An Internal History of the Communist Party of Thailand

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An Internal History of the Communist

Party of Thailand Translated by Chris Baker* [Abstract This is a translation of a history of the Commnuist Party of Thailand, wfitten by a leading party member in 1978 The Thai original was pblished for the first time in early 2003. The document begins with abackgrokznd analysis of Thai society, then traes the party's history fromn the 1920s, and ends with the lessons" learnt. The document is espeially detailed on the paty's adoption and adaptation of the Maoist strategy of rural ared struggle l

Translator'sIntroduction. The document translatedbelow was published for thefi rst time in early 2003 by Somsak JeamteesakulWho described it as "one of the most imporant documents in the history f the Communst Par of Thaeiland" (Sorsak, 2003a. 155). It was draf originally in the CPT'sjungle base in Nan in 1974 No copy of that version is kntown, though Somsak suspects Thadeus Flood mnay have used it in an article (Flood, 1975. It was updatedand publishedagain in this frm in 197& It has a lot of material not available in any other source. 1I s main theme is the long proeess o ping the Maoistlineofruralarmed struggle, the dfficulty f adapiin tht strategfromaChneseto Thai conditions, and the opposition to it within the party Thie strateg was debatedfrom the early I9Ss, but notfinally adopted until aftr the Sarit coups in 1957-4, and contacts with China around i960. shorterdescription of the party from the same era has beetn available in English for a long time ((T 19,78). Where that account is more polemical, this document is more open o-n thfe splits and isagreements, particularly the critical debate with PrasoetSapsnthon who later became a keyfigure in the ary's anti-CommunistsuPpression. Tho Phianwitthayaisone o the noms de guerre of WiratAnghathawon, also known as Comrade Thah and Jang Yuand (all the inrmionfollowing comes from Somsak, 2003qa 2003b) He was born in 1921 in Bankok in a faintly from Swatow which had been reasonably well-of but detAined because of his father's ill-health. Wirtat attended Sin Mins hooi where he was 4one Ofe teachers. in 1940, he went to probabsly recruitedinto the part fry work and organise in a match jtiiory. The party sent him to the south,


*Bangkok based writr, whose latest book Tlhaiand: Economy and Poleti" .2nd ed, 2002) was co-authored with Pasuk PhongpaichiL

Journal f ContemporaryAsia, ot433 AN.4 (2003)

Internal History

where he met Somphon who came from a Chinese-Thai tradingfamily in Phatthalung,and who had already studied briefly in China and joined the party in 1943. Wirat returnedto Bangkok in 1944 to help organise armed attacks on the Japanese,and subsequently became af Il-time party worker Somphon came to Bangkok to work as a teacher and help organiseyouth. They were nmarriedaround 1950-i. At the Second Congress in 1952, Wirat was elected to the party 's centralcommittee andpoliticaldepartment. Both Wirat and Somphon went in a group of around50 to study at the MarxismLeninism Institute in China, returning in 1957-8. At the Third Congress in,September 1961, Wirat was again elected to the 23-person central committee and to the five-member party secretariat. Immediately after, Wirat again visited China, narrowly escaping arrest a! the airport,and was unable to return until after the "firstshot" in August 1965. Somphon went into the jungle in Nakhon Phanom. Wiratproposed that Thailand should be analysed as neo-colon'al ratherthan semi-colonial and semi-feudal. In late 1968, this idea was fiercely criticisedby CPT members in China who had been influenced by Mao's CulturalRevolution. Soon after, the party in the tri-province region (Phetchabun-Phitsanulok-Loei)attacked the party leadership in the spirit of the Cultural Revolution, Wirat and his mentor. Jaroen Wan-ngam (Comrade Samanan), travelled to China to re-

solve the split, but the journey via Laos took twvo years and the meeting was inconclusive. Wirat returned to the Nan base where in 1974 he drafted the party 's 30ff Anniversary Statement and then the first version of this History. He visited Beijing again in 1975, returning via Hanoi where he asked for supplies of seized US arms andpermission to visit recently liberatedSaigon. Back in Nan, thepartyfinally ruledon the tri-provinceissue in May 1976, but the underlying dispute remained Cadresfrom the tri-provincearea were taken to Laosfor one month's education, overseen by Wirat. In 1978, several ofthe ex-student activists quit the jungle, and in 1979 publicly criticisedWirat for the pro-Chinadogmatism of tize party. After writing this revised version of the History, Wirat travelled to China to see Jaroen who died of cancerthere in

Janualy 1979. In the same month. Laos cut off supportfor the CPTincluding borderpassage. Wirat arrivedat the China-Laos border one hour too late, and had to return to Kunming. There he organisedthe remainingex-students (many of whom hsad been working for the Voice of the People of Thailand radio station, which was closed in July 1979) to researchand debate the current nature of Thai society. Wirat carried the report of this project back to Thailandforthe Fourth Congress in early 1982. The party headquarters had been moved from Nan to Surat Thani in late 1980, but it was reckoned too dangetrwus to convene a single meeting so the Congress was dispersed across five locations. The Congressfailed to agreeon a revisedanalysis of Thai society. Subsequently, Wirat wrote an attempted compromise which failed to prevent many more leaving thejungle and surrendering.In late 1982, Wirat blacked



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out from a constricted blood vessel int the brain. He was treated in Chulalongkorrhospital in Bangkok and then taken to China in 1983 where he never recovered the ability to speak or write. He died on 16 June 1997. The History of Our Party and Some of its Lessons Tho Phianwitthaya Foreword 2 This little book is a record of discussions with some of the writer's comrades. It was in published for the first time fin 1974. Comrades in general felt it was of benefit understanding the history and lessons of our par, and should be published again Another four years have pased and the situation has dvelopedd greatly. Vaifous party activities have also expanded geatly. Thus for this new ediion, th writer has taken the opportunity to correct ain improve this book, and also to add the events and lessons of our party anniversary of the founding of the in the recent perod. On the occasion of the 3 may I offer tins smnall book as D&eember, coming the in Communist Party of Thailand significance. historical of da a of a miemenrto The writer realises that this book may still have errors, and hopes that comrades will offer him their suggetions and criticisms.

