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Thread: Thai Historical Tidbits.

  1. #41
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Cippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteGill View Post
    ^^^ Don't try too hard there Clippy.. It is a cultural trait as much as anything, and you are not going to change thousands of years of the way of doing things over night.
    Yeah, my big challenge is learning to let some things go. 555

    Funny, with my last Farang GF it was the opposite, I wanted to let things go. "I know you say things in anger, it's over now, let it go." And she wanted to beat the proverbial dead horse. "I need to know it will never happen again, so we need to talk about this!" Life's funny, innit?
    Last edited by Cippy; 24th May 2013 at 15:03.
    Never argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. M.T.

  2. #42
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PeteGill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cippy View Post
    Yeah, my big challenge is learning to let some things go. 555

    Funny, with my last Farang GF it was the opposite, I wanted to let things go. "I know you say things in anger, it's over now, let it go." And she wanted to beat the proverbial dead horse. "I need to know it will never happen again, so we need to talk about this!" Life's funny, innit?
    Women and elephants, long memories 55555

  3. #43
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Cippy's Avatar
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    Ask my TG if she knew who Phibun was, sent his name in Thai, a picture, explained who he was . . . nothing.

    "Oei!! My kids are not going to an Isaan school!"

    "555 Okay Baby" <---- Phew, glad she agrees.
    Never argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. M.T.

  4. #44
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน RakThai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cippy View Post
    Ask my TG if she knew who Phibun was, sent his name in Thai, a picture, explained who he was . . . nothing.

    "Oei!! My kids are not going to an Isaan school!"

    "555 Okay Baby" <---- Phew, glad she agrees.
    "Finish already.. Why you want to know?" 555
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  5. #45
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Three out of 4 tgs at dinner hadnt heard of Hitler tonight.

    The story of the Japanese invasion of Thailand and the Malay peninsula according to the books tomorrow.

  6. #46
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Ive done a bit more reading ( all this is published stuff available In Thailand , so I would assume there is nothing deemed seditious warranting a level change) and while we are on the subject of Thailands war time government , it would be a shame to gloss over Phibuns government too briefly.
    It has to be said that he undertook many efforts that were useful.
    Just like Mussolini or Hitler ( he apparently approved of comparisons with Turkeys 'Attaturk' ) , Phibun built roads ( with the aim of a national hwy) and expanded education . For the first time Thais also got a social welfare system that was charged with lifting National Health goals with budgeting for hygiene, employment and housing. Beggars had been banned from the streets , this was to take care of them of them as well.
    With finesse , Phibun got aid for his military from Britain . But once he decided that British input was too small , he got more from America , then stunned both countries by accepting even more from Japan!
    Greedy foreign powers dont really 'give' freely you see ...they assume the receiver will be obliged to them.
    Phibun , like some Patong bargirl , became adept at getting sponsors from all over the world...555

