Flower mess gets bosses banished
Two provincial governors accused of mishandling funeral flower-laying ceremonies for the late King have been transferred to inactive posts at the Prime Minister's Office, according to Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda.
Chon Buri governor Phakrathorn Thianchai was originally scheduled to be transferred to the role of Samut Prakan governor, according to reports, while Nonthaburi's Phanu Yaemsri was due to be made governor of Nakhon Sawan.
The changes were ordered in the wake of complaints over their handling of sandalwood flower (dok mai chan) rites on Oct 26, when the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was cremated.
However, Gen Anupong said after Tuesday's cabinet meeting that he had withdrawn the reshuffle list for the Interior Ministry in which the men featured.
He said he has asked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to transfer them to the PM's Office for an indefinite period. The deputy governors of the respective provinces will now serve as acting governors, Gen Anupong added.
He said the transfers have nothing to do with allegations of corruption. Rather, the men were transferred out of the provinces to mollify residents.
Gen Anupong previously instructed the ministry's permanent secretary to look into the complaints against them.
The inquiry comes after hundreds of residents converged on the Chon Buri provincial hall on Oct 30 to complain about Mr Phakrathorn after the dok mai chan rites descended into chaos in various provinces.
Locals complained of mismanagement and having to wait up to 12 hours to lay flowers at replicas of the royal crematorium while organisers allowed thousands of civil servants to cut in front of them.
The Nonthaburi governor, Mr Phanu, took flak for similar reasons.