The writer 15 November 1978 From the First Congress until the present our pary has a hiatory of over 30 years, We have not yet compiled the history of our party in a fairly complete version which can be used for study within the party Moreover, every activity We have carried out over a long time has not been systematically analysed for its lessons. This is being done at present. Hence the things which I talk about here are not yet a good compilation and analysis of the history and lessons. To answer the requests and needs of the comrades, let me present a summary of the history and lessons of our party. Before I speak about our party history, let me talk briefly about the general situation of Thailand. Our country was formerly called Siam. The foundation of the state of Siarm [sqyanm prathetj has a history of over a thousad years Counting the time of Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, Thonbunr and Rattanakosin alione is altogether over 800 years. Subsequently the name of the countr was changed to Thailand, because at that time the ruling class believed in the theory that the Thai could be a great power, and thought of assembling the Thai races in other places into a Thai empire. Our country's history of over a thousand or over 800 years, altougt not a short period, is still not as long as many other Countries in the world. I have not yet researched what eras our country has passed through. Te problem or whether it was here before, is still under dispute. of wheLre the Thai race came , In the area where the Thai are now, previously there were also the states of Lavo and

Internal History


Khom, in addition to the Thai state. The Thai races went through a long process of mutual contact, relations, economic and cultural exchange, including warfare. They expanded their territory into a sizeable empire. These are matters of history. We can research and study them at a later date. From the Sukhothai era onwards, our country has often warred with neighbouring countries. This was competition for territory among feudal lords. Before the advent of imperialism, Thailand had extensive territory. Later the invading imperialists used force to slice away parts of Thai territory to the east and west. Now Thailand has an area of 514,000 square kilometres, and a population of 40 million people. It can be counted as one of the world's medium-sized countries. Thailand is situated in Southeast Asia at the heart of the Indochina peninsula. This geographical position is important, especially from a militarv point of view. As a result, it has all along been of interest to imperialists. Our country is the only one in Southeast Asia which has never fallen under direct imperialist rule, whereas Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Malaya, the Philippines and Indonesia have all fallen under imperialist rule. One reason why our country did not become a colony of any imperialist country is because the British and French imperialists competed against one another, and neither of them could totally seize our country. Hence our country became a buffer state between British and French imperialism, and was able to maintain its formal independence. Another reason was that the invading imperialists faced constant opposition from the Thai people. The word "Thai" means free and independent. For a long time, the Thai people have had a custom of opposing foreign invasion. The ruling class tries to cover this up, and instead claims that the reason Thailand maintained its "independence' was because of the ability of the kings. The feudal lords deceive and mislead the people like this in order to make the people revere them. In truth, the ruling class did notjoin with the people to fight against the imperialist invaders. When the imperialists pressured them, they succumbed and allowed the imperialists to slice away territory bit by bit. They agreed to treaties which shamefully forfeited sovereignty to many imperialist countries. They made our country become a semi-colony of the imperialists. The propaganda praising the ability of the Chakri monarchy, and the fact that in our country most people believe in Buddhism, are obstacles to our revolutionary movement. But when our revolution progresses, it will be able to overcome these obstacles. Over more than 800 years, the Thai feudal system became rather well developed. In the feudal era, Thailand had wars between various feudal groups. Class struggle appeared in other ways, that is struggles against foreigners, and big struggles of agrarian slaves against feudal lords. There was violent, continuous, and concerted fighting because the people were exploited, distressed, and faced cruel oppression. From 1855, when the colonialist British used gunboat policy to force the Thai king of the time to sign an unequal treaty, Thailand began gradually to become a seni-colony. That situation has continued until the present. The Thai economy in feudal society was a subsistent economy. At the end of the


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feudal period, trade developed somewhat, but the economy was mnainly a natural economy, that is, subsistence. After the colonialists arrived, commodity proiuction gradally doinated society. In general, in the past hundred years or more, a capitalist economy emerged n Thailanid. with both foreign and national Capital. The capitalist form of production gaually expanded. Capitalist relations of production developed, but were limited to the urbanu area. In ;the country as a whole, especially the rural area, fieudal relations of production were still in the ascendant. These economic foundations, along with the superstruture - meaning the government and its way of thinking - are the things which determine that Thai society is semicolo-nial and semi-feudal. In the capoilist: segmlent of th Thai economy, national capttal is not yet stronger than foreign. Just the opposite, the capital of the imperiast invaders is stronger than national capital. We are in the countryside, in the jungle and hills. We have not been in the city for over ten years. The situation in the city has changed greatly. Yet according to the inf ation we have, we can see that agniculture is still important in our country's economw today. Eighty per cent of the pouation works in agnictdure. The majority of the national incoime is still agrieultral oducton. Despite iany years of change, the important export ae still rice, teak,:tin, and:ruber. At presentcultivation is inereasing. Maize has pd become a major expot priduct, rising to third or fourth rank among export products. Rice is still thde imajor expor product, rank first in earning incomel for Thailand as bef Althoug the prodution of other crops has increased gretly, the produetivity of rice per rai has niot improved in the past hunded years. A majority:of'almost three-qatr of the total population are riCe farmers. Their situation is yvery difficult. The want to improve their situation. Hence the revolutiqor force of rice farmers is enormous. When the colonalaists first ari'ved, they wanted to sell their goods and buy up raw materials. Hence they had to biil0d orts and roads; expand infrastrucure likeelectricity and water supply; found mining and loggig enterprises; and build processing factories. Frim then on, the Thai people gradually folloved suit, and nationatcapital eme After the Second World War, factories increased int no smrall measnure yet inf the national economy, industry was still second to agriculture. At present Thailand has severa thiousand factories, big and small. Most are light industries, processing plants for raw materials, or component produeers. Many of these belong to foreign monopolists. They came in to exploit Thai labour, take adantage of the Investmnent PromtionAdct, collu with bureaucratic cap itts, and evadetax. For example, automobile assemblers assemble finishedicars in Thailand firom components, rather thinprod0cing cars therselves. It appears miat Thailand can do many things itself but the reality is otherwise. The figure of many tens of thousands of factories is th,e ruling class' figure. A factory wih five workers counts as one fktory Thee are not many with a hundred workers and above, and even less with workers in the thousands. Thailand does not yet have any heavy industry. There are two iron foundries but they

Internal History


cannot make steel. A few years ago, Japanese capital came in to build a steel plant with a capacity of 50,000 tons a years. Thailand does not yet have industries making machine tools such as lathes. This is not because Thai people do not have the technique. They cannot manufacture such things because the imperialists' products dominate the market. The Thai popuiation is composed of many peoples. So-called Thailand does not have only Thai people. The majority are Thai. Next are the Lao who are of the same descent as the Thai. The Lao are three-quarters of the [remaining?] population.' Next come the Khmer and Malay, each with around a million people. Apart from these there are Karen, Hmong, and several other peoples each with several thousands or tens of thousands. Foreigners who have settled in Thailand include around 300,000 holding Chinese nationality, and several tens of thousands with each of Vietnamese or Indian nationality. Besides these, there are the Americans invaders, the Japanese, and others, together amounting to several tens of thousands. The major religion is Buddhism, followed by Islam. The Malay people adhere to Islam. Next are the western religions of Catholicism and Christianity. The hill peoples mostly worship spirits. Thailand has classes of capitalists and workers. The capitalist class has big and medium capitalists, or bureaucratic capitalists and national capitalists. Bureaucratic capitalists are capitalist middlemen allied with those who control state power. The special character of bureaucratic capitalists is that they make use of the privileges of government office to monopolise major production and trade. Thailand still has landlords and peasants. Landlords are of two sorts. The first are the old feudal landlords. The other are big landlords who are not old aristocrats. They come from nch peasants, merchants, capitalists and bureaucrats who relied on exploitation and cheating to amass land. In addition there is another class of petty urban capitalists. This class is not small. The landlord class and bureaucratic capitalists are the ruling class. The others are the ruled and exploited classes. The national capitalist class is obstructed by imperialism and bureaucratic capitalism, and fettered by feudalism, but itself exploits labour. The working class who are workers in the sectors of industry and transport and communications are about 1.5 million people. If craft and retail workers are included, the number is over 4 million people. Agriculturalists are the majority of the population - around 80 per cent of the total population of the country. They cultivate rice and cary out other agricultural activities such as logging and fisheries. They amount to over 30(million people. Petty urban capitalists, both lower and upper, total around 5 million people including both adults and children. As already explained, Thai society is semi-colonial and semi-feudal. The ruling classes are the landlords and bureaucratic capitalists, with backing from the extemal enemy which is imperialism. These three are the enemies of the revolution, and the targets of the current Thai revolution. The duties of the current revolution in our country are to change the semi-colonial


