Monday, January 28, 2008

French-Thai friendship treaty of 1941

I have bought an interesting antiquarian book, the German translation of the autobiography of Direck Jayanama (ดิเรก ชัยนาม, 1905-1967), who was Thai foreign minister and ambassador in Japan during World War II. It will be interesting to read a first-hand report on what happened in the Thai government at that time. Already the first pages have some new facts for me, the English history books I read so far don't treat that time period in much detail.

Quite interesting is the radio address given by Prince Wanwaithayakorn (พระองค์วรรณฯ) on the treaty which regained Thailand the territory lost to French Indochina in 1903 - I blogged about the provinces on that territory before. I am trying to translate it into English from the German translation given in the book. A professional translator using the Thai original words could create a much better translation for sure, but as I cannot find any online I dare to present my own. If there's a transcript in Thai on the web somewhere I'd like to have the link to that as well.
Dear fellow Thai citizens,
the treaty between Thailand and France under mediation of Japan was signed on the afternoon today, at 16.00 local time in Tokyo or 14.00 in Bangkok. Thanks to the friendly support by the Japanese authorities I have the chance to talk to my fellow Thai citizens in this radio address. Since the Thai delegation, upon the strong wish of the government, the public and the prime minister, stays in Japan, it was extraordinarily impressed by the strong cooperation of the population. Since our arrival in Tokyo we work on making the talks a success and gain advantages for our fatherland - commemorating the deaths of the brace soldiers. The talks turned out to be very complicated, but thanks to the tireless mediation of the Japanese, who exemplarily lobby for peace and justice, all obstacles on the way to a successful completion could be cleared.
The text which we agreed upon will be issued in a common announcement, which the general secretary will read on the radio.
I will only report in summary on the territory which Thailand will receive back.
  1. The territory which Thailand lost in the treaty of 1903 could regained completely. This is the land of Luang Prabang on the right river bank, the area of Champassak near Pakse and the area of Cambodia, which also got lost in the previously mentioned treaty.
  2. The eastern provinces, which were lost in the treaty of 1906, wecould regain Sisophon and Battambang up to the shore of the Tonle Sap lake, Siem Reap and Angkor Wat however stay with France.
  3. We could get another peace of Cambodia, the arc from Angkor Wat to the Mekong river south of Stung Treng.
  4. The boundary is now formed by the deepest channel of the Mekong river, all islands the right side of the deepest channel now belong to Thailand.
France also wanted to receive benefit from the treaty, so we agreed that all French citizens will receive the same treatment as the Thai people in the territory gained, which will also be declared a military-free area. But also the French have to create a military-free area. This agreement is final, it is not possible to revert the agreement later on in any way. Guarantor of this treaty is Japan. By this agreement we hope to gain peace and stability. The Thai delegation was ready for an agreement for the common good. The agreement may bring East Asia peace and progress. The Japanese government as the mediator was strongly supporting the Thai side. The Thai delegation hereby wants to express its gratitude. We won't forget the generous welcome by the Japanese government, public and the journalists.
The terms of this treaty as written in the Tokya Gazette are also available online.

Update: The book has just been published in an English translation as well, titled "Thailand and World War II" by Silkworm Books.

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