Isan civil servants barred from distributing Yingluck, Thaksin calendars

The Governor of Roi Et Province in Isan, the northeast, has barred civil servants and village chiefs from distributing Pheu Thai Party calendar with images of Yingluck and Thaksin Shinnawatra, the two ex-Prime Ministers, while the Thai junta said it is up to the Governor what to do.

According to Matichon Online, Anusorn Kaewkangwan, Roi Et Governor, on Sunday, 3 January 2016, said that he ordered officials in 20 districts of Roi Et not to give out the 2016 Pheu Thai Party calendar because such actions might be seen as ‘politically biased’.

The order was made shortly after 200 Pheu Thai Party calendars were distributed at the recent monthly meeting of village chiefs and subdistrict headmen of Chiang Khwan District of Roi Et.

Wanlop Chinda-ngoen, the Chiang Kwan District Head, said that the calendars were given to local officials at the district office by Pheu Thai Party coordinators in the area and that he thought that the calendars were from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).

The district chief said that after he informed the village headmen and subdistrict chiefs about the Governor’s order, some of them voluntarily returned the calendars.

The Roi Et governor told Matichon that contrary to news that was shared on social media, he is not prohibiting local officials and village chiefs from distributing the calendar on an individual basis, but only during public meetings to prevent acts of political partiality.

Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamherd, spokesperson of the Prime Minister's Office under Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader, said on Sunday that it is up to the provincial administrator to decide on such matters.

He told the media that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has nothing to do with the order.

“I would like to ask if this order from the provincial governor causes political or social instability in any way. If not, then we have to honour the work of the [provincial] administration,” said Maj Gen Sansern.