Thai Peace Day, 16 August: Ideas, Meanings, and Understanding of the Seri Thai Movement and the Modern Thai Generation
Col. Dr. Sorasak Ngamcachonkulkid, Department of History, Academic Division, Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy
The Seri Thai Movement’s anti-Japanese resistance during World War II was a democratic fight for independence and peace against the military government. Therefore, the ideas, meanings, and understanding of the movement with regard to its peacetime role should not be restricted merely to its activities in resisting an outside invader, but should also include its struggle against the system of military dictatorship. These latter activities can be considered to be the long-term project of the Seri Thai movement – to develop democracy, prevent the emergence of a military dictatorship, and create sustainable peace and equality.
In order to achieve these goals, the mission of the Seri Thai Movement did not end upon the declaration of peace on 16 August 1945, but continued in pushing Thai society towards a secure and sustainable post-war peace through the development of justice and equality and an environment free from the use of violence, but not necessarily conflicting ideas. This process was to involve domestic and foreign measures in three dimensions, namely: political reforms, through the amendment of the 1932 Constitution to establish a real democratic regime, and to encourage the peaceful resolution of conflicts. At the same time, efforts would be made in the foreign arena to free the nation from the influence of the Great Powers, while building friendly relations with neighboring countries. This policy was designed to increase Thailand’s autonomy, as well as regional and global peace.
Although these efforts came to naught, the struggles of the Seri Thai Movement in war and peace had extraordinary and interesting meanings, especially in this time when the world is commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the conclusion of World War II, and the region prepares itself to become an ASEAN Community in December 2015. Therefore, we should revisit this era and continue the effort in pushing for tangible justice and peace.
On occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the conclusion of World War II and the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of Thai Peace Day, and the upcoming formation of the ASEAN Community, the author thinks that now more than ever is an optimal time to learn from the past. To be precise, we should revisit our knowledge regarding the role of the Seri Thai Movement to create understanding, allow better access to, and
comprehensively develop our knowledge base regarding this important movement. In this process, we should not be overly attached to the paradigm that the movement was only about resisting the Japanese occupation or the nationalistic reaction against a foreign invader. To do so would mean that this 70th Anniversary and the formation of the ASEAN Community would not be marked by anything other than a short-lived outburst of nationalism, patriotism, and a narrow definition of peace – that is, the end of the war. In fact, the ideas of the Seri Thai Movement reflected a greater struggle; or at least greater than has been understood and celebrated in traditional commemorations of Thai Peace Days in the past.
If we begin from this new position, that is, the Seri Thai Movement can be considered to be a movement for independence, peace, and democracy, readers will be able to understand that the ideas and peace-keeping activities of the movement did not only reflect narrow nationalistic and patriotic thoughts, but also included the love of neighboring countries and democracy. The latter affection is an important basis for the understanding of the post-war ideas and activities of the Seri Thai Movement. The movement did not only emphasize bringing about peace by ending the war, but had a wider ambition of creating a non-violent environment that still allowed disagreement to take place, i.e. a peace built on the basis of justice and equity in the context of a complete democracy.
To achieve this goal, the Seri Thai Movement was systematic in its thinking and implementation of ideas. The movement enacted preventative measures in three dimensions, running in parallel. Domestically, the process began with political reforms to build a true democratic system. At the same time, Thailand’s autonomy also had to be ensured at the regional level and in the wider international arena. This environment would be created through amiable relations with neighboring nations, regional integration, and autonomous policy- making, free from the influence or interference of Great Powers. These measures would guarantee and bring about a secure and sustainable peace. The achievement of this goal was a long-term and still unfulfilled objective of the Seri Thai Movement, starting from the end of the war and continuing up to present times.
The key question that follows this discussion is not only why the Seri Thai Movement failed to achieve this objective during the post-war years, but also what the role of the modern Thai people should be in continuing this work to secure a sustainable peace through the establishment of a truly just and equitable democratic system? At the same time, Thailand and her neighbors have become more integrated. There is also less influence and interference from the Great Powers. Yet, Thailand still has the basic problem, similar to those encountered by the Seri Thai Movement – that is, the incomplete democratic reforms. Although the military under the NCPO has put itself forward to administer and “reform” the country, so that the democratic process can move forward, naturally, its activities have also met with resistance. There is doubt among some quarters that the military and democracy can go forward together. Only time will tell whether these doubts are justified and whether the reform process will return to the same old vicious cycles.
