Tiang Sirikhanth

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Tiang Sirikhanth (December 5, 1909 - December 12, 1952) was a Thai politician and a Seri Thai resistance leader during World War II.

Until 22 May 2014 the politics of Thailand were conducted within the framework of a constitutional monarchy, whereby the prime minister is the head of government and a hereditary monarch is head of state. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislative branches.

Free Thai Movement

The Free Thai Movement was a Thai underground resistance movement against Imperial Japan during World War II. Seri Thai were an important source of military intelligence for the Allies in the region.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

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Early life

Tiang was born to a merchant family in Sakon Nakhon province in the northeast of Thailand. He graduated in science from Chulalongkorn University in 1930 and became a secondary school teacher in Bangkok. He then accepted the position of headmaster at a school in his home province. Tiang was elected to the National Assembly in 1940 and would represent his province until his death.

Sakon Nakhon City Municipality in Thailand

Sakon Nakhon is a city in Thailand within the Isan region, and capital city of Sakon Nakhon Province as well as Mueang Sakon Nakhon District, with a population of approximately 76,000. Sakon Nakhon covers the whole tambon of That Choeng Chum and parts of tambons Ngio Don, Huai Yang, Dong Mafai, That Na Weng and Hang Hong. Sakon Nakhon is 651 km north-east of Bangkok by road.

Chulalongkorn University Public and autonomous research university in Bangkok, Thailand

Chulalongkorn University (CU), nicknamed Chula, is a public and autonomous research university in Bangkok, Thailand. The university was originally founded during King Chulalongkorn's reign as a school for training royal pages and civil servants in 1899 at the Grand Palace of Thailand. It was later established as a national university in 1917, making it the oldest institute of higher education in Thailand.

The Free Thai Movement

On the morning of December 8, 1941 Japanese forces invaded Thailand at numerous points along the seacoast and from French Indo-China. The Thai army and air force resisted, but were taking heavy casualties against the veteran Japanese units. Prime Minister Phibun panicked and ordered a cease fire the same day. He allowed the Japanese to occupy Bangkok unopposed and to invade British Malaya from southern Thailand. After Singapore fell to the invaders, Phibun went so far as to make a formal alliance with Japan.

Tiang and others opposed to the Japanese met with the Regent, Pridi Phanomyong, on the night of December 8 to discuss forming a resistance movement. This would eventually develop into the "Seri Thai", the Free Thai Movement.

Tiang organised the largest Seri Thai guerrilla training operation near his hometown in Sakorn Nakorn, with military support from British Force 136. His British code name was Pluto.

Force 136

Force 136 was the general cover name for a branch of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), a British World War II organisation. SOE was established to encourage and supply resistance movements in enemy-occupied territory, and occasionally mount clandestine sabotage operations. Force 136 operated in the regions of the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II which were occupied by Japan from 1941 to 1945.

Post war and murder

Following the war, Tiang served as a cabinet minister in several democratic governments. Along with his friend and political ally Khrong Chandawong, Sirikhanth was one of the most prominent left-wing Thai political leaders in the post-war era, earning the nickname of "General of Phu Phan." [1]

Khrong Chandawong Thai politician

Khrong Chandawong was a Thai politician and activist who was executed on the orders of Sarit Thanarat.

Phu Phan District District in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

Phu Phan is a district (amphoe) of Sakon Nakhon Province, northeast Thailand.

A staunch opponent of the Pibulsongkram dictatorship, which had staged a coup against the elected government, Tiang and four associates were arrested and murdered by the police under orders of Phibun's ruthless ally, Phao Sriyanond. Their buried remains were discovered in Kanchanaburi province many years later.

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