    But under Phibun , and like the Jews under totalitarianism , the wealthy Chinese did not fair well at all.
    Large numbers of Chinese men had come to Thailand over the centuries , and many had married Thai women. There was a huge difference in the Chinamans family structure when he did so however , because now the WIFE became head of the household , controlling the money and more importantly , buying the land.
    Consul Crosby ( GB , 1904) noted , "The children of ...such unions were brought up Siamese ....merging readily with the population around them".
    This balance was tipped in the 20th century.
    Britain now actively encouraged Chinese women to migrate and work in the Malay peninsula , and many ended up in Thailand , and were sought out immediately by Chinese men even as second wives , as these me carried a certain cultural shame for not keeping their blood Chinese. An interesting note: "The price of the bride , or milk money as it was called , was from 50-200 baht for a Thai peasant girl , from 100-300 baht for a (mixed blood) girl , and 300-500 for a Chinese girl."
    More Chinese women , with the then crash of the Chinese silk industry then headed for Siam .
    With Chinese brides available , the Chinese men integrated less , and spread their wealth amongst Thai society less as well. A new corruption arose and sorted out corrupt title for land purchases , and an old law that made pure Chinese exempt from taxes set them further apart. This created further animosities... so much so that Rama V in 1910 had closed this tax anomoly , and the Chinese had shut their businesses in protest , and the Thai economy had almost faultered.
    The Chinese issue had smoldered politically for the next 20 years , and Phibun saw the chance to have a scapegoat and enrich himself and his cronies as well. Under the slogan , 'Thailand for Thais' , he had Wichit start campaigns vilifying Chinese ; a heavy tax was placed on Chinese signage , licenses for Thais to start Banks ( previously a Chinese only business- usuary had been as disdainful to Buddhists as it once was to Christians) were issued , businesses in shipping , tobacco , transport and oil ( all Chinese owned) were nationalized .
    Most notably , ( and complained about no end by Westerners today on websites like Thai Visa) OCCUPATIONS were listed as from now Thai ONLY ... besides 'strategic occupations' like all government jobs, even builders and bricklayers and hairdressers could only operate legally if they were Thai.
    Of course many Chinese had to sell their businesses to Thais , or had them ripped out of their hands by Phibuns military and judiciary cronies , ( rather like the Jews of Germany) and Thais now for the first time gained a semblance of true economic power in their own country.
    Last edited by Chob; 25th May 2013 at 23:36.

  7. #47
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    In Phuket , where tin mining had resulted in a large Chinese population ( as the Thais had generally shunned the back breaking work), Chinese schools were closed. The wealthy got around this by sending their children to Chinese boarding schools in Penang and repatriating money to relatives sent there and still in old China.
    Infuriated , Thai officials had already issued a 'Commercial Class' tax across Thailand , now they levied a huge 500 baht 'departure tax' on the Chinese students , then started imprisoning Chinese aristocrats who sent 'too much' money overseas.
    By 1940 Immigration cut Chinese ( legal) entry numbers from 10,000 a year to 200. It was an unneccessary law , in 1938 those Chinese entering Thailand were less than those leaving anyway.
    The net result was that those who chose to stay were forced to avoid this range of anti-Chinese laws by taking up Thai citizenship , and Thai names. To further ingratiate themselves with Phibuns elite , many invited Generals and Judges to sit on their companies boards , or went back into their old nationalized businesses with newly important Thai people as Directors or figureheads.
    Unwittingly ( or maybe not ) , Phibun was pulling the countries best businessmen away from their old alliances with the m0narchy and elite ( where they once had had virtual monopolies , and into working with his new class , the Military and Judicial elite.

    Not long later , and to accommodate and reward his growing list of supporters , Phibun began the process known as Thai Ownership Laws , mandating 51% Thai ownership of businesses , a law that is still rigidly enforced today.

    But it wasnt just the Chinese singled out.
    Wichits propaganda was also pointed at the Indians , already unpopular because of their dominance of money lending and the textile business . Using the Thai dislike of dark skin , Indians became 'black money grubbers who wont assimilate'. Those who could 'get connected and protected' took up Thai citizenship , but many fled to Malaya.

    This was also a dark period for Thai Moslems. Laws revoked their marriage and divorce customs , and Moslems turbans were pulled off by soldiers on the streets. Mosques were closed and they were 'ordered' to worship Buddha. (Some articles claim that this was the flashpoint for South Thai rebellion , but it seems to me that the far South had always been different and had never actually seen itself as truly 'Thai' .)
    None the less , provinces like Yala flatly refused to comply , and the Thai army made its heavy handed presence permanent , and caused much suffering against a population resolute on civil disobedience. ( Again , the results are still felt today.)

    In a period of less than ten years , Phibun transformed old Siam into the Thailand that resembles what we know today . Then , with the clouds of war approaching , he and Wichit hurriedly turned their attention to foreign policy.

    It emerged as this , "The Losing Side Will Be Our Enemy".
    Last edited by Chob; 25th May 2013 at 23:42.

