Pridi Phanomyong

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pridi Phanomyong


Born May 11, 1900, in Ayutthaya. Politician and statesman of Siam (Thailand). Received a legal education.

Pridi Phanomyong lived in France during the 1920’s. Upon returning to Siam in 1926 he taught at the law school in Bangkok and served in the Department for the Drafting of Laws. He founded the People’s Party, which advocated the introduction of a constitution in Siam and played a leading role in the revolutionary coup of 1932.

Pridi Phanomyong drafted a plan of socioeconomic reforms that, if adopted, would have aided the transition of Siam to a noncapitalist path of development. In March 1933, however, the plan was defeated in parliament by right-wing deputies, and Pridi was exiled. He returned in 1934 and in that same year became minister of the interior. From 1935 to 1938 he served as minister of foreign affairs, and from 1938 to 1942 he was minister of finance. During World War II he was one of the organizers and leaders of the anti-Japanese Free Thai liberation movement. From March to August 1946, Pridi Phanomyong served as prime minister and minister of finance. After the coup d’etat of 1947 he left the country.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Before he was evicted in the 1947 coup the progressive Prime Minister Pridi Phanomyong had restored the country's traditional name, thus stressing the rights of the minorities as well as of the ethnic Thai.
Thus, twentieth-century Thai intellectual history can be depicted as a battle between the hegemonic conservatism articulated by figures like King Vajiravudh and Kukrit Pramoj and the socialism-inflected counter-hegemonic ideological challenge led by radicals like Pridi Phanomyong and Chit Phumisak.
Also contributing to the sense that the rebellion was part of a transnational plot were connections between those arrested and the fugitive former Thai prime minister Pridi Phanomyong, who had reportedly "travelled into Red China and joined hands with the Communist government, even joining the Communist Peace Campaign in Beijing with a group of Thais who escaped to join the conference" (Sathianraphap, 18 November 1952, p.
Pridi Phanomyong, while he was Minister of the Interior (1934-35), also visited the school.
(5.) For examples of these recent covers, see Sathian Janthimaathon, Jonayut nai mueng (Urban guerilla warfare) (Bangkok: Matichon, 2006); Manuun Nuusong, The South of Thailand Crisis: Panhaaa 3 changwat chaidaen phaktai (The problem of the three southern provinces) (Bangkok: Amrinot, 2005); Saengphaechon, Rat Patani: fai tai mai kheuy dap (The state of Patani: The southern fire has never been extinguished) (Bangkok: Wan Chana, 2005); Pridi Phanomyong and Suphot Daantrakun, Sataanakan fai tai (The situation of the southern fire) (Bangkok: Institute for Social Science [Thailand], 2004).
A combination of army officers (led by Colonels Pahol and Pibul Songkram) and civilians (organised as the People's Party by Nai Pridi Phanomyong) brought the absolute monarchy to an end in a peaceful coup on June 24th, 1932.
Thus while Khuang publicly supported the Japanese, another member of the elite, Pridi Phanomyong, secretly opened contacts with the Americans, British, and Chinese.
A number of them had worked directly with the Seri Thai or Free Thai movement run by Pridi Phanomyong and dominated by ethnic Lao from Isan such as Tieng and Thongin.
A period of fairly radical rule by the law professor Pridi Phanomyong followed, leading to a royalist counter-revolution and then an army counter-coup against the royalists.
The implicit contention that historians of Thailand, along with Thai intellectuals more broadly, have neglected the fact that both Pridi Phanomyong and some of his fellow plotters of the overthrow of Siam's absolute monarchy in 1932 studied in France rather than simply in "the West" (p.
For example, his depiction of Pridi Phanomyong, one of his villains, is both simplistic and antagonistic.
Pridi Phanomyong (1900-1983) was the only other Thai ever to have held this title.