The People's Party, known in Thai as Khana Ratsadon (Thai: คณะราษฎร, pronounced [kʰā.náʔ râːt.sā.dɔ̄ːn]), was a Siamese group of military and civil officers, and later a political party, which staged a bloodless revolution against King Prajadhipok's government and transformed the country's absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy on 24 June 1932.
|Military leader||Phraya Phahonphonphayuhasena|
|Civilian leader||Pridi Banomyong|
|Founded||February 5, 1927|
|Dissolved||November 8, 1947|
In 1927, the Kingdom of Siam, the Rattanakosin Kingdom (1782–1932), was under the absolutist rule of the House of Chakri, under King Prajadhipok, Rama VII. Under his reign, the nation experienced troubles stemming from an archaic government confronted with serious economic problems and threats from abroad, the British and French Empires. The country was also experiencing a dramatic social change as the urban and middle classes of Bangkok were starting to grow, slowly demanding more rights from their government, criticizing it as ineffective. These changes were mostly led by men, civilians and military, who had graduated or travelled abroad. They wanted to transform Siam into a modern country along the lines of a Western democracy.
In February 1927, a group of seven Siamese students, later known as the "promoters", met at a hotel on the Rue Du Sommerard in Paris and founded what would become the People's Party. For five days they met and proposed arguments for and against various aspects of the movement, the men were:
- 1. Lieutenant Prayoon Pamornmontri (Thai: ร.ท. ประยูร ภมรมนตรี), Army officer, formerly of King Vajiravudh's Royal Guards
- 2. Lieutenant Plaek Khittasangkha (Thai: ร.ท. แปลก ขีตตะสังคะ), later Luang Phibulsonggram, Army officer, student, School of Applied Artillery, France
- 3. Lieutenant Thatsanai Mitphakdi (Thai: ร.ต. ทัศนัย มิตรภักดี), Army officer, student, French Cavalry Academy
- 4. Tua Lophanukrom (Thai: ตั้ว ลพานุกรม), scientist studying in Switzerland
- 5. Luang Siriratchamaitri (Thai: หลวงสิริราชไมตรี), diplomat, officer at the Siamese Embassy in Paris
- 6. Naep Phahonyothin (Thai: แนบ พหลโยธิน), law student studying in England
- 7. Pridi Banomyong (Thai: ปรีดี พนมยงค์), law student studying at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris
The revolutionaries made Pridi Panomyong their president and termed themselves the "promoters" (Thai: ผู้ก่อการ; RTGS: Phu Ko Kan). The party determined a sixfold objective which was later called the "Six Principles" (Thai: หลักหกประการ; RTGS: Lak Hok Prakan), as follows:
- 1. To maintain the supreme power of the Thai people.
- 2. To maintain national security.
- 3. To maintain the economic welfare of the Thai people in accordance with the National Economic Project.
- 4. To protect the equality of the Thai people.
- 5. To maintain the people's rights and liberties, insofar as they are not inconsistent with any of the above-mentioned principles.
- 6. To provide public education for all citizens.
To achieve these goals, the party determined that they must overthrow, using force if necessary, the present government and the system of absolute monarchy and turn the Asian kingdom into a modern constitutional monarchy. Most of the members were students educated abroad, mostly in the United Kingdom and France.
When the group returned to Siam, they enlisted members from among the army and navy, the merchant class, civil servants and others. Their membership eventually reached 102, separated into four main branches. These included the civilians, led by Pridi Banomyong; the navy, led by Luang Sinthusongkhramchai; the junior army officers, led by Major Phibulsonggram; and finally the senior officers, led by Colonel Phot Phahonyothin.
The party was eventually successful in their goal of revolution by bloodless coup. By 1933 they had turned Siam into a single party state. However the party itself was short-lived, due to infighting as the party had too many factions, conflicting interests, and political beliefs. The party eventually divided into two factions, a civilian faction led by Pridi Bhanomyong, and a military faction led by Marshal Pibulsongkram.