  8. #48
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Nubbins's Avatar
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    ^^

    Fascinating stuff and interesting to note that my J's full Thai first name is Wijit. Jit for short.

  9. #49
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    The Thailand of the approaching Second World War was a very different Siam of WW1.
    The K!ng had been educated in England ( Sandhurst) so was partial to a British/Allied victory , but with no colonial power to direct him , nor vital trade links with any European nation , he sensibly chose to make Thailand the only neutral nation in Asia.
    Westerners of the day reported Bangkok to have become a 'Casablanca' type town by 1916 , with mysterious characters , and spies and gun runners , and deserters and black marketeers and opportunitst , and Consuls and renegades , and political dissidents and concienscious objectors all rubbing shoulders in certain ares of the city . Some even suggest this period may have even been the true beginning of the Bangkok 'Night Scene' , as women used to serving a Thai only clientele took their trade, traditionally behind closed doors , to the more 'open' and first real 'idle' expat scene of bars and gambling rooms.

    As America entered WW1 , President Wilson urged other formerly neutral countries to join in. Seeing this as the probable turning point of the War and an imminent Allied victory , Thailand joined the Allies.
    Its first action was to grab 40 German ships anchored in its formerly 'safe' waters. ( Just to show the Thais they were better off independent , the British took them off the Thai government and shared them with France and Japan. The Thais were allowed keep just two!)
    At the time Siam only had a standing army of 10 divisions of 2000 men. The British in its usual heavy handed and insensitive fashion of the day suggested these could be porters and donkey caravaneers in the middle East ! The K!ng was insulted and didnt reply.
    ( Honestly , its a wonder anyone helped Britain in this era , they had the subtlety of facial herpes..)
    However , eventually 1200 Thai doctors , nurses , orderlies and truck drivers set sale for Europe. Twenty sons of the elite went to , as pilots. ( They were ridiculed and returned when it was discovered they couldnt actually fly a plane.) The nurses were valued by all accounts for their caring ways and alternate Asian therapies , while the truck drivers were celebrated as the most gung ho and daredevil front line drivers of the last part of the war.
    ( Their great grandsons are the mini-bus drivers of today ...555)
    Last edited by Chob; 26th May 2013 at 04:20.
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  10. #50
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน RakThai's Avatar
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    It read like a novel, Chob..!
    Keep it coming..

  11. #51
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubbins View Post
    ^^

    Fascinating stuff and interesting to note that my J's full Thai first name is Wijit. Jit for short.
    I think you'll find that the spelling is interchangeable.
    Its one of the anomolies of transliteration , or finding ways to put lettering peculiar only to the Thai language into a lettering readable to us.
    For example , when I met my ex , she wrote her family name as Namchan. By our finish , she was 'Numjun' and shes kept it that way.

    But this guy , in typical Thai naming traditions , had other names.
    His original name was Kim Liang , a Chinese name. ( Ironically , he was to persecute the Chinese)
    Then he was Luang Witchiwathakan ( Luang Wichitwathakan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), then 'Wichit Witchitwathakan'.

    วิจิตร - I do note the spelling of the 'Wichit' part of his name contains a 'J' however. ( It could have been one of a couple of other Thai letters that resmble a 'ch' or 'jer' sound)
    The speling of Wichit here is W + i ( as in igloo) + J + i ( as in igloo) + Dt + R ( but the R is not said) making 'Wijidt' or Wijit in our spelling.
    It sounds like J has a Thai 'J' ( 'Jaw Jarn' , the plate) in her name as well. I dunno if her name means something , many Thai names do , but many meanings are lost over time by gradual changes.

  12. #52
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Nubbins's Avatar
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    According to thai-language.com วิจิตร (wiH jitL) = [is] exquisite (of a painting); fine; elaborate

  13. #53
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Well there ya go ....

    A bit high brow sounding for an Issan girl ...innit? 555

  14. #54
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Thailand and its War With France

    Startling Title , I know....