Furthermore, the formation of a Community in Southeast Asia to protect and pursue trade, development, and region-wide economic and security partnerships remains incomplete. The region is not truly unified, although it will become an ASEAN Community by the end of 2015. The cracks in this union threaten to break out in conflicts and violence. Examples of these fractures include the ongoing disputes in the South China Sea and the possible economic conflicts between different models of regional free trade, particularly those between the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), where Great Powers are trying to exert their influence to control ASEAN in a way not so different from the Cold War period.
Nevertheless, before we can answer the questions posed earlier, we should begin by understanding the Seri Thai Movement before proceeding to how to develop or continue its activities following the declaration of peace on 16 August 1945. We should begin with what exactly this movement was about and why the peacema- king/peacekeeping movement does not only mean the absence of war, but the creation of a just and equitable environment, free from violence, but not conflict. Most importantly, we shall see why the Seri Thai Movement’s push for true democracy ultimately failed and why the movement for greater regional integration in this period through measures, such as the creation of the Southeast Asia League also failed. Therefore, if the modern generation had a complete understanding of the movement, they would be able to continue and develop upon the previous work of the movement, much like those who perform better in their tasks, with experience.
Thus, before we get to the heart of the matter, that is, the Seri Thai Movement and the new discourse regarding its ideas, meanings, and understanding, we have to understand the new paradigm of the movement. What were the Seri Thai Movement’s ideas on peace? Then, we can proceed to the movement’s wartime resistance activities and its meanings. Once these ideas are understood, we can continue to its activities in building and maintaining domestic peace. The essay will conclude with what we have learnt from Thai Peace Day and how the modern generation of Thais can cooperate to develop and continue the activities of the Seri Thai, where “Peace is in our hands” so that a true peace can be established.
What exactly was the Seri Thai Movement?
Many readers who are not familiar with the author’s earlier work, “Tamn n mai ho ng hab an n S r Thai” (“The ew History of the Seri Thai Movement”) may wonder why we need to ask the aforementioned questions. The reason these questions have been posited is to create a common understanding, since our understanding and thoughts regarding the movement may be quite different – much like ideas on true democracy. If we do not create a common understanding, there may be problems and an inability to come to a proper conclusion – much like the current efforts at reforms; where should we start from, and in what direction should our efforts go? The Seri Thai Movement is the same; it may seem to be a unified movement with a common understanding, but it was not. This movement was the same as others in Thai history; it was subject to prejudice, facts, and reality. Past understanding regarding the movement has also been attached to the belief system that have been handed down, that is the idea that the movement was only about resisting the Japanese occupation, rather than a deep analysis of the facts behind the movement.
What was the Seri Thai Movement about? Nobody can truly answer this question, but the historical facts clearly show that the movement was not only about resisting the Japanese, but was also a pro- democracy movement. This fact can be seen from one of the objectives of the movement: “We shall guarantee the Thai people a true democracy, without interference from dictatorships”. Therefore, the mission and objectives of the Seri Thai Movement was not only to fight off the Japanese invaders and to re-establish independence and peace, but in reality also included resistance against dictatorship and the establishment of complete protection for the democratic system.
Even so, these facts are not often cited in studies of the movement. The activities of the movement have passed into legend, where these legends are only concerned about its anti-Japanese resistance. Thus, through its literature review, this essay will reveal and explore past explanations of the movement, most of which describes the old legends.
Although most of the previous literature has focused on the movement’s anti-Japanese activities, there are some works that have existed for more than three decades that have discussed the “new legend” of the movement – mainly by this author (the first of the author’s work to create this discussion appeared in 1984, and have continued regularly up to 2014).
The author may diverge somewhat from previous findings in answering the questions posed in this essay, but the gist and direction remains the same. There are two main issues. The first is that the Seri Thai Movement was not only about anti-Japanese resistance, the second is that the movement’s struggle was not only focused on regaining independence and establishing peace, but also included the establishment of a truly democratic system. Indeed, this struggle for democracy forms the basis of the Seri Thai Movement’s fight for independence, peace, and equality.
