(Statue of King Taksin of Thailand. Statue found in Wat Welurachin, Thonburi (western Bangkok).Photo taken by Ahoerstemeier on January 15 2005.)
In Thailand's political history, you must know who is Taksin. The name is important in both the ancient and modern history of that nation. The person with the name Taksin, his life has great impact to Thailand....
Who is Taksin?
There are two persons with the name of Taksin; one is Somdet Phrachao Taksin Maharaj( สมเด็จพระเจ้าตากสินมหาราช) or Somdet Phrachao Krung Thonburi (สมเด็จพระเจ้ากรุงธนบุรี) or in Chinese , Zhèng Zhāo(鄭昭), born in 1733 and died in 1782.He was the first and only monarch of Thonburi Kingdom.The other is Taksin Shinawatraa ( ทักษิณ ชินวัตร)or Qiū Dáxīn (丘達新), who was the 23rd Prime Minister of Thailand from 2001-2006.He was born in 1949. They are 168 years apart. The modern Taksin respect the ancient Taksin.
1. King Taksin the Great
King Taksin was born in Ayuttaya in 1733, and was given the name of Sin(which literally in Thai means treasure). His father Hai Hong, is a Teochew Chinese, an immigrant from Chenghai(later become Tenghai district,澄海), Kwangtung Province, China. He was a tax collector, and married a Siamese wife, who was latter know as Lady Nok-lang.
Sin was sent to a Buddhist monastery for his education for 7 years, and after that he was a loyal page with the king. One of his friends in the monastery was Tong-Duong, who later become King Rama 1.
Sin later become the governor of Tak Province, which gained him the name Taksin(or Treasure of Tak). It is also treasure exposed, as Tak in Thai language is with meaning of "exposed", exposed to Burmese attack. His official title is Phraya Tak. Then he was promoted to governor of Kamphaeng Phet Province, he returned to the capital, Ayuttaya. The Burmese attacked the capital and shortly Ayuttaya fell to Burma in 1767. Taksin, with a small army fought their way from the Burmese. After the death of Thai King, the country was splits into 6 parts,Taksin controlled the east coast, he was the ruler of city of Kamphaeng Phet. Together with his childhood friend Tong-Duong, now General Chao Phraya Chakri, they drive the Burmese back, defeat their other rivals, and reunify the country on 3-1-1766. In 28-12-1768, he was proclaimed as the King of Siam, in the new capital at Thonburi. The start of Thonburi kingdom. He later took control of Cambodia, and Chiang Mai.
King Taksin had to fight frequently for the independence of its kingdom, the war took its toll, and the king start to become a religious fanatic. In 1781,it was reported that he became mad and claimed himself to be future Buddha. With the danger of Burmese attack still prevail, the kingdom needed a strong king, a group of powerful officials ,led by Phraya San, forced the king to step down in 1782. He was executed on 7-4-1782. At the time of coup detat, his childhood friend General Chao Phraya Chakri was fighting in Cambodia, and quickly returned to Thonburi, the rebels surrendered and offered the throne to the General Chakri. It was reported that it was actually General Chakri,who planned the coup. General Chakri became the 1st king of Chakri Dynasty , King Rama 1.
King Taksin the Great was the only king in Tornburi dynasty, and the only Chinese king in Thailand. He was credited for unifying Siam.
2. Prime Minister Taksin
(photo crdited to www.kremlin.ru.)
Taksin Shinawatraa( ทักษิณ ชินวัตร, Qiū Dáxīn,丘達新),) was born in San Kampheng, Chiang Mai, Thailand on 26-7-1949. The Great grandfather of Taksin, Seng Sae Khu (Khu Chun Seng;丘春盛), emigrated from Fengshun (豐順), Meizhou (梅州市), , Kwangdong Province, China. He arrived in Siam in 1860"s, and settled in Chiangmai in 1908. He married a Thai woman, Sangdi. He made his fortune from tax farming. His eldest son, Chiang Sae Khu was born in Chanthaburi in 1890,married a Thai woman Saeng Somna. Chiang 's eldest son , Sak adopted the Thai name Shinawatraa (which means does good routinely in Thai language) in 1938, during the Phibun regime's anti-Chinese campaigns. The father of Taksin, Lert was born in Chiangmai in 1919, and married a Thai hakka Chinese,Yindi Ramingwong. In 1968, Lert entered politic and became MP of Chiang Mai.
Thaksin attended Monfort College, Chiang Mai , and later attended the 10th class of Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School and the Thai Police Cadet Academy. Upon his graduation in 1973, he joined the Royal Thai Police. He later obtained his master degree in Criminal Justice from Eastern kentucky University , USA in 1975, and PHD in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University, Texas,USA in 1978. When he returned to Thailand,he was appointed as Deputy Superintendent of Policy and Planning sub-division, General Staff Division, Metropolitan Police Bureau.He married Potjaman Damapong, daughter of a police general in 1980.
He resigned from policeforce in 1987 as a lieutenant colonel. Taksin was from the business family, while he was in the police force, he was also involved in the business. After resigned from Police,he was involved in business, there were failures. In 1986 he started Advanced Info Service(AIS), as computer rental business, and in October 1990, it launched analog 900 Mhz mobile phones services with 20 years concession from TOT(Telephone Organization of Thailand). AIS grew rapidly as he entered the market when mobile phone boom was just to begin. It was so success that it was listed in Stock Exchange of Thailand. Taksin then was involved in telecommunication industry of Thailand.
Taksin entered politic in 1994, toPDP(Palang Dharma Party), he was appointed as Foreign Minister on Dec 1994.A year later, he was removed. He become Deputy Prime Minister under Banharn Silpa Archa, but resigned in May 1996.in 15-8-1997, he was appointed again as Deputy Prime Minister by Chavalit Yongchaiyudh's government , but held the position for only 3 months. Chavalit resigned on 14-11-1997 when the Thai Baht was devalued and float, which sparked the Asian financial crisis.
Taksin found the Thai Rak Thai Party(TRT) in 1998. TRT won a sweeping victory in the January 2001election, the first election under the Constitution of 1997.Academic called it the most open and corruption free election of Thailand history.He became the Prime Minister.
His re-election was with highest voters turn up in Thai history, he won the election with the strong support form rural north and North East.He was overthrown by military junta on 19-9-2006 while he was abroad, in a bloodless coup. TRT party was dissolved by the court, and party leaders was banned from politic for 5 years. His bank account was frozen. His proxy party won the post coup election, and he returned to Thailand on 28-2-2008. He visited Summer Olympic in Beijing, but did not return to hear his charges in Thailand, and seek asylum in UK. In October 2008, the court found him guilty in absentia to 2 years in jail. He continued mastermind the protests from exile.
His story still continue today....
Is it coincidence that Thailand has two Taksin in her history?
The King Taksin was the governor and ruler of Kamphaeng Phet Province(which means diamond wall); and the Prime Minister Taksin was born in San Kampheng(which means dune wall. San in Thai is dune) spent his childhood there for 15 years. Kamphaeng in Thai is" wall". Wall indicated strong protection within. King Taksin seek protection of the wall from Burma(external enemy), despite he was a fighter; But the wall was a diamond wall, strong and solid. Prime Minister seek protection from the wall of his supporters(from local rival), his wall is dune wall, will it be as strong as diamond wall?. Both Taksins are related to the wall for protection..
Is it coincidence?