    In the 30s under Phibun , Thailand increased its ties with Japan , particularly in the areas of business immigration and development funding , so much so that by 1939 , GB and France took secondary roles in foreign policy. Japan was laso sending military hardware and training Thai pilots ( finally) and troops.
    Japan invaded Manchuria in 1937 .... this proved to provide a great boom in Thai trade , it being the only Asian nation ignoring a resulting trading embargo by the International Community and enlarging its exports in rice , rubber , tin , timber etc. Japanese companies were even allowed to buy land - The Mitsubishi Mining Co purchased large plots for tin mining in Surat Thani , and applied for mining leases in Phuket whilst buying all the rubber land that was on the market.

    By 1941 , they had bid to buy Thailands entire output of these 2 products.

    Now on the political front , Britain had become worried enough of strategic Thailands friendship with Japan to start offering 'help' and concessions ... but it was too little too late. But as war broke out in Europe , Phibuns stated in a speech , "Neutrality is the best policy for us..."

    WAR.
    The French government was replaced by the Vichy , whose Colonial Troops in Vietnam were then faced with an attack and were easily overwhelmed by the Japanese , who were determined to close the railway coming out of Vietnam and into China and supplying Chinese resistance fighters.
    Emboldened , Phibun demanded the return of former Thai territories snatched earlier by superior armed and trained forces ...the French refused ...and with great fanfare 60,000 Thai regulars flooded into Laos and Cambodia.
    Laos fell easily , but The Thai Navy was beaten by the Colonial French near Koh Chang and on land the smaller French army kept the Thais in a deadlock.
    Japan stepped in , the French could not hope to resist , and Thailand achieved a negotiated victory , regaining lands formerly held in Laos and western Cambodia.

    This was Phibuns finest hour...

  15. #55
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Ever seen this monument in Bangkok , and wondered what it was for?

    Phibun had this built as a celebration of his Victory over the French in 1941.
    I didnt know this either , just as I didnt know it had warred with France not 80 years ago.
    I wonder if this is why Thais seem more aware of France in Europe than many other nations there?


    https://www.google.com/search?q=Vict...ml%3B300%3B300

  16. #56
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    A little cited fact is that one Captain Sinichi , the Japanese Special Liason Officer to Japan at the time , reported that Phibun as a matter of gratitude secretly had reaffirmed his approval for Japanese troops to pass through Thailand on their way through Malaya to Singapore . ( Swan , 2009)

    Soon after , Phibun was promising Britain its neutrality...
    The British Ambassador ( Crosby) was no fool however. " ... it will always be their instinctive policy to side with the stronger party. They will sit on the fence as long as they can and not leave till they feel sure they have spotted a winner."
    ( My view: why wouldnt they? Perhaps they remembered GB , Japan and FRANCE snaffling up their confiscated ships in WW1? 555)
    The British now started planning a pre-emptive strike on South Thailand. This was basically to claim level more easily defended ground , plus the British knew the Southern Muslims held no love for Phibuns repressive government. These plans are covered here-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Matador_(1941)

    But Ambassador Crosby was adamant this should be kept Top Secret , and warned 'Matador' would push the Thais into war with Britain.
    Phibun then signed a mutual non aggression pact with GB , and requested tanks and planes and loans to seal the deal , but days later assured, in a 'secret proviso', that he he would fight along side Japan if it promised a return of the Southern provinces taken by Britain in 1909.
    Britain sent artillery and large supplies of aviation fuel , Japan sent fighter planes.... Phibun complained to GB that it needed to do more.... leading to the British Ambassador to write home , "Thailand is behaving nowadays like a prostitute willing to sell herself to the highest bidder."
    ( I wonder if the world powers ever considered themselves as ' nasty Johns' , ready to woe the whore , but rarely ready to pay her her just dues?)