To put it another way, in the words of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, who graciously wrote the preface of the author’s work “The ew Legends of the Seri Thai Movement: The Real Story behind the Struggle for Independence, Peace, and Democracy”: “The work that the members of the Seri Thai Movement tried to do was a long-term project – that is, the establishment of democracy and the prevention of dictatorships to create true peace and equality.” This is the heart of the anti-Japanese struggle of the movement, since without a true democratic system of government, the regaining of independence and peace will always be incomplete and may eventually amount to nothing.
Independence and peace do not guarantee a democratic system of government. However, a truly democratic system of government, with justice and equality at its heart, will act as a guarantee for independence and peace. The achievement of this system was the highest ambition of the Seri Thai Movement, and some parts of this objective had been achieved by the time peace was announced on 16 August 1945. The good seeds had been planted during the immediate post-war period, although it met with failure two years later. However, the Seri Thai Movement’s ideals and peacemaking efforts should be a model or a “Seri Thai Idol” for the new generation to understand, learn from, and develop in order to continue the movement’s important work, which is necessary for the maintenance of a secure and lasting peace.
Peace from the Seri Thai Movement’s Perspective
The examination of the concept of peace from the perspective of the Seri Thai Movement can be approached in many different ways. It can begin with a consideration of the individual members’ or groups’ perspectives or a consideration of the objectives and activities of the movement, and so on. However, in general, the search for concepts on peace from the perspective of the Seri Thai Movement will not be so different from other research on the understanding of Thais, that is, there will be multiple perspectives at many levels, since the Seri Thai Movement was made up of Thais from a variety of backgrounds from farmers to scholars, civil servants, teachers, politicians, and members of the royal family. Thus, their views on peace will greatly differ. Some may subscribe to the simplistic view that peace is the absence of war, while others may have a wider perspective and see peace as an absence of violence, reinforced by structural and cultural means. Others may go further still and see that peace is the absence of violence, but not necessarily conflicts and disagreements, where such conflicts are arbitrated on the basis of justice and equality. This latter view is also highly compatible with a democratic system of government.
In reality, although the Seri Thai Movement included members from all strata of society, and included many different perspectives on peace – that is from an absence of war, to a more sophisticated view that peace means an absence of violence, but not necessarily free from conflict – the common denominator at the movement’s heart was to resist the Japanese occupation, regain independence, end the war, and establish a truly democratic system of government. This common cause can be seen from the formal announcement of the movement’s objectives:
“First, we shall resist the Japanese with all our strength and with all means at our disposal; Second, we shall make all efforts to regain Thai independence; and Third, we shall guarantee the Thai people a true democracy, without interference from dictatorships.”
Once we examine this announcement, readers may be able to see the message that the Seri Thai Movement was sending to the Thai people in order to enlist their cooperation. The answer most likely not be restricted to war-related and anti-Japanese operations. At the time, Thailand was also facing a significant problem on another front: Field Marshal Phibunsongkhram’s military government that did not conform to democratic standards. To put it another way, the nation also had to deal with a military dictatorship, which had been a persistent problem since 1932. It was the inability to deal with this problem that partly explained Thailand’s involvement in World War II on the side of the Axis Powers and the subsequent declaration of war on the Allies.
It can be argued that the Seri Thai Movement saw that the problems of occupation and peace originated from Field Marshal Phibunsongkhram’s military government. Thailand had to enter the war on the side of the Axis due to the military government’s dictatorial policies. The declaration of war against the United States and Great Britain was also contrary to constitutional provisions. In this matter, the leaders of the Seri Thai Movement were in complete agreement that the policy of the Thai government at the time had been led by its pro- Japanese sympathies. For example, Pridi Banomyong stated clearly that Field Marshal Phibunsongkhram’s dictatorship was the cause of Thailand’s entry into the war. Most importantly, the Field Marshal had complete power over the nation’s armed forces and exercised it. Pridi emphasized this point as follows: “Subsequently, the Council of Regents appointed Field Marshal Phibunsongkhram to be the Supreme Commander, which allowed the Field Marshal to administer the country in an increasingly dictatorial way, taking the country into the Second World War.” Furthermore, in the proclamation of peace on 16 August 1945, Pridi also stressed that “The declaration of war against the United States and Great Britain on 25 January 1942 is invalid, since it was contrary to the wishes of the people and violates the Constitution.”
