BANGKOK — The director of Thailand's National Parks department says the name of Ta Chai island has not been changed, reversing another official's announcement over the weekend that the daughter of the Crown Prince had renamed the island after herself.
On 27 March, Jirasak Chookwamdee, director of Fifth Conservation Area Administration Office, told the media that Ta Chai island had been renamed as Sirivannavari island, in honor of Her Royal Highness Sirivannavari Nariratana, who visited the southern island recently. Princess Sirivannavari is the second daughter of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn.
According to Jirasak, Princess Sirivannavari was impressed by the beauty of the island, which is located Similan Islands National Park, and expressed her wish to have the island named after herself as a result.
"She also provided moral support for officials at the National Park for working to take care of the natural resources, even though there have been problems," said Jirasak, in reference to recent overcrowding and littering on the islands by visitors.
However, Nipon Chotibal, director of the central Department of National Parks, said on 29 March that the name has not been changed.
"It is not true," Nipon told reporters, "Her royal visit to the island was to study nature. She is interested in marine and coastline resources, and she gave moral support for the officials in the National Parks of Similan and Surin."
"There has been no action to give a new name to Ta Chai island," he said.
Many places, roads, and buildings in Thailand are named after members of the Royal Family as tokens of loyalty.