The Ombudsman has stepped in to mediate a dispute between the Fine Arts Department and more than 1,600 locals in Phimai district who claim the department has declared 2,600 rai of their land an archaeological site.
The villagers insist they have legal rights to the land, which was included as part of the archaeological site that is home to one of the largest Khmer temples in the country.
They also said the department made the declaration without first listening to the opinions of affected locals.
By not doing so, the department is believed to be in violation of Section 58 of the constitution, a source said.
A meeting was held yesterday to try and resolve the dispute. It was led by the Office of the Ombudsman and attended by department deputy director-general Phanombut Chantharachot and affected residents.
via Bangkok Post, 19 and 20 September 2018: Residents in Phimai are protesting against the local Fine Arts Department head over plans to demarcate the entire municipality of Phimai as a historical site.
The Fine Arts Department infuriated many residents in Phimai municipality when it announced earlier it would proceed with the redemarcation of the historical area because nobody had raised objections to the plan within the set 30-day period.
Many residents want only the Khmer temple ruins in Phimai Historical Park and the ancient ponds as a historical site, not the whole municipality.
The protestors say that becuse of Mr Jaruk they live “without confidence and feeling insecure” for fear of eviction, because the new, expanded historical site would include their land and property.
via Bangkok Post, 04 March 2018: Developing story over the last week, as residents from Phimai, Nakhon Ratchasima Province protest the planned action of the Fine Arts Department to declare the Phimai area as a historic site. The historic site designation will impose some restrictions such as prohibiting construction over two storeys tall, but some locals are reportedly afraid that they will be evicted. See other related stories in the links below.
NAKHON RATCHASIMA: Despite the Fine Arts Department’s move to declare a 2,600-rai area in Phimai Municipality a historic site, a large number of tourists were still visiting the Khmer temple ruins in the Phimai Historical Park in Phimai district on Sunday.
- Phimai people want ruins declared historic site, not entire town (Bangkok Post, 3 Mar 2018)
- 300 Phimai residents protest over ‘historic site’ ruling (Bangkok Post, 3 Mar 2018)
- Phimai historical park locals can stay (Bangkok Post, 1 Mar 2018)
The Bangkok Post has a video story on the Phimai Historical Park, a Khmer temple in Northeast Thailand.
Starting off the week with a post about what I’ve been up to the last six weeks – I’ve been in Thailand and Laos to conduct some fieldwork at rock art sites. I was particularly interested in the connection of rock art with religious (typically Buddhist) sites.
A feature on the revived pottery industry in Nakhon Ratchasima province in Northeast Thailand, where a centuries-old pottery tradition is being adapted to new products and tastes.
Yahoo News, 21 March 2012
09 September 2007 (The Nation) – A feature on the Living Angkor Road Project, a joint study between Thailand and Cambodia to investigate a royal road connecting Angkor to Phimai. The road was refurbished by Jayavarman VII (c.1125-1215), a devout Mahayana Buddhist. Jayavarman VII is better known for constructing the city centre of Angkor Thom and is considered the greatest king of Angkor in Buddhist Cambodia. The Living Angkor Road Project wiki was previously mentioned in this site.
On the road to Angkor
Bilateral project seeks and preserves 12th-century trade route built by the ancient Khmer
By Aree Chaisatien
Braving the sizzling late-summer heat of the border jungle between Surin province in lower Northeast Thailand and Uddor Mean Chey province in northern Cambodia, I joined researchers tracing a route trodden by the ancient Khmer from Angkor to Phimai.
“Stay on the track,” we are warned from time to time. The trail has not been completely cleared of landmines.
This route has been in use since ancient times and parts of the road can still be seen – laterite blocks covered with moss and lichen.
03 May 3007 (Bangkok Post) – Three sites in Thailand are given World Heritage Site status by UNESCO.
Sites to get heritage status
Three ancient Khmer ruins and their surrounding areas and a historic park, all in the Northeast, have been declared World Heritage sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), officials at the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry’s National Park Department said. The sanctuaries of Phimai in Nakhon Ratchasima, as well as Phanom Rung and Muang Tam in Buri Ram were given World Heritage status. Surrounding historic areas were also annexed to the heritage sites.
The other heritage site is Phu Phrabat historic park in Udon Thani.
The Unesco World Heritage Centre has agreed to register both the sanctuaries, their surroundings and Phu Phrabat as World Heritage sites, officials said.
– The Art and Architecture of Thailand: From Prehistoric Times Through the Thirteenth Century by H. W. Woodward
– The Civilization of Angkor by C. Higham
– Northeast Thailand before Angkor: evidence from an archaeological excavation at the Prasat Hin Phimai by S. Talbot and C. Janthed
6 April 2007 (The Nation) – There are two separate stories in this news story: the first is the discovery of two kilns in Phitsanulok province; the second is the discovery of ten 2,000-year-old graves in Nakhon Ratchasima province.
More ancient kilns found
The Mineral Resources Department (MRD) has unearthed two ancient pottery kilns in Phitsanulok’s Muang district, while local archaeologists in Nakhon Ratchasima yesterday found 10 ancient graves with human bones and artefacts dating back more than 2,000 years.
MRD director-general Apichai Chawacharoenphan said yesterday that two kilns had been found so far in an ongoing survey of Wat Tapakhaohai and the compound of its school in Tambon Hau Raw.
05 November 2006 (Bangkok Post) – DNA evidence for Thai migration to the region from China pushes timeline back another 700 years.
Bones tell story of Thai origin
The method constructed the so-called ”Phylogenetic tree” or ”genetic evolution tree” that indicates links between ancient skeletons and people in China and Southeast Asian countries, said Prof Samoerchai Poolsuwan, anthropologist from Thammasat University’s sociology faculty and also a member of the research team.
”The DNA test confirmed that the genes of the people and the skeletons are close,” he said.
”In lay terms, you may say that Thai ancestors may have shared the same ancestors from people in China and Southeast Asia.
”You may say that people in this region may share the same origins, and Thais may go back more than 700 years,” he said.
He said the findings are just a small part of the whole picture and more DNA tests were needed, adding the Fine Arts Department had agreed to use DNA tests at other archaeological sites.