If the declaration of war against the United States and Great Britain was indeed contrary to the will of the people and the provisions of the Constitution, and Thailand’s entry into the war can be attributed to the dictatorial use of state power by Field Marshal Phibunsongkhram, then it meant that the leaders of the Seri Thai Movement thought that the problem with Thailand was not an external one, but an internal one. This internal problem was the dictatorial and arbitrary Phibunsongkhram Government that did not conform to the wishes of the majority of the people.
Then what are the lessons that we, as the modern generation, can learn, if the above ideas are true? Of course, it is not only about fostering patriotism or nationalism, but also democratic ideals. Most importantly, a measure has to be found to prevent the influence of military dictatorship and/or other groups that wish to use violence to resolve conflicts or, in other words, a way to stop the repeat of the Phibunsongkhram Government. This measure is in the establishment of a true democracy, since a military dictatorship was responsible for taking Thailand into the war on the side of Japan and the declaration of war on the Allies. Thailand entered a state of war and risked losing independence during the post-war period. However, the Seri Thai Movement was able to prevent the loss of independence, and this continues to be the most important and tangible result of the movement.
Nevertheless, one idea that must be stressed and identified here is that Thailand was able to escape post-war loss of independence not only through the anti-Japanese operations of the Seri Thai movement and involvement in the negotiations with the Allies, but also through the movement’s actions against the military dictatorship of Field Marshal Phibunsongkhram – this latter action as no less important in guaranteeing independence and a secure and lasting peace through the establishment of a true democracy. In other words, the Seri Thai Movement for independence and peace had another significant mission, which was the parallel fight for democracy. This fight for independence, peace, and sovereignty was to be based on promoting a democratic form of government and protecting it from a military government.
To achieve this objective, the Seri Thai Movement decided superior strategies and tactics to those of the military government. The movement linked Thai political problems to the Japanese occupation; or vice versa. They successfully placed the military dictatorship of Field Marshal Phibunsongkhram into the same context with the Japanese invasion, portraying the military government as being on the same side of the national enemy, that is, the Japanese invaders. Therefore, resisting the Phibunsongkhram Government equated to or was a part of the anti- Japanese resistance. It can be seen that when the Seri Thai Movement announced their principles and objectives, they did not only desire the removal of the Japanese in order to restore independence and peace, but also to remove domestic enemies, that is the Phibunsongkhram Government so that a true democracy can be established.
According to the historical facts, the resistance against the Phibunsongkhram Government as part of the anti-Japanese resistance was an important operation in the Seri Thai Movement. The movement was able to successfully and peacefully achieve these goals. By the middle of 1944, the movement had toppled the military dictatorship using parliamentary methods. Subsequently, the movement began its work of political reforms to promote a true democratic government. It amended the 1932 Constitution to separate public servants from the political sphere and encourage multi-party competition. These reforms continued until the promulgation of the 1946 Constitution, which, for the first time, laid the basis for a true democracy in Thailand. This constitution also reflected the ideas and the foundations for peace, justice, and equality, including those in the minorities or on the margins of society. These could now participate meaningfully in the nation’s political life. Even if this constitution was short-lived, but the previously marginalized section of society managed to form the “Sahacheep” (Union of Life) Party, and for the first time help form a government in Bangkok.
Therefore, if we consider the Seri Thai Movement’s general objectives and methods, it can be concluded that the movement’s ideas with regard to peace was not merely the absence of war. The movement saw the idea of peace as going further and more broadly and wanted to see peace on the basis of justice and equality and freedom from violence, but not disagreements. This peace was to be built on the foundations of a true democracy, since this system would allow all groups and peoples to participate in peacefully resolving conflicts and problems. Furthermore, it will also allow minorities and marginalized sections of society to freely partake in determining the nation’s destiny and direction, and in accordance with the people’s wishes. These measures will inevitably lead to peace and equality inside the country, and have a positive knock- on effect at the regional and global levels.
Thus, the Seri Thai Movement’s mission, which gathered those with pro-democratic ideals and closed the gap between the nobility and the grassroots by bringing them together to resist the military dictatorship, did not end with the war or on the declaration of peace on 16 August 1945. It had not fulfilled its goal, but was still continuing the struggle on the path to reforms so as to create a truly democratic system of government. This project can be considered to be a “long-term project, that is, the building of democracy and preventing dictatorship, so as to create peace and true equality”, as can be seen from the peacekeeping operations of the movement in the post-war period.
