, of action they would consider if the bill goes any further:

  • They will urge local people not to vote for the MPs in any upcoming election or by-election;

  • They will urge local people to instead vote for the candidate for the opposing political party;

  • They will reveal any dirty secrets they know about the MPs to the press or to the opposing political party. These, the letter said, might include instances of corruption related to the establishment of the Fund for Woman’s Development, the Million Baht Per Village Fund or the Village Development Fund;

  • They will reveal what they know about failures and abuses in the implementation of the government’s showpiece drug suppression policy;

  • If their demands are not met, they will rally at the Parliament and at Government House;

  • The village chiefs of 7,255 tambon around the country will put up defiant posters throughout the areas they represent.

The protestors also handed a copy of their complaint to Jarupong Ruangsuwan, Minister of Transport, who happened to be in Phuket today for a seminar on transport infrastructure plans for Phuket. Mr Jarupong promised to hand the letter to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Mr Komin argued that the proposed change would lead to division among local people and would damage the continuity of local developmental projects.

Kamnan, he said, would always be looking to the next election, and would therefore be unable to make decisive decisions on matters under their responsibility.

He noted that if local people feel dissatisfied with their Kamnan, they could raise a petition to get him or her booted out.

Mr Sampan, one of the MPs promoting the bill, was quoted by Matichon Online on Wednesday (October 3) as saying the threats of protests didn’t frighten him.

“Even if people come out and burn a coffin or shout at us, I’m not worried,” he was quoted as saying. “I am going to keep on pushing this issue. Some of the protesters are from the opposite side of the political spectrum, and others may simply not understand the new procedure clearly,” he said.

Over the past 20 years local government in Thailand has been going through a transition – often one step forward and two steps back – from heavily top-down centralised government to devolution of power to the provinces.

There is now a dual system, with the government appointing and controlling governors and district officers, but also elected provincial (OrBorJor) and sub-district (OrBorTor) bodies.

Originally, it was intended that OrBorTor – and particularly the president of the OrBorTor – would supplant kamnan; there was supposed to be a transitional period in which kamnan would automatically be members of the OrBorTor Council, but would be phased out.

Under the 1997 constitution the post of kamnan was reduced to just four years, but soon afterward the until-60 system was reinstated.

Put The Phuket News on your website

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
comments powered by Disqus
The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community
The Phuket News

Honeymoon at P...
THB 17,400.00
Sightseeing Ch...
THB 25,278.75
Similan Island...
THB 7,500.00
Day trip to Ha...
USD 169.00
Phuket Hotels
Destination
Check-in
Check-out
Rooms :
Child
Adult(s)
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket People
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Phuket Ticketmaster
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
SITEMAP
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2014 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.