Thesaban (Thai: เทศบาล, RTGS: thetsaban, pronounced [tʰêːt.sā.bāːn]) are the municipalities of Thailand. There are three levels of municipalities: city, town, and sub-district. Bangkok and Pattaya are special municipal entities not included in the thesaban system.
The municipalities assume some of the responsibilities which are assigned to the districts (amphoe) or communes (tambon) for non-municipal (rural) areas. Historically, this devolution of central government powers grew out of the Sukhaphiban (ุสุขาภิบาล) sanitary districts first created in Bangkok by a royal decree of King Chulalongkorn in 1897.
The thesaban system was established in the Thesaban Organization Act of 1934 (Thai: พระราชบัญญัติจัดระเบียบเทศบาล พุทธศักราช ๒๔๗๖), and has been updated several times since, starting with the Thesaban Act of 1939 (Thai: พระราชบัญญัติเทศบาล พุทธศักราช ๒๔๘๑), which was replaced by the Thesaban Act of 1953. The 1953 act was most recently amended by the Thesaban Act (No. 12) of 2003.
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