The Seri Thai Movement’s Peacekeeping Activities
To sum up, once again, the movement’s ideas on peace were quite broad and embraced the idea that peace had to be built on the basis of justice and equality. Therefore, the Seri Thai Movement saw the strengthening of democracy as an important element in their task of post-war peacekeeping and to prevent the further encroachment of a military dictatorship. In other words, the new system was supposed to prevent the re-emergence of a military dictatorship and the use of violence to solve conflicts, that is, the return of Field Marshal Phibunsongkhram and the Army faction to power and the interference of Great Powers, no matter which side they hailed from.
These preventative measures to protect and build peace on the basis of justice and equality were enacted in parallel in both the domestic and foreign contexts. The Seri Thai Movement’s task had two aspects: the “domestic” and “foreign”, where increased democratization in the domestic and foreign contexts would be mutually reinforcing. On the other hand, the prevalence of dictatorships and autocracy, whether in the economic, political, educational, cultural, or even the democratic spheres would serve to erode liberty, which will result in conflicts and violence. Thus, to fulfill this objective, the Seri Thai Movement encouraged Thai society to develop towards a secure and sustainable peace on the basis of justice and equality or a non-violent environment, but one which allowed limited conflict. Therefore, the Seri Thai Movement is a movement for peace and anti-dictatorship at the domestic, regional, and global levels. The movement had engaged in this process during the war, and continued to do so after the war.
At the domestic level, the Seri Thai Movement began with political reforms – that is, to establish a true democracy to resolve conflicts peacefully. These reforms involved separating public officials from politics. During the war, the movement pushed for the amendment of the 1932 Constitution, with the view of preparing the country for competitive elections to the legislature, with the involvement of multiple political parties. A tangible post-war achievement was the promulgation of the 1946 Constitution, which can be considered to be the starting point of the effort to build a comprehensive democratic system and a lasting peace. Had this constitution continued to be in effect, Thailand would have had the basis for a true democracy, which would have meant more equality and a better economic and justice system than we enjoy today. Naturally, it would have also meant that Thailand would have had a better opportunity to develop a more secure and sustainable peace than at present, since the people would have received just treatment through the articles of the 1946 Constitution, the heart of which was built upon true justice and equality.
At the same time, the Seri Thai Movement also enacted measures to ensure that Thailand will have greater independence in its foreign policy in order to protect the nation’s sovereignty and peace at the regional and global levels. In this regard, the movement had an important policy in not siding with any of the great power camps and in rendering assistance to neighboring countries. The movement was behind the repeal of the Anti-Communism laws, which allowed it to become a member of the United Nations and was also instrumental in the establishment of the Southeast Asia League to begin the process of regional integration and giving assistance to neighboring countries.
The repeal of the Anti-Communism laws was conducted as part of Pridi Banomyong’s policy to gain membership in the United ations for Thailand, so that the policy of neutrality on the international stage can be continued. In this quest for the middle ground, Pridi’s Government also had another important policy – building friendly relations with neighboring countries through the support of nationalist movements and the establishment of the Southeast Asia League.
Pridi’s Government supported the establishment of the Southeast Asia League in Bangkok. The key personalities behind this initiative were Pridi himself and a group of Members of Parliament from the Northeast (Isaan). The League was meant to promote regional stability in Southeast Asia, where Pridi had the idea that Thailand should lead the newly-independent countries in the region, since he was confident that: “Thailand’s independence and success in building good relations with the Allied and other countries will be able to support Thailand’s position as the leader of these newly emerging countries.”
These initiatives began when Pridi was sent as the Thai government’s envoy to the United States to negotiate about the return of various provinces in French Indochina. He took the opportunity to open negotiations with concerned countries and countries with colonies in the region. When Pridi visited France, he proposed that: “France should cooperate with Thailand to support the Union of Southeast Asia, which will consist of Thailand, the free states of Laos and Cambodia, and Viet Nam, which are included in the union of France, Burma, Malaya, Philippines, and Indonesia.”
Although this proposal did not bear any fruit, Pridi continued to “try and find a new political structure for the region” and “established the Southeast Asia League in September 1947” with the objective of “being a coordinating platform between the independent states in Southeast Asia.” The League headquarters was located in Bangkok. The Isaan MPs would form the backbone of the liaison committee, with Tiang Sirikant as President of the League, Thawil Udol as head of Public Relations and coordination. There were also representatives from the Viet Minh, Pathet Lao, and other local nationalist movements involved in the League’s committees.
