THE WORLD CIVILIZATIONS AND INDIA , PART-63

PHRAYA MANOPKORN NITITADA — THE FIRST PRIME MINISTER OF THAILAND

By now the constitutional monarchy was established in THAILAND . PHRAYA MANOPKORN NITITADA , a conservative lawyer , was appointed as the Prime Minister of SIAM/THAILAND on 10th December 1932 after the SIAMESE REVOLUTION of 1932 . The KHANA RATSADON (THE PEOPLE’S PARTY) had selected a non-party leader to be the Prime Minister of SIAM to avoid the suspicion that the Coup had only been carried out in order to come to the power itself . And an arrangement was made so that the revolting bureaucracy and the military could shared power in the NATIONAL ASSEMBLY . However , PHRAYA MANOPKORN NITITADA was ousted in 1933 by a Coup d’etat due to the conflicts between the members of the PEOPLE’S PARTY . The background of the Coup d’etat of 1933 was that PRIDI PANOMYONG , the then Minister of State in the MANOPKORN cabinet , presented his Draft Economic Plan (YELLOW COVER DOSSIER) to the then constitutional monarch RAMA-VII . The Plan had advocated about socialist solutions to many of the SIAMESE financial and economic problems . But King RAMA-VII branded the dossier as ‘Communist’ and attacked PRIDI PANOMYONG publicly about it . When PRIDI’S dossier was rejected by the King , it caused major disruption among the members of THE PEOPLE’S PARTY of SIAM . The Prime Minister MANOPKORN opposing PRIDI’S socialist economic plan dissolved his cabinet to oust PRIDI from the cabinet who had great support in the rank and file of THE PEOPLE’S PARTY of SIAM . The National Assembly was barred from any further meetings and judiciary was shut down . PRIDI was forced to flee to FRANCE . PM MANOPKORN then approved the Anti-Commmunist Act which empowered him to arrest those having Communist ideas and thoughts . And all the members of the central committee of the COMMUNIST PARTY of SIAM was arrested and imprisoned . This is called the ‘ Silent Coup ‘ or the ‘ April 1933 Coup ‘ in the SIAMESE history . On June 1933 , the SIAMESE COUP D’ETAT led by PHRAYA PAHOL and other military leaders immediately removed the Prime Minister MANOPKORN and the former declared himself as the second Prime Minister of the country . MANOPKORN was exiled to PENANG BRITISH MALAYA and lived there until his death in 1948 . And thus he became the first Prime Minister ousted by the Military Coup .

BOWORADET REBELLION AND SIAM

Now the age of rebellions have started in SIAM . The second Prime Minister PHRAYA PHAHON had started implementing some of the ideas of PRIDI PANOMYONG’S . The expansion of primary schools and Industrialization with state enterprises were gradually implemented . The expelled leader PRIDI PANOMYONG (BANOMYONG) was a socialist from the core of his heart . He founded the THAMMASAT UNIVERSITY in BANGKOK in1933 which remained a symbol of freedom and democracy . Being influenced by the totalitarian ideas of ITALY , JERMANY , JAPAN and , of course , KEMAL ATATURK , the nationalist group led by PHIBUNSONGKHRAM started strengthening the PEOPLE’S PARTY despite crown’s dissatisfaction with its functioning as such . It culminated into a reactionary BOWORADET REBELLION staged by a royalist faction led by King RAMA-VII’S Defence Minister Prince BOWORADET . He mobilized the forces from provincial garrison and captured the DON MUANG AERODROME and led SIAM towards a small scale civil war . After heavy fighting at the outskirts of BANGKOK , the forces of Prince BOWORADET were finally defeated and the Prince fled to the FRENCH INDO-CHINA . After that King RAMA-VII himself abdicated the throne and exiled to ENGLAND . He was then replaced by the King ANANDA MAHIDOL ( RAMA-VIII ) who was nine years old attending school in LAUSANNE , SWITZERLAND . He was the nephew of King RAMA-VII . During this period PRIDI PANOMYONG played a crucial role in modernisation of the THAI public administration . He created the local-self government system for the SIAMESE people . He also completed the legal code . Thus , PRIDI’S role in modernisation of SIAM was not less despite those years of turbulence as such .