    But to the Thai people , Phibun made glorious speeches asserting the Thais neutrality.
    In late 1941 , his government passed an act , making it law that it was all Thais legal duty to resist to the death any foreign aggressor.
    The penalty for non compliance was death. ( 555)

    On November 28 , Phibun told his Cabinet that to side with the Japanese was better , and victory would bring Thailand more lads , then on December 3 he stated , " Be in preparedness to repulse the Japanese if they invade".
    Then on the 4th he is reported as telling the Japanese that any military activity by them south of Prachan Kiri Khan would be ignored.

  17. #57
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน RakThai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chob View Post
    Ever seen this monument in Bangkok , and wondered what it was for?

    Phibun had this built as a celebration of his Victory over the French in 1941.
    I didnt know this either , just as I didnt know it had warred with France not 80 years ago.
    I wonder if this is why Thais seem more aware of France in Europe than many other nations there?


    https://www.google.com/search?q=Vict...ml%3B300%3B300
    thought that the word Farang even came fron the word francais (frenchman)..

  18. #58
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    In Phuket , it appears there were about 250 British , Australian and Dutch people ( most employed by tin mines) readying for evacuation and a few thousand Chinese , well aware of Japanese atrocities in old China to Chinese , preparing to flee.
    All were aware the 'new' Japanese 'businessmen' and 'salesmen' on the island , busily photographing assets were actually spying on them and ship movements. Most were planning to go to Penang.

    On December 2 , Allied planes spot a large Japanese Fleet near Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam. A storm covers the area , and another mission sent frantically on the 5th cannot find any trace of them... and Singapore and the Phillipines hold their breath.

  19. #59
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Japan Invades Thailand

    On the night of December 7 , at 11.40 pm , two Thai policemen , patrolling Samila Beach near Songkla , reported seeing unlit ships out to sea.
    Within an hour , they saw crouching men running into the cover of the casurinas lining the beach.
    Thai civil defense units rushed to the scene.
    They had listened to Phibun on the wireless , and were ready to act.

    In 2005 a 75 yar old Thai named Saman Mahanpan related his memories of those times-

    http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/stor...5&sec=features
    Last edited by Chob; 28th May 2013 at 02:59.

  20. #60
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    At the same time , sea born landings were made at Patani , Nakhon Sri Tammerat , Surat Thani , Chumprn , Prachup Kiri Khan and crack Japanese Imprial Gaurds crossed out of Cambodia , and rushed for Bangkok.
    A few hours later , Pearl Harbour and Clarke base faced attack.

    Suspiciously , Phibun ( now a Field Marshall ...555) had left Bangkok for Aranyapathet earlier that day ( 7th). The Japanese had sent an ultimatum offering Thailand to fight with or against them , or simply let them pass through but Phibun was 'unavailable' to reply.
    And when found he refused a flight back , and took hours in a car , arriving back the next morning of the 8th. At 11am he called a meeting , the result being announced that the Japanese would not be resisted and broadcast at midday.

    THAI RESISTANCE
    In war trials after WW2 , Japanese Colonel Tsuji stated that his information on that day was that there would be no Thai resistance at Songkla as the towns best dentist , a Japanese 'plant' , had already paid off the local Police and Army Chiefs.
    ( Just like a modern day falang , they were a bit surprised they were double crossed! 555)
    Not wanting to engage harshly until getting clear orders , they encircled the small Thai force while the bulk of invaders pushed for the airport.
    The Thais didnt make too bad a showing considering who they were up against , crack battle experienced veterans of the Manchurian campaigns. Taking the airport resulted in 23 Thai dead , and 15 Japanese.
    Soon 4 squadrons of Zeros arrived. Then supply planes.
    Next , any local buses and then the Southbound train heading to Hat Yai ( and Malaya) was commandeered.
    But someone had phoned ahead , and a concentrated force of well covered Thais were barricaded and waiting at HY rail junction.
    At around 4am they hit the first bus of Japanese with withering fire. The Japanese were pinned down for several hours until more arrived , but still advanced very slowly until the Thais , hearing Phibuns announcement , turned and withdrew. Its estimated that the Thais only lost 20 troops here , and the Japanese considerably more.

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