[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

Thai-Burmese Relations, circa 1947

Burmese Relief Center--Japan
DATE:May 30, 1995

(Isn't it unfortunate that there is no longer a fraternal
relationship between the peoples of Burma and Thailand?  
that Thailand no longer respect its neighbors and their shared
Buddhism and spiritual affinity?  That Thailand no longer
practices the Buddhist "orthodoxy" its people were once so
proud of?  Consider the recent news release from the Overseas
Mon Young Monks' Union detailing the outrageous forcible
disrobing of three Mon monks and four Mon novices, when
about ten Thai police raided Wat Jei Dee Hoi, a Thai-Mon
temple at Pathum Thani on May 26,1995.  Their "crime" was
not possessing Thai monk identity cards.  Most of the world's
monks do not.)

Published by Sarpay Beikman
1st printing, 1971, circulation 24,000

Speech delivered by General Aung San at the luncheon party
given in honor of the Siamese delegation at the Orient Club,
Rangoon on April 17 1947.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our thanks are due to the Siamese Delegation for honouring us
with a visit.  The Delegation is led by no less a person than
Phya Anuman Ratchathan, Director of Fine Arts of University
of Chulalornkorn.  Anuman holds a high place in the world of
Literature and Arts in Siam, besides being a historian of
international fame.  An author of voluminous works, his
"History of Faiths of Siam and Neighbouring Countries" has
been regarded as an authority on the subject of comparative
religion.  It is a matter for gratification that a leading exponent
of Siamese art and culture has come to this country and-it is
hoped that the contacts made would have important results in
the national life of our two countries.

Our country before the war has had the privilege of welcoming
goodwill missions from our Eastern Neighbour.  And although
our own preoccupation with our affairs had prevented our
paying her our return visits, the relationships between Burma
and Siam have always been characterised by the greatest
possible cordiality and goodwill.  A number of Burmans are
residing in Siam; and during the last war, quite a number of
Burmese families evacuated to that country.  The result is that
the ties of friendship are even stronger now than ever before,
and there are now many in Burma who have come to regard
Siam as a kind of second home.  Those of us who have visited
Siam have been impressed by the overwhelming hospitality
extended to us at all times by the Siamese. We appreciate these
unfailing proofs of sincerity and friendship on the part of those,
whom we regard as our kinsmen, and with whom we have
many things in common.  Our belief and traditions are in many
respects similar.  We have leamt to respect one another and to
admire each other's prowess. 

The national heroes that excite our utmost admiration are
Alaungpaya and Phya Naret.  Both the Shwedagon and the
Wat Arun are the objects of our common veneration, while the
mighty Irrawaddy and the lordly Menam Chao Phaya with
their myriad streams of life-giving waters will always
command a sense of eternal gratitude and affection both in the
Burman and the Siamese.  These common institutions,
traditions, and aspirations are significant, for they have helped
to overcome one difference that exists between us--the
difference in language. But this difficulty is overcome for
Practical purposes in the course of a short stay in Siam.  For
the Siamese spoken word is partial to the foreigner.  The one
overriding factor however that had in the past kept, and that
should in the future always keep, our two peoples united is of
course our spiritual affinity.  It is the religious bond that binds
Burma and Siam so closely.  As you know Buddhism is the
prevailing faith--the State Religion--in Siam.  Siam takes
pride, and quite rightly so, in her orthodoxy; and after Burma,
Ceylon and Cambodia ceased one after another to be
independent, Siam has had the honour of being regarded as the
Defender of the Buddhist Faith.  The Siamese Government has
set an example to Buddhist countries by the far-reaching
legislations introduced in the recent years calculated to enlist
Buddhism in the cause of national unity.

As regards our future, our mutual interests and our past
experience require that we should stand together.  There must
be no occasion for any misunderstanding between us, and no
effort should be spared to foster still better and closer relations
between our two countries.  We believe that such close
friendship can be maintained only by constant and intimate
contact.  With this end in view, and for the mutual benefit of
our two countries, we propose to appoint a diplomatic
representative of ours in Siam at an early date.

In conclusion, I wish to thank Phya Anuman Ratchathan and
the distinguished members of the Siamese delegation again for
giving us this opportunity of showing our high esteem for
them, on the auspicious occasion of our Burmese New Year,
our fraternal greetings to the Siamese people.