Undoubtedly, each Southeast Asian country aspired to independence and peace, both in the domestic and regional contexts. Every country also wished to be a democracy, even if that democracy tended to lean towards socialism rather than capitalism. Although each country differed in their ideas on government, they had the common ground of wishing to maintain independence and on this basis could gather in the spirit of friendship and cooperation. This gathering would allow the group more leverage against larger powers and other regions than if each member of the group acted individually. Had this initiative of the Thai government come to fruition, it would have led to democracy and independence, together with peace throughout the Southeast Asian region. Most importantly, the ASEAN Community may have proceeded further than it has in the present day, since the idea of close cooperation with neighboring countries or forming an association has been in effect since the Seri Thai Movement, and not as a reaction to the developments of the Cold War.
However, all of these attempts by the Seri Thai movement to create peace in the domestic and regional contexts through a democratic movement failed, since Thailand returned to a military dictatorship and/or a regime that used violence to resolve conflicts domestically and abroad. Field Marshal Phibunsongkhram and the Army faction returned to power, supported by the role and influence of the United States during the Cold War. The Seri Thai Movement’s mission to build and maintain peace stuttered and came to a halt on 9 November 1947, with a military coup.
It can be said that after the Seri Thai Movement period, Thai society became embroiled more than ever in conflict and violence, both in the domestic and the regional contexts. There was also great economic, social, and political inequality as well as injustice and various forms of exploitation. These factors led to increased direct, structural, and cultural violence where people were discriminated against on the basis of differences in class, nationality, religion, culture, and traditions. Consequently, this increase in violence led to a more unjust society. This structure was intertwined with the global economic and political systems in the capitalist model. Thus, the problems and challenges for the Seri Thai Movement in the post-war period originated from both domestic and external sources, especially those who resort to violence in resolving conflicts in the Thai political scene, as well as those on the global stage.
Nevertheless, these problems and obstacles are not insurmountable. To deal with them, we have to start with ourselves, as the Seri Thai Movement has already done so by gathering as a group to resist the military dictatorship, leading on to reforms to support a truly democratic system of government to ensure justice and equality. These measures will eliminate structural violence and build a system of justice and peace. These were the key components of the Seri Thai Movement’s democracy and what they were fighting for as they struggled against the Japanese occupation in World War II. It also clearly reflects the ideas and meanings of the first Thai Peace Day on 16 August 1945. The war- time actions of Field Marshal Phibunsongkhram’s military government was “contrary to the wishes of the people and violates the Constitution”. Therefore, if we understood the “ ew Legends of the Seri Thai Movement”, we will be able to significantly develop the work of the movement in the building of a secure and sustainable peace.
Conclusion: How can we continue?
Although the later struggles of the Seri Thai Movement did not fulfill its objectives, the movement’s experiences in resisting the Japanese occupation, its perspectives, and its activities in peacebuilding should have a significant meaning and hold lessons for Thais in the modern day. They should be able to glean ideas on how to bring about a secure and lasting peace and allow us all to move forward, if everyone had the Seri Thai Movement’s faith and confidence that the forces of “democracy” will always be able to overcome “dictatorship”, because democracy is the “power” of everyone. Democracy shall prevail eventually, given time.
Therefore, if one had this faith and confidence, one would know “why” and how we can move forward from here. The author wishes to conclude with the words of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Thai Peace Day, 16 August 1995. The words remain relevant and challenging: “We all have a duty to maintain and support peace. We must begin with ourselves, our family, and our society, and onwards to wider circles to include our neighboring countries and the nations of the world.” This idea is at the heart of the Seri Thai Movement – that “Peace is in our hands”, as has been said:
“Peace does not mean inaction, but action with love and compassion for our fellow humans, creatures, and the environment. The mission for peace is one of the greatest of mankind’s missions. One cannot merely demand it to achieve it, but actions and sacrifices must be made for the benefit of the majority.”
Konthi Suphamongkhon, Kanwithesobai khong Thai [Thai Foreign Policy], Bangkok: Thammasat University Press, 1984.
Pridi Phanomyong, Lukthan samkhun bang prakan kiew kap Sathana Songkhram khong Thai nai rawang Songkhram Lok khrang thi Song [Some Important Evidence Concerning the War Status of Thailand during the Second World War], Part. I, Bangkok: Santhitham Press, 1978.