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and semi-feudal status into true independence and democracy; eliminate the influence of impenalism; seize the property of all bureaucratic capitalists as state prope-rty,I destroy feuda relations of production; liberate the peasantry; and liberate productive forces. Among the revolutionary forces, the working class is the leader, while the peasant class is the great army and the imain force Pt petty capitalist class is an important force, and reliable ally of the working class. The national capitalists are an exploiting class, but are themselves obstructed and fettered by the thee enemies, and hence are a force which can join with the revolution. The current nature of the Thai revoltion is a democratic revolution of the capitalist class, but of a new sort, because in this era the leadership and supporting fbrces are different from te dtime befor the Great October Revolution in Russia. The Communist Party of Thailand has the duty to lead this revolution to success as a first stage. Thereafter it will progress to the second stage of revolution which is the socialist revolution and tfhe creation of socialist society, until comnmunism appears throughot: the World. The targets of tie revolution are the enemies, both internal and external, which are closely relatd to one another. mperialism provides suppot for the iniernal enemies. The intenai enemiies are tools of imeialism, and foundations of imperialist domination. It is very iportant to define the pblems and targets of the revolutioni cortrcdly If we attack only the external enemy Without attkaking the iternal enemy, it would be incorrect. If we attack the internal enemy without attacking the exteral enemy, there will be problems in the same way. Many imperialists haVe invaded our :country. At any one timie, one has more influence ove:r Thailand or maore advantages than others We must attack the most ferocious enemies first. However there are many groups of landloris and bureaucratic capitists. on a different imperialist They compete continuously. We Each goup is must mhake use of thisconflict. As the imperialists have openly invaded and seized our country with troops, thy ar the target we msust attack directly. At the same time, we miut strike down the Mrling classes who are their lackeys. But in this situation if we attack the internal enemies without attacking the major external enemy there will be problems. if we don't hit the external enemy, we will not beable to strike the internal enemy down, and will not be able to solve the problem conclusively. At present the major imperialist which dominates our country is America. The landlord class and bureaucratic caitalists who hold power have followed the policy of selling the nation, and becoming lackeys of American ismperialism. It is very importat t analyse the situation in eachitime, and toaalyse the nature of society correctly, In this respect, our party has some lessons. In 1963, as a result of the American im iists stationi an army in our territy, we analysed that our country had become neocolonialo. Later when we reviewed the lessons of many years past, we realised that analysis had been incorrect. Hnce the "3()d Anniversary Statemntal" of our

party amended this to state that Thailand's society is still semi-colonial and semni-feudal

The analysis of Thailand as neo-colonial resulted in a deviation. The reasoning that, after

Internal History


the Second World War. American imperialism was transformed into invasive colonialism, giving rise to neo-colonialism and neo-colonial theory, was incorrect. By analysing Thailand as a neo-colony, we came to believe that the external enerrmy was important, with the result that we neglected to attack the intemal enemies concertedly. Whether intentionally or not, when we adopted arned struggle inside the country, we ran into the problem that, if we concentrated on fighting the external enemy, we neglected fighting the intemal enemy to a certain extent. This was a weakness which obstructed the mobilisation and arousal of the peasantry. Since we cofrected this deviation, we have not concentrated only on fighting the intemal enemy. Imperialism, and especially our enemy, American imperialism, is closely related to the internal enemy. Both have to be attacked together. The major fonn of our movement is armed struggle in the countryside, beginning with striking down feudal influence, and digging out the roots of imperialist domination. The important thing at present is American imperialism. There is no problem about revolutionary forces, but we must properly manage the question of two alliances. We must consolidate the basic forces of the united front which are workers, peasants and petty capitalists. Then we will be able to build a united front with the upper classes. As for the national capitalists who compete with us for leadership, we must both join hands with them and struggle against them. This problem must be managed well. We have few learnings about creating an alliance of the basic forces of workers and peasants. For a long time we did not properly understand the importance of the peasant question and building a worker-peasant alliance. We did not do this from the start. Later when we understood this and did it to the full, we realised the peasants had an important role. Once we solve this problem, the working class will have a leading role in the revolution. As to relations with the capitalist class, because the current nature of the revolution in our country is a democratic capitalist revolution of a new type, the capitalist class cannot lead this revolution, and definitely cannot be allowed to lead it. At one stage, people in our party made the mistake of thinking we could make use of the capitalists to mobilise the masses. We have opposed this and already corrected it. Yet even at a later stage, in practice we still had a tendency to allot too big a role to the capitalist class. We did not yet believe enough in the force of the mass of workers, peasants, and petty capitalists. We did not devote enough efforts to mobilising these classes. Further, when we no longer thought of relying on the capitalist class to lead the revolution, and left the capitalist class out of the revolutionary effort at this stage, we went back to a "left" tendency - that is, fearing that if we allowed the capitalists to join the revolution, they would compete with us for leadership. So we opposed or discouraged the national capitalist class from joining the united front. This has also happened. We are different from the Chinese and other parties which had a united front for armed struggle, and different from parties which openly and clearly made a united front with representatives of the capitalist class. Certainly, we do not have such a complex experience when compared to some fellow parties. Our experience is not yet great. From here on let me speak about the history of the Communist Party of Thailand.


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The historvy of our party Can be divided roughly iito four periods: first, before the First Congress; seconhd from the First Congress to the Second; third, ftom the Second Congress to the Third, and fourth, from the Third Congress to, the present. FirstPeriod. Bfor the FirstC:re The Communist Party of Thailand is a political party established according to Marxism. it is a political party of the woiring class. The Thai workng class had emrfged, expanded, and passei through movements Of struggles over a long tirne before Marxismt-Leninism spread into Thailand in the second and third decades of this century. These two elements - working class struggles and Marxism-nLninlsm - cornbined to give -rise to the Communist Party of Thaitand. As I have explained above, in 1855 westetn tclonialism began to invade Thailand. From then onwards, Thai society gradually became a semi-colonial and semr-feudal society. The Thai working class emnergd along With the invasion of colonial capital. Bdeore this, Thailand was still a feudal society The Thai working class just emerged in this era, when the working class of citalist counties all over the world had already been in existence for a lbong timne The period when the Thai working class emnerged Was the tine whem our great teachers, Marx and Eagels, had alreay begun a movement and published their teachings. But the spriad of Marxism in Dourcountry began only after the Thai working class had emerged for over 70 years. There were two reasons for this. on the one hand, When developing the Thai workng class ernerged, it still had to pass through the process from a class-in-itself to aclass-for-itself; on the other band, it took considerable dine for Marxism to spread fromi the capitalst countiries to the colonial and semi-i colonial countries. As Stalin summarsed, after the Great October Revolution, Marxism spread all over the worid. When the workers' movenent developed, it needed a political party of its own to undertake the duty of revolution in Thailand, and lead the struggle to liberate its own class. The spread d Marxism in our country, and the birth of a Marxist political party in our country, have a special character, different from some countries in Southeast Asia which Were directly influencedd fqrmn Europe. After the great October Revolution, we were influenced from: the east, by the revolutions in Chtna and Vietnam. This was different from somtie parties such as the Indonesian CoImmunist Party which was founded in 1920 and Was in:fluenced from Europe, and the Vietnamiese party which was founded in 1930 and was influenced from: Europe and China. Comrade Ho Chi Minh himself was active in the movement in France. He was among those whosqut the Frendh Socialist Party to set up a French Communsi Party He also took part in the revotionary movement in China. It was not that Thailand had no students studying in Europe. Thai went to study in Europe prior to the timne thierewtas:a Marxist grp in Thailand influene6d from China and Vietnam, bit they did inot bring Marxism back with them. In truth, when the olonialists invadedThailand and Thailand became a seni-colony. movements of struggle arose among Thai of both lower and upper ciasses. There were