PM PLAEK PHIBUNSONGKHRAM (PHIBUN) & SONGSURADET REBELLION

THAI Prime Minister PLAEK PHIBUNSONGKHRAM ( PHIBUN ) who came into power in 1938 after PHRAYA PHAHON , the military and civilian wings of the ruling party KHANA RATSADON became clearly divided and military wing in the party became more dominant . Thus , PHIBULSONGKHRAM’S government started moving towards militarism and totalitarianism . In view of FRENCH defeat in the Battle of FRANCE , the THAI leadership began an attack on FRENCH INDO-CHINA in 1940 resulted in FRENCO- THAI WAR in 1941 for consolidation of THAI population under SIAM .They suffered a severe defeat in the sea but dominated on land and in air . The EMPIRE OF JAPAN , a dominant power in the South-East ASIAN region , took over the role of mediator between SIAM and FRENCH INDO-CHINA and after a long negotiation the conflicts ended with THAI territorial gain in the FRENCH colonies of LAOS and CAMBODIA . In 1939 , PHIBUNSONGKHRAM changed the name of SIAM to THAILAND on the basis of consolidation of THAI race . As a result , the PAN-THAI NATIONALISM emerged in SIAM sole aim of which was to integrate the SHAN , the LAO and other TIE people residing in VIETNAM , BURMA and SOUTH CHINA ; so that the ‘ GREAT KINGDOM OF THAILAND ‘ could be established . Despite growing nationalism in THAILAND during the regime of Prime Minister PHIBUNSONGKHRAM , a sad moment also came into the fore . It was the SONGSURADET REBELLION , also known as the REBELLION OF 18 CROPSES . It was the claimed pretext for the political purge on 29th January 1939 by the government of PHIBUNSONGKHRAM against his political enemies and rivals , especially against PHRAYA SONGSURADET , an alleged leader of plot against the Prime Minister PHIBUNSONGKHRAM . PHRAYA SONGSURADET was the leader of the SIAMESE PEOPLE’S PARTY who participated in the SIAMESE REVOLUTION OF 1932 . But the root cause of the conflict began during the Coup d’etat of June 1933 when PHRAYA PHAHON PHONPHYAYUHASENA replaced PHRAYA MANOPKORN NITITADA as Prime Minister . And many of supporters of the later including SONGSURADET was permanently debarred from active politics by the new Prime Minister . So , SONGSURADET was exiled to SRI LANKA . During , before and after the Coup conflict between SONGSURADET and PHIBUNSONGKHRAM, who were both Ministers in the MANOPKORN government and members of the People’s Committee , increased many folds . And when the latter succeeded as Prime Minister of SIAM on 11th September 1938 , his Premiership was much resisted due to his dictatorial style and cronyism by SONGSURADET which even resulted in three assassination attempts on him — two by gunmen and one by poisoning . In 1938 , after his retirement from politics , but not from army , SONGSURADET was the Commander of the military school in CHIANG MAI . On 16th December , when he was commanding the military exercises of his students in RATCHABURI PROVINCE , he received an order from BANGKOK stripping him of the command of all units of army and forced him to retire from the army without pension . He was also expelled from the country who took resort to CAMBODIA . Further action against all the 51 suspects of the Rebellion were taken . They were ordered to be arrested and punished . And a special tribunal was created by the PHIBUNSONGKHRAM government to try those purportedly involved in the so called rebellion and assassination attempts on him . And SONGSURADET who escaped to CAMBODIA lived the rest of his life in abject poverty making his livelihood by selling confectionery on the street of PHNOM PENH .

NOTE : THE SOURCES OF THE BLOG ARE TEXT BOOKS AND OTHER WRITTEN MATERIALS ON THE SUBJECT .

TO BE CONTINUED ………………

Published by arbind kumar

I had been a researcher. Presently in service.

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