, Khan prasai suntharapoj bang roeng khong nai Pridi Phanomyong lae bang roeng keiw kab Khabuankan Seri Thai [Some Speech and Eloquence of Pridi Phanomyong along with some Stories about the Free Thai Movement], Bangkok: Samaniti Bukhol, 1974.
, Pridi Phanomyong kab Sangkhom Thai [Pridi Phamonyong and Thai Soceity Collection of Pridi’s wor s], Bangkok: Thammasat University Press, 1983.
Sorasak Ngamcachonkulkid, Tamn n mai ho ng hab an n S r Thai:
r angr o ho ng nto s ph a ar t, santiph p l prach thippatai y ng th hing, rung Th p Mah akho n: Sath ban ch as ks , hul longko nmah witthay lai, 2555.
Haseman, John B. , The Thai Resistance Movement During the Second World War, Northern Illinois University: Center For Southeast Asian Studies, 1978.
Keyes, Charles F., Isan: Regionalism in Northeastern Thailand, Copy- right Cornell University Southeast Asia Program, 1967.
Neuchterlein, Donald E., Thailand and the Struggle for Southeast Asia, New York: Cornell University Press, 1965.
Reynolds, E. Bruce., Thailand’s Secret War The Free Thai, OSS, and SOE during World War II, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Sorasak Ngamcachonkulkid. The New History of the Seri Thai Move- ment, Bangkok: Institute of Asia Studies, Chulalongkorn University, 2010.
 See Sorasak Ngamcachonkulkid, ); The New History of the Seri Thai Movement. (Bangkok: Institute of Asia Studies, Chulalongkorn University, 2010).
 Sorasak Ngamcachonkulkid, Tamn n mai ho ng hab an n S r Thai r angr o ho ng nto s ph a ar t, santiph p l prach thippatai y ng th hing ( rung Thp Makakho n: Sath banch asks, hul longko nmah witthay lai, 2557).
 Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, “praise” in Sorasak Ngamcachonkulkid,
Tamn n mai ho ng hab an n S r Thai: r angr o ho ng nto s ph a ar t, santiph p l prach thippatai y ng th hing ( rung Th p Mah akho n: Sath ban ch as ks ,
hul longko nmah witthay lai, 2557), i.
 Konthi Suphamongkhon, Kanwithesobai khong Thai [Thai Foreign Policy]. (Bangkok: Thammasat University Press, 1984.), 56-66.
 Field Marshal Po. (Plaek) Phibunsongkhram, popularly known as Phibun, was the Prime Minister at that time. Also Phibun is commonly referred to as “Luang Biphul” or “Luang Bipulya” or “Pibul” or “Pibun” in Western sources.
 Pridi Banomyong, or Pridi Phanomyong (Panomyong), or Luang Pradit (or Pridist) Manudharm was the only 1932 Promoter whose influence could rival that of Phibun. Since Pridi is the name by which he is better known, it is used in this study.
 See Pridi Phanomyong, Lukthan samkhun bang prakan kiew kap Sathana Songkhram khong Thai nai rawang Songkhram Lok khrang thi Song [Some Important Evidence Concerning the War Status of Thailand during the Second World War]. Part. I, Bangkok: Santhitham Press, 1978, 44-45; and Khan prasai suntharapoj bang roeng khong nai Pridi Phanomyong lae bang roeng keiw kab Khabuankan Seri Thai [Some Speech and Eloquence of Pridi Phanomyong along with some Stories about the Free Thai Movement] (Bangkok: Samaniti Bukhol, 1974), 170-171; and Pridi Phanomyong, Pridi Phanomyong kab Sangkhom Thai [Pridi Phamonyong and Thai Society: Collection of Pridi’s works] (Bangkok: Thammasat University Press, 1983), 451.
 Pridi’s declaration on the “Thai Peace Day” stated that the Phibun government’s declaration had not been done by spirit of Thai people, and the Free Thai Movement was established since December 8, to show the resistance of Thai people against the Japanese troops.
 Donald E. Neuchterlien, Thailand and the Struggle for Southeast Asia (New York: Cornell University Press, 1965), p. 94.
 Ibid.,p. 95.
 Charles F. Keyes, Isan: Regionalism in Northeastern Thailand (Cornell University Southeast Asia Program, 1967), p. 31.