internal History


movemnents among intellectuals of the petty capitalist class, and newly created classes of capitalists and landlords who wanted to change their status. There were many important struggles such as the movement called "Guomindang" in 1912 which was stirred up by Sun Yat Sen. This attempt failed before it started. Later there was the People's Party movement whose important elements were civilian and military officials who had studied in western countries. Within the People's Party, thinking was divided into two wings. The right wing were representatives of big capitalists and landlords who wanted only to share the power of the feudal monarchy; the left wing were representatives of national capital who wanted a western capitalist form of democratic government. This group made a successful coup on 24 June 1932 and changed the way Thailand was governed. In this event, the major power was the military power in the hands of the right wing, while the left wing lacked resolution. Hence the result went the way of the right wing. Even though the king was formally placed under a constitution, and a parliamentary system was introduced, the change in government was essentially from absolutism under which feudalists were the sole class with power, to joint dictatorship between big landlords and big capitalists. Politicians who represented national capital were either swallowed up or shoved out. In the forty years since the change of government, a fascist military government has held power for most of the time. Generally in various countries, Marxist groups appeared first among intellectuals. But because Thai intellectuals who studied in western countries did not bring Marxism back to the country, the spread of Marxism in Thailand began from Tbai who went to study in China and had experience of the Communist Party of China. This was one way. Later in 1925-7, the Chinese revolution failed. Some of the Chinese revolutionaries came to agitate and propagate Marxism in Thbailand. In addition, prior to 1930, Vietnamese communists entered Thailand and disseminated Marxism. In 1930 the Heng Ting Soviet (the Vietnamese people's movement in Hengan-Hating province) was defeated. Another group of Vietnamese comrades came to agitate in Thailand. This situation reflects the close friendly relations between the Thai people and the Chinese and Vietnamese people, and the special nature of the Thai working class. The invasion of colonial capital gave rise to the Thai working class. At first, most of the workers in Thailand were Chinese, followed by Indian and Burmese. At the beginning of the twentieth century, skilled workers were mostly Chinese. This situation continued for a long time. Later Thai entered the workforce, and currently are increasing in numbers. Another point on which the Marxist movement in Thailand is different from some countries is that the movement to propagate Marxism in Thailand faced difficulty. There were laws to prohibit distribution of Marxist documents from the start. Before the change of govemrnment, the absolutist authorities heavily suppressed the communist movement. Not long after the change of government in 1932, an Anti-Communist Law was promulgated. For a long time, there was no translation and publication of theoretical works into Thai to aid the propagation of Marxism. Activity was thus limited to a narrow circle. Before 1930, there were some Marxist movements in Thailand, but we have not yet

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compiled their history in full. We know only that the Communist Party, Southeast Asia Branch wvas founded (as a cell of the Nanyang party). In 1930, Comtrae Ho Chi Minh came as representative of the Third International to set up a provisional directorate of the Comnunist Party of Siam Later in 1935. the

Third International accepted the Communist Party of Siam as a provisional branch (that

is, not yet a full party) Tis was forty years ago.

The Commnunist Party of Siamrannouncedl that the aim of the revolution was to overthrow imperialism and feudalism, and to establih a workers and peasants' state in Siam. At atWtime mElost of the members were Chinesetand Vietnamese. They organised a numbir of workes, students, and youth;ld workers' struggles to irove their liveli-

hood; agitatedion imotn days such as International Wors' Day, and the day of the rat

October Socialist Revolution, distributedpamphlets; and raised the red flag on tree

tops and tll buildings. Apat from this, they tried to agitate among the peasan:ts in Isan. econtacted a number of peasants. The gorment reacted against their movements

with heavy suppression, especially by inserting people with murky histories into the

orgiisation, so that the secret agets of the Special Branch Weret able to infiltrate and destroy the organisationseveral timhes. In 19354, most of the members of Vietnamese nationality were arrested by the enemy. Some were jaild and some were depored.

In 1937, war broke ot ainst the-Japanese invasion of China. Te meimbers of the

pty in Thiand who were Chinese and of Chiese nationality agitated among the Chinese, and supported the Chinese people's war aiganst Japan. The Thai ruting classes

on a large scale. Many comrades were arrested and deore. The communists who werearrested and jailed made a boldtand brave stand in the court and in jaiL They communicated the direction and policy of the: prty to other convicts; converted the prison courtyard into a seo to std and train themhselves to gain the resuppressed t

spe and trust of other p6ital prisoners and pisoners in general; ceated the fine customs which have been passed on and practised continuously by communists when

they become polidical detainees or prisoners. In 1938,: the leadership was vy: weak. Existing organisations fragmented into smal groups and lacked unity. In that situation, the leadership sought the opinion of the Third International which at that timie vwas in Hong Kong. In 1940 a representative of the Third International frcommended destablishn a special committee to unify the organisation, so that the Cormmnist Part ofThiland could be newly founded. This special comrittee wore to unite the organisation, and especially to cultivate

new forces among workers, students, and petty capitalist classes in the urban areas. At that time the Second World War had already begun. A little before Japan invaded Thailand, there were Thai comrades and Chinese comrades in the organisation. The Vietnamese comirdes were diverted to the movement for the iberation of their motherland.