As the party lost power, subsequent governments attempted to downplay their significance and erase their legacy. Part of this was accomplished through the removal of architecture associated with the party, most significantly beginning with the demolition of Sala Chaloem Thai in 1989. This movement intensified in the 2010s; the Supreme Court building controversially demolished in 2013, and following the 2014 coup, multiple landmarks became quietly removed without explanation. On the 88th anniversary of the revolution in 2020, the Reuters news service identified six historical markers memorialising the People's Party and the events of 1932 which have been removed or renamed over the previous year. In most cases it is not known who is responsible. Some historians, such as Chatri Prakitnonthakan of Silpakorn University, interpreted these removals as an attempted "ideological cleansing" by the conservative establishment.
A memorial plaque honoring the 1932 Revolution was reported missing on 14 April 2017. It was thought to be stolen on 5 April and was replaced with another plaque with text praising the Chakri Dynasty. As of 2019[update], no one has taken responsibility for the theft. The 1932 Revolution brass plaque, about 30 centimeters across, was embedded in the asphalt of the Royal Plaza, less than 10 meters from the equestrian statue depicting King Rama V. The site is where the revolt took place on 24 June 1932. Here, a declaration condemning absolute monarchy was read. Press reports noted that ultraroyalist groups had threatened to remove the plaque in the months preceding its theft.
A Royal Thai Army artillery base in Lopburi Province bore the name of General Phraya Phahon until 2019 when, at the order of the current king, Vajiralongkorn, it was renamed King Bhumibol base. Long-standing statues of Phraya Phahon and Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram installed at the base are to be removed and replaced by a statue of King Bhumibol.
Public perception and discourse over the party's legacy has also fluctuated over time. Their role in establishing a constitutional monarchy was glossed over by school textbooks, and rhetoric dismissing the party's actions as premature was popularized. Such ideas were reignited in the 2010s, as ideological conflicts over democracy and the monarchy intensified. Conservative writers demonized the People's Party as republicans. This led to a reactionary response by liberal groups. During the 2020 protests, youth protesters symbolically installed a new plaque in Sanam Luang, and a group leading the protest movement called themselves "Khana Ratsadon 2563" (People's Party 2020).
- Colonel Phahon Phonphayuhasena (Phot Phahonyothin), the Head of the military faction and leader of Khana Ratsadon
- Phraya Songsuradet (Deva Bandhumasena)
- Phraya Ritthiakhaney (Sala Emasiri)
- Phra Phrasasphithayayut (Wan Choothin)
- Major Luang Phibulsonggram (Plaek Khittasangkha)
- Captain Luang Chamnanyutthasin (Choei Rayanan)
- Captain Luang Katsongkhram (Thian Kengradomying)
- Captain Luang Kriangsakphichit (Khuan Chittakhun)
- Captain Luang Chansongkhram (Phan Chalichan)
- Captain Luang Chawengsaksongkhram (Chuang Khwanchoet)
- Captain Luang Thatsanainiyomsuek (Thatsanai Mittraphakdi)
- Captain Luang Phromyothi (Mangkon Phonchiwin)
- Captain Luang Ronnasitthiphichai (Chuea Kanchanaphinthu)
- Captain Luang Sawatronnarong (Sawat Darasawat)
- Captain Luang Seriroengrit (Charun Rattanakun)
- Captain Luang Aduldejcharat (Bat Phuengphrakhun)
- Lieutenant Khun Sucharitronnakan (Phong Nakhanut)
- Lieutenant Khun Chamnongphummiwet (Chamnong Siwaphaet)