At the iid of 1941, Japan seized Thailand. Most of theexistnig mass organisations wee paralysed, could not operate, And had to bereorganised, beginning with the Volun-

teer Organisation for Armed Opposition to Japan. But at that time, the organised forces

of the party were still very small. Further 1942 was the year when Japanese forces were victorious. The Allies -America, Britain, and France - were on the retreat and suffering

Internal Histoty


defeat. The Japanese seized Southeast Asia almost completely. The revolutionary wave in our country was in decline. The Thai ruling class succumbed to Japan and cooperated with Japan to suppress the people's movement. At that time the party had to bear the responsibility of devoting all its strength to mobilise the masses, expand its strength, prosecute the war to liberate the Thai people, expel the Japanese bandits, eradicate the treasonous government, recover independence, and defend the motherland. In this situation, at the end of 1942 the party held its First Congress. Above is the first period of the party's history, the period when Marxism spread among intellectuals, workers, peasants and other occupations of our country, and created conditions for founding a communist party. The Communist Party of Siam was founded, but was heavily suppressed. Chinese and Vietnamese comrades had a big role in the movement in this penrod. Foreign comrades acted according to the principles of the Third International, that is, communists had to enter the organisations and movements in whatever country they were. Chinese and Vietnamese comrades, many of whom lived in Thailand, joined in activities in Thailand, and contributed greatly to the revolution in Thailand. Some were jailed. Some lost their lives. Many were deported. They paved the way for the communist movement and workers' movement in Thailand. They did important work for the party and the Thai people. Second Period: From the First Congress to the Second Congress, end of 1942 to beginning 1952 The First Congress accepted the political report of the provisional central leadership whose major points were: work with the masses, organise opposition to Japan. It passed the party rules, and elected a central conimittee which at that time was called the executive committee. Before the Congress, the party had proposed to establish a united front against Japan. A 12-point policy to oppose Japan was proposed, and the Congress amended it to 10 points. After the Congress, from 1942 to 1944, activity was carried out according to the line laid down by the Congress, and had some results. Many workers in the capital of Bangkok were organised. The organisation of the party and the masses expanded to several localities. Several workers in the Japanese workforces were organised. These workers were used as supporting forces. The Japanese had established several types of factories. We organised workers in these factories to oppose Japan through methods of strike, go-slow, machine-breaking, and the destruction of products to obstruct their war effort. In the latter half of 1943 and especially in 1944, the Thai people realised that the Axis of Germany, Italy, and Japan was sure to be defeated. A wave of opposition to Japan gradually rose among the Thai people. OuT party assembled an anti-Japanese volunteer force, spread out to work among the masses, and prepared to launch armed struggle. On the united front, the party established an anti-Japanese federation. At this time, the party united the organised workers in Bangkok by establishing the Bangkok United Association of Workers [saha samokhom kammakon krungthep] as an underground organisation.


JCA 33.4

Work was progressing. Armed forces were training and began to fight just when

the Grmanns surrendered. Two mrEonths later 'the Japanese also surrendered. Hence our armed forces wiped out only some traitors and spies. There were only two or three clashes with the Japanese With not much efet. At that time our activities were still

limited. We s:tarted arned stroggle against the Japanese when the Japanese were about to surrender. During the time Japan occuipied Thailand, one par of the ruling class headed by Pridi Banomyong established the Free Thai Movement to oppose Japan. Our party began to ally with them under the united front, but had not reached ant agreement when Japan surrendered. During the time Japa occupied Thailand, our prt's policy can be considered generally correct. The delay in arned struggle against th Jaanese was a mistake. We lacked understanding of one important question, that is the peasant question. Our inovementfs were mostly anong workers and petty capitists. We were not yet interested enough in the peasants. How to proceed afierJapn's surrender? When the war broke out, Thailand's fas-

cist rulin:g class joined hands wit Japan. When the war ended, they becakme war crnimi-

nals. The new govermnt needed to improve Thiland's situation, and gain the accep-

tance of the Allies and the Soviet Union. There was also a need to enter the United Nations. Thus the political stance of the post-war government had a democatic colouring. The party miade use ofthis toinobilise semi-openlyf and mrake a wide impact. The armed foe was closed down. At that time, the conditions were not seen to be right for further armed struggle. But we did not manage the ending of the struggle correctly. We brought the armed fortes back fron the jung to the ity We did not use those forces to remain in fte countryside to mobilise the peasants fiuther. This mistake resulted frno

the fat

that our patty at that time did not understand the peasant problen enogeh. Afte:r the war the party openly issued a newspaper to pblicise the directions, poi cies, opinions, and proposals of the party. It led the iasses to agitate against the final

treaty, when Britain took the opportunity to enter and disarm the Japanese, and make 21 onh th Thai government which were very tough conditions aimed at binding demands

Thailand under their influene. Apart from that, we agitated to demand prosecution of war criminals; Opposedithe revival of the fasists' power and organised meetings to cel-

eibrate the peace and international labour day. The party openly established the Bangkok othep] and unions Labour Fderation [sanwhm sak ackiw kanmmakon nakkon for varous occupations, alog

with organiisationso youth, school pupits, students, and

women. This had not happened before. At the same time, we expanded danited front work, and built relations with upper classes who were democratic to some extent.

Butfthese upper classes were fom the ruling classes which holds power. They took position:s which were not demratic, inluding restiting the people's movemnents. W did not do enough to resist, oppose, enticise, and struggle against the ruling classes'

policies which were not good for the people. At that time we contacted Pridi Banomyong, who for a time was primne mFinister. and for a time hetd power in the Wkground of the government. Relations between our

Internal History


party and Pridi reached no agreement and had no definite form. He did not treat us as equals. He only thought he could make use of us. The Third International was dissolved in 1943 during the Second World War. After the war, Chinese comrades separated from the Thai party, and formed a separate Chinese organisation to support the revolution in their motherland. This organisation was dissolved not long after the new China was established. For a short time after the war - for over two years from the second half of 1945 until the end of 1947 - Thailand had some "democracy." At that time the mass movement was on the crest of a wave. After the war, American imperialism was master of the world, and was more and more interested in Thailand by the day. When England forced the final treaty down Thailand's throat, America took the opportunity to act as a saint and intervene. Later when it saw the growth in the power of the people, it created obstructions, and promoted a reactionary wave all over the world. In Tlailand it embraced the fascist reactionaries to bring down the Pridi group, making Thailand fall under a fascist regime again at the end of 1947, Over these two years, our party broadened its impact, made the Communist Party of Thailand known among the Thai people, and built the power of the party to some effect. We acted correctly. But there were also weaknesses. We did not deal correctly with the ruling classes which had a "democratic" colour We did not criticise and fight them enough. More important than that, we still took too little opportunity to agitate among the peasants. At the end of 1947, the fascist military group again rose to power. American influence began to dominate Thailand. In 1948, the Thai fascist military group signed a treaty of economic and military assistance with America. From then on, America was the number one external enemy of Thailand. American influence in Thailand has risen and fallen but is now greater than the influence of other imperialists. When the fascists rose to power, they began wiping out those who had lost power. The Pridi group tried to compete for power by coup several times, but failed every time. When the fascist government had eliminated the Pridi group, it tuned to suppress the people and our party. But as soon as the fascists rose to power, our party retreated underground in time, and worked secretly and illegally from then on, without suffenng much damage. At this time there was a period when we still dreamed of the opportunity to agitate openly or semi-openly, and so we thought of helping Pridi rise to power again. Eventually we learnt the lessons and straightened out the incorrect thinking of this nature. From 1948 to the beginning of 1949, our party issued a slogan, go to the countryside. The party sent a number of cadres, and also mobilised students and intellectuals to go upcountry to the countryside, and reactivate work among the peasants. 1949 was the year China was victorious throughout the country, and established the People's Republic of China. The Korean war broke out in mid- 1950. Thailand sent soldiers to join the American invasion of north Korea. Worldwide there was a peace movement, Our party adopted this form of peace movement. It built up public opinion


JICA 33:4

against the American invasion of Thailand, and againt the Thai government which sent troops to invade Korea. We twice mad. movemnents to demnand poeace. 'The first time 150,000 signed. and the second 170,000. Our party taoo one important lesson from1 the victory of the Chinese pople's revolution: infa colonial or seii-c6lonial couwy, a people's governament can only take struggle. power through armed struggle. Thus at its time wee again prepared for aimed that But we did not yet understand this question deply. So when opinlons were voied turaned then and wavered, we struggle, armed for sufficient yet not were the conditions

back again to preparing for armed struggle. In these circumistances, our party convened the Second Congress in eardy 1952. Above is the second stage of our party. We began to extend work among the major classes of the Thaii peole, and Wbild some ouindations. When Japan occupied Thailand, we were slow to begin armed struggle. This was connected to the fact that we did

we not yet pay enough attention to: work among the peasants. Before armed stuggle, this of part later the In peasants. te among Working in were neot seriously interested dreamed period, we began to enter te countryside. Besides, in this penod, the party still

of the opportunity to work openly and legally. At that time we did not analyse these matters well. Hen:ce later we againmfade mistakes. In summar, at that time in; our party, the understanding of Mtarxism-Leninigsn and Mao Zedong thought was not deep. We

did not aWy them to Thai reafities well enough, showing that our party was still In its youth and lacked experience.

to the Thirdi Conrs, 1952-1961 Third Period:From the Second Cnrs The Second Congress adpe a olitical report, lowlevel poicy principles, and immrediate polces. It0amended the party rules, and elected a new Central C¢omittee. The key content of the political rert in this meetin was: mobilise the masses in thousands and fmillions, enter the courysi&. That is, the cotryside was the fbundation. We had to fous on the peasant question toi reate afounidation for armed struggle. The rnain line of this Congress was correct But as comrade Mao Zedong said, We must conitinu*allearn

fromn practice.The

nain line of the SecondCongress was correct, but

later events proved that our understanding of the issues was still only perceptual, not

still far from this main line, and was, not steadfast. thing would have been to pour our forces into correct After the Second Congress, the the peasants on a broad scale, and to uild a organise and mEobilise to the countyside. not do this to the full. As noted above, w,e did we But alliance. worker-peasant strong

rational In practlie, activity was

twice oanised a peace movement to some effect. The enemy had not yet tried to suppress this. We still felt this form of movement was important, and even openly called a peace meeting. The correct thing would have been to work among certain circles of the upper class. But we brought the masses to join the meeting with great fanfare. We brought outr forces int0o the open. Thus the enemOy took interest and began repression. Work in the countryside was also damaged. Work in both city and countryside was difficult. In deciding what to do next, we inappropriately used comrade Mao Zedong's 16-character formnula for the White rone.4

Intern4d History


The formula for the White zone was proposed by Mao Zedong when China was already a zone of armed struggle. It was usable in that situation. In Thailand, urban work was still effective, and rural work should have focused on seriously preparing for armed struggle. When the formula for the White zone was applied throughout the whole country, we lost direction and the atmosphere became generally inactive, At the end of 1953, a big struggle arose within the party over the question of direction. Some of the middle and upper operatives of the party were studying MarxismLeninism overseas, including Prasoet Sapsunthon, a member of the Second Central Committee. He attacked the Second Congress line of mobilising the masses in thousands and millions and treating the countryside as the base, as "left" deviation and door-closing. To replace the Second Congress line, he proposed another direction which he called the "united front line" or "direct line." The crux of the "united front line" was that lTailand was like Japan where the people had a tradition of democratic struggle. We had to first lead the masses to struggle peacefully for democracy. Armed struggle would be an issue for the future. The form for mobilising the masses had to be the peace movement. The imperative was for party representatives to form a united front with representatives of the capitalist class. When representatives of capitalists joined a united front, we would have the masses of the whole country mobilised through the capitalists' representatives. Most of the comrades who went to study opposed Prasoet's line, and stood by support for the Second Congress line. They saw Prasoet's line as right-leaning opportunism. They could not see the forces of workers, peasants, and other occupations pinning their hopes on the capitalist class. It did not accord with the reality of the revolution in our country. Following that line would forfeit the standpoint of a political party of the working class. We would be the palanquin-bearers of the capitalist class. Thailand is different from Japan. Japan is a late imperialist country. Thailand is a semicolonial and semi-feudal country. Japan was formerly under a fascist government, and after the war had democracy in the style of the capitalist class. For most of the time since the change of government in 1932, Thailand was governed by fascism without democracy. It cannot be said that the people have a tradition of struggling for democracy. Moreover, at that time our country was governed by fascism, and the peace movement had just been suppressed by the enemy. Making peaceful means the sole or main means of struggle, and taking the peace movement as the main model, was a fantasy which could not achieve independence and democracy. The imperative for our party at that time was to mobilise in thousands and millions; base ourselves in the countryside; lead the people to struggle for independence and democracy, beginning from the low level to the high level, from economic battle to political battle, prepare the conditions for armed struggle; and bring down the ruling classes by civil war. Armed struggle was not too far away. We had to make a united front with the (national) capitalist class, and win them over as far as conditions allowed, What the priorities were depended on our strength. In the period after the Second World War, we had learned lessons on this issue. The (national) capitalist class of our country was very weak, and had a dual character. The idea of mnobilising the masses through the capitalist class was impossible. Even if it could be done, the masses mobilised would not be our forces. They would be the forces


CA 314

of the capitalist class, which would liead the masses in their direction, the capiitalist direction, not in our party's direction, the soclallst directiotn. This struggle continufller over tiwo years alongside the theoreiical study E-ventuthe 6at ally Prasoet was forced tin ce& to reason, and accept his view was wrong. Ten beginning of 1956, the revisionist Khshchev pposed the"peace line attheTwedni-

lCongress. Prasoet: retracted and again took a stanld on his own idea. He eth Soviet Paty tried to return home to pursue his line without listening to the ojections of.the 1arty. In 1958, Prasoet arrivdbck in nTailand. Not long after. Sarit miade a coup and restored fascism. Pasoet was arrested. At that point Prasoe's thinking developed tofanothier stage. While he was in jail, he wrote a letter to Sarit presenting lhis view that capitalisnm iinThailand was still underdeveloped, :and that cooperation was needed to develop tapitalism and build Thailand by uniting the Whole countty around Sarit as the entre (leader). This was a clear surrnder. Later Prasoet sold h1fimself as a lacke of Ethe spialw branch 5 and CSOC,0 ad the Third Copgress passed:a resotution to expel the revisionist traitor Prasoet Saps:un:thon from the party.