- Lieutenant Khun Nirandonchai (Sawek Nilanchai)
- Lieutenant Khun Phiphatsorakan (Theng Phatthanasiri)
- Lieutenant Khun Plotporapak (Plot Phanusawa)
- Lieutenant Khun Rueangwirayut (Bunrueang Wirahong)
- Lieutenant Khun Wimonsorakit (Wimon Kengrian)
- Lieutenant Khun Sisarakon (Chalo Sithanakon)
- Lieutenant Chai Prathipasen
- Lieutenant Thuan Wichaikhatthakha
- Lieutenant Nom Ketunuti
- Minor Lieutenant Charun Chittralak
- Minor Lieutenant Saman Thephatsadin Na Ayutthaya
- Minor Lieutenant Udom Phutthikasetarin
- Major Luang Wichakkonlayut (Sian Susin)
- Group Commander Luang Sinthusongkhramchai (Sin Kamalanavin)
- Lieutenant Commander Luang Supachalasai (Bung Supachalasai)
- Senior Lieutenant Luang Thamrongnawasawat (Thawan Tharisawat)
- Senior Lieutenant Luang Sangworayutthakit (Sangson Suwannachip)
- Senior Lieutenant Luang Nithetkonlakit (Klang Rotchanasena)
- Senior Lieutenant Luang Nawawichit (Phan Amphaiwan)
- Senior Lieutenant Sa-nguan Ruchirapha
- Senior Lieutenant Sa-ngop Charunphon
- Senior Lieutenant Chalit Kunkamthon
- Junior Lieutenant Thonglo Khamhiran
- Junior Lieutenant Chip Siriphaibun
- Junior Lieutenant Prasoet Suksamai
- Junior Lieutenant Wan Ruyuphon
- Ensign Chan Ratsamithat
- Ensign Thongdi Ra-ngapphai
- Chamrat Suwannachip
- Luang Praditmanutham (Pridi Phanomyong), the head of the civil faction and vice leader of Khana Ratsadon
- Luang Sirirajmaitree (Charun Singhaseni)
- Luang Kowit-aphaiwong (Khuang Aphaiwong)
- Luang Naruebetmanit (Sa-nguan Chuthatemi)
- Luang Chamnanitikaset (Uthai Saengmani)
- Luang Atthasanraprasit (Thongyen Lilamia)
- Luang Atthakitikamchon (Klueng Phahomyonh)
- Luang Sunthonthephatsadin (Saphrang Thephatsadin Na Ayutthaya)
- Luang Dechatiwongwarawat (M.L. Kri Dechatiwong)
- Tua Laphanukrom
- Prachuap Bunnak
- M.L. Udom Sanitwong
- Naep Phahonlayothin
- Thawee Boonyaket
- Junior Lieutenant Prayoon Pamornmontri
- Wilat Osathanon
- Charun Suepsaeng
- Leng Sisonwong
- Direk Jayanama
- Wichian Suwannathat
- Chun Pinthanon
- Sawat Sotthithat
- Chittasen Pancha
- Yong Phonlabun
- Ek Supphapodok
- Surin Chinothai
- Siri Chatinan
- Chaliao Pathummarot
- Banchong Sicharun
- Prasoet Sicharun
- Chaeng Muttafa
- Karim Sicharun
- Sa-nguan Tularak
- Sim Wirawaithaya
- Nguan Thongprasoet
- Pramot Phuengsunthon
- Charoen Pantharo
- Thongpleo Chonlaphum
- Phadoem Angsuwat
- Chup Salayachiwin
- Klin Thephatsadin Na Ayutthaya
- Son Bunchung
- Yon Samananon
- Yin Samananon
- Police Lieutenant Choei Kalanchai
- Police Lieutenant Thiang Chaloemsak
- "Promoters Revolution". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
- Mektrairat 2010, p. 296-297.
- Thepgumpanat, Panu Wongcha-um, Panarat (2020-06-24). "In Thailand, it's statues of democracy leaders that are disappearing". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-09-29.
- Ruiz, Todd (14 April 2017). "1932 Democratic Revolution Plaque Removed". Khaosod English. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
- Charuvastra, Teeranai (28 December 2019). "Statues Of 1932 Revolt Leaders to be Removed". Khaosod English. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
- "Protesters install 'new plaque' at Sanam Luang". Bangkok Post. 20 September 2020. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
- "Rajprasong intersection: Bangkok's shopping heart and protest battleground". Thai PBS World. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
- Prachathai, the Last Member of Khana Ratsadon dead, 24 June 2009
- Sombat Thamrongthanyawong. (2006) Kan mueang kan pok khrong thai phoso 1762-2500 (Fourth publication). Bangkok: Sematham Publishing House.