Because this struggle arose while studying overseas, it had no deep and widespread lesson forthe whole Oparty. Tis was one reason why subsequently in 1955-S there was Setcnd Condgress line. a departure from:the&

lthere was a tirend of non-alignment in the world and in Thailand. During 1955-8, The Ceneva mreeting onl the Indochina problem agreed on an armfistie6. In 1955 there was the Banidutng meetingfin Indonesia. Then in 1956 at the Twentieth Congress of the Comimtuist Pary f the Soviet Union, the revisionist Soviets proposed the "peaceful transition," creating confusion for the international communist movement. Frther,there tcolonial countries. The was a trend of non-alignment among the newly iinidepene group of non-aligniedcountries was forled. This had an effect on Th9altad including on

our paty. n ThallanSd at that time, people of various classes weet dissatisfied with the government policy of following behind America altone. Tey demanded relations With all countries, and trade with China. Te people's dissatisfaction and demands forced the Plaek governmentito thinikof distancing itself frnmAimerica somewhat. Tomdrate the people's dissatisfacion, the democratic movement was again allowed somee freedom In this situation, our party prposed a slogan: struggle for peace neutraityS and democracy; demand withdrawalfriom the SEATO mnilitary pact;- open lations with all countries,


the People's


of China; don:'t c6ommit only to AAmerica's

side; and prom.ote democracy. At this timire,although the Anti-Communist Law still restricted our party, we tookithe opportunity provided by some degree of demtocacy to agitate among the workers and students in a legal way, alongVwith united front work We set up organisations Xof workers, students, and youth. A socialist unwitd font with almost 30 seats had a rtle in priament.

But Was by proposing


a mnoye ftrward for Tailand to try and exploit the situation of the time


a tactical sloga

demeanding peace, neutrality, and demiocracy?


believed it was progressive. Buit a party of the working class has to be more: far-sighted. It has lto encourage the imasses to be more progressive than this, to raise themnselves to a Whgher level, It should not lower itself and follow behind the masses We thinkthe

Interrnal Histor-y


slogan was too low. This slogan could have a role at a certain level, but in revolutionary struggle it would not lead the people to be more progressive. If it was just a tactical

slogan used only in the urban areas than it would not be a big problem., even if it was somewhat incorrect. But it was wrong to adopt it as the main directlon, and use it also in rural activity, resulting in another two years of deviation from the line of armed struggle. On 20 October 1958, Sarit returned from America, and assembled the power to

suppress the mass movement. This event gave our party a lesson. It woke us up again and made us study the lessons of this event and of previous events (from the time after the Second World War when Pridi held power, which we had not yet analysed well). We realised that the lengths of time that Thailand had had "democracy" for the Communist Party were very short - two-plus years on the previous occasion and again two-plus years on this one (from 14 October 1973 to 6 October 1976 was again two-plus years). Most of the time Thailand was governed by the bayonet. This proved that Tlhailand is a semi-colonial country without democracy for the people. In the short periods of "democracy" such as these, although our work could spread widely and create a stir, it collapsed when the fascists came back to power. We learnt the profound lesson that it is impossible for Thailand to take the peaceful path to seize state power, as the revisionists claimed. We realised for certain that only armed struggle would triumph. We could no longer waver.

In Thailand, it is not only the working class which is unable to seize state power peacefully. Even among the ruling classes, it is those who have weapons and control the army who have power. Since the change of government in 1932, the people who held power for any length of time were Plaek and Sarit who carried the gun. Later Thanom carried the gun and so controlled power. Eventually Thanomrn and Praphat fell. People in general were critical of Praphat for wanting the rank of Field Marshal so much that he agreed to cede the army commander post to Krit Sivara. In the end, Krit did not support that clique which thus fell. After the war, Pridi's govermment fell because it did not control the military. In the subsequent period, the Kukrit and Seni governments also fell because they did not' have the support of the military. Our party's decision to pursue amied struggle and use the countryside to encircle

the towns, was based on the lessons of both our own local experience and international

experience. In Lhe time since 1958-60, the struggle between Marxism and revisionism

within the international communist movement had become theoretically clearer to us. The Chinese party issued the Nine Articles. 6 There was the memorial article for the 90th anniversary of Lenin's birth.7 Then there was the meeting of 81 parties in Moscow, which made various questions clearer., Our party joined two international meetings in 1957 and 1960, and sided with fellow Marxist parties against the revisionists, in order to preserve Marxism-Leninism. At this time we returned to the Second Congress line, supplemented with serious preparation for armed struggle. Above is the third period of our party. The Second Congress proposed a line which was basically correct. At that time we did not clearly understand armed struggle. At the start and middle of this period, we did not stand by the Second Congress line. Only at the


JCA 13:4

end, We learrt lessons, returned to the Second Congress line, and became rather confident about armed sitrggle. In sunmmary, in this period ourtparty was not yet mature. Fo hiPeriod From thethird Co ess to the present,from the end f 1961 The Third Congress opened in Sepmber l961, doptd apolitical reort and I2-point policy, amfiende the party rules, and elected a new Central Comnmnittee. rhe major content of tIhe political report was, bwuld a broad patrotic democratic 0the enemy in all forms. Thus we began amed struggle. At united fiont, struggle gainst written in oder to mai ntain sectecy, but the spirit of the opetnly wasnot that time, this poitical repot was the decision for Armed strugglet The 17 years since the ThirdIConess fal nto two periods: first, from the end of the Third Congress until 19,65, when there was the September resolution of the political department for armd struggle, seoid, the: penid of armed struggle fromn 7 Auust until the present time, altogther 13 years. During the time of prepation for armed struggle, the mnajo:r work was preparing the cond:ition of the masses by sending cadres to th countryside to organise the peasants. In additionau trasinin school was opened to the mil.itary cadres by teaching both ol1fitcs and military skills. Fr publicity prep Work, the radio station, the Voice of the People of Thailanid, was founded. In late 1964 and 1965, to study and mobilise for armed struggle, we set up the "independence rmovemeat" a:nd the "patriotic front"' to unite patriotic demos of varlious lasses The preparations on this occasion were differet from before, in that th leadership itself whenlt into XtheountrsSideThere were also reasons that forceduls to o ;ths.s Previously the Centiga Committee and leading comrades were in the capital. Not long0 after the Third Congress, the enemy trae6d several of our branches in the cit, forcing our leadership to enter the qountyside. One comrade foid the Political Diretorate, Comrade Ruam Wongphan, was caught by theenemy and eventuially executed. He sacrificed his life bravely. The enemy kt re ssing us savagely like, this, focting us to decide definitey to pursue amed struggle. In our preparation for armed struggle in the countryside, we stdied the learning from fellow countries that anred struggle should begin in the mounawin area, or, if it broke out in the lowland, should move to6wars a mtountain area. In mind-19965, our work irn the countryside had developed a bit but not a lot. In the co:untryside in general, the movement could not be kept secret for long. In some territories, we had been active for a longtlime; in others, we went to start afreshhTheenemy was alerted and caame to search for us. Before mid-1965, we avoided clashes in order first to busild a mtass blase, Infact,before the Third Congress wehabeg4fiun w6orkin thetcountryside, there were somie eios when we thought about iarmed struggle, although most of the timie,we did not. If an area turned red, We mfved cadres awa. Now, we found a tnew mthod: if an area turnedrted, we did not rmoveouta If we could not stay in the villages, we went into the iungle and continued to mobilise the mnasses. T enemy: searched the fields and, forests around the villages. Although we tried to, hide in the jungle, a clash with the enemy was mevitableEventual the "7 August event" wa the first tmor clah.9 The

Internal Hibstry


enemy surrounded us and we lost one comrade. In the enemy ranks, one police sergeant died and one police lieutenant colonel broke a leg. This was a big event, big news all over the country. The enemy knew clearly the Corimmunist Party was prepared for armed struggle. Every unit had guns. At that time we used them to protect ourselves. We used the model of working from the jungle. Cadres and party members who were already red left their homes, entered the jungle, and secretly returned to work in the villages. This model had been used by armed cadres in other countries. At first, we had no anns, but gradually collected them. The Thai countryside is different from that of China. China is a big country. Chiang Kai Shek had power throughout the country but was unable to centralise control at the high level. The revolutionaries could escape from one province to another, from one village to another, and continue working. But the government in Thailand is very centralised. It has surveillance systems such as the household registration, and checks on comings and goings. It was difficult to move red people around. Usually if red cadres were moved elsewhere, it affected the work there. The strategy of working from the jungle created problems not only of protecting the cadres, but also ensuring the work continued. China, Vietnam, Kampuchea and Laos had used this method at certain times and in certain places. In some countries, they dug tunnels and lived there. We did not use that method much because houses in Thailand are on stilts. To maintain the struggle, we did not rely much on tunnels but on the jungle. After the 7 August event, the enemy became even more interested. We mobilised some areas to become very red. They sent military units to conduct exercises, and secret agents to investigate, giving us a problem of how to proceed. We discussed this problem among the cadres, and approached leaders of the masses on how to proceed. We agreed that avoiding clashes was passive defence, and could easily result in loss. We should change, take the initiative by attacking the enemy, and prevent the enemy just coming after us. In these circumstances, the Political Department held a meeting for an enlarged circle in September. It took a resolution to begin armed struggle. At that time we considered that the conditions for armed struggle were present to some extent, but not fully. Our anned struggle was not like the arned struggle in Russia which was a capitist country, and where it was necessary to wait until the situation developed throughout the country. Because Thai society is unevenly developed, our armed struggle could begin in some parts of the country and gradually spread from these flashpoints to become a bushfire. We studied the practical conditions. Objectively, the geography was favourable and food supplies were available. Besides, we had fellow parties which would give support, and the enemy's administration in the remote countryside was fragile. We could make use of that. Subjectively, the party leadership, armed forces, condition of the masses, and the united front were not strong enough or broad enough. But we realised we were in a situation in which we could wait no longer. We could not wait until we were fully prepared before fighting. If we waited until we were fully prepared, when would we judge that time had come? So we decided to fight, even though the conditions were not fulfilled. We would fight and make preparations at the same time.


ICA 3 A4

At that time the combat area was tthe Phuphan area in Nakhon Phanom province. We had orgarised only a tew thousand of the imasses. There were not mnany villages vwe could controlL Somfie people- believed that If We launched aried istruggle, at th very least we imust have a border with a socwialst country, even if cImmunication vvere not easy, and mtiust have some percentage of the masses who would fight, for example I -in3. If we were to fo1low those conditions atthattime, we could not do it in Thailand if we waited until we ha I-in-3 ofthef masses, it would mean wevwould have to con;tinue avoiding the enemy.lBut how long could we hide and irun? If we tried, We would not be able to maintaini serecy, the enemyi Would find tus, and we would be attacked and destroyed. In sum, wihen we decided on armed struggle, the conditions were not yet sufficientl,but we decide:dtobu4ildanldfight in parallel, usingte fre of arms as ptetion e increasedour strength. Subsequent events proved we were correct. Having a wh Wil aithaving definitie mnass support, wve Ecould standL andE fight. correct line, being dec:isive,an Whet, we started atrmed strugkle, we had to build an armty This meeting took a resolution to form a newty peoof army. We studied te lessons fromi fellow parties.i and saw that the itmortant thing was to have a people's army under the full leadership of th paty. Wehad tto build the pary i nthe army, build a system of political work in the army, and make political work the soul of the army without neglecting strategy, tactics, and military technique. Our army was born ini 1965. At that timne we 'had no experience of armed struggle. We decided Isan would fight first, beginning with the Phuphan area, ad then othOer regions would follow. jThe Isan army fired the first shot in 1965, the south in NW966 and then the central region and north. Now the combatzone incliudes over 40 provinces, m£aostly in the jungle areas on the'borders between provinces. At the end of 1965, the enemyl aunched a m:ajor repression. The £ruling class assigned the army' to iundertaeklarge-scale repression:in Sakon Nakhonh, Nakhon Phanom, Ubon Ratchathani, a7nd Yasohon. Thte enemy's repression campaign generally focused osgroups in the jungle, but could not achieveanyting. Whin the junle campaign was inefective, the enemy turned to repress an arrest people in th villages. This area of work was tstill new, The.masseihad no experience. Thearrests an:d killings, disriented the peoplei fora ftime, and crea teddfficulty for u:s.l But when :we stood firm, the si:tuation changed. The revolutionary area in the northwas i-n the hills. The enemy could not enterieasily. Mokst ofour working areas experienced this situation. The enemy thought it could suppress our: armed force like a new-born baby It established the Cornraarist Suprssionl Operation Command (CSOC), and broadcast it Would stiiupress us in three mhonths. Thirteen years have since passed. We are still stansding and growing al:lthe timre. A first the enemy used the provincial police against us.$Later it brought in more Border Patrol Police. Whn; it could not suppress us, it established local volunteer fbrces, and organised the joint Civ-l-Plce-Ml:ilitary command (CPM) The regular army also took part, but eculd do nothing In 1968, control, of the suppression was transferred to the armty. To fight us, the enemny mob; 1ibsed the regular army including the First, Secnd and Third Aries an:d the Fifth Army R egiosn (later expanded into the Fourth Army). Their operations used up to a thousand men in any one




area. In 1972 in the tri-border area (Phetchabun-Phitsanulok-Loei), they had to use forces on that scale even though it was only a tiny area. But every time they failed to achieve their desired result. Now they are tryang to suppress us without setting any time-limit. They no longer dare to predict anything. At the beginning of 1968. we had a base area covering two provinces (Nan-Chiang Rai). At the end of 1968 we had a base area covering three provinces (PhetchabunPhitsanulok-Loei). Later we had a base area in Tak. In 1973, Isan built a base area in Phuphan. Other areas currently are guerrilla zones. They are either temporary base areas or mobile base areas according to Comrade Mao Zedong's description. We have two ways of building base areas which have the same basic substance and process, but some differences in the sequence, One type is in the north and the other in the northeast. In the north, we seize the highland, mobilise the exploited minority hill peoples, force the enemy to retreat, and turn the area into a base area. Mostly we don't use the method of expanding the guerrilla zone, or else only for a short time. After seizing the highland. then we expand the guemlia zone. This is due to the special conditions of the geography. The enemy is restricted and suppression is difficult. The masses practice swidden cultivation, and are used to moving around. Isan is different. The geography is mostly lowland or semi-lowland. Communications are quite easy. We work from the lowland to the hills. We first develop mass work around the hills in the formn of a guerrilla movement, until we reach the stage when the core of the area can be converted into a base area. Creating a base area or liberated area means mobilising the masses to rise up and fight the enemy. We create an army, destroy the enemy's attacks, and overthrow the state power mechanism of the ruling classes by opposing feudalism in Line with the demands of the people. Creating a base area is a combination of making a revolution in land, defeating the enemy, and overthrowing old state power to build new state power. A revolution in land is a slogan to mobilise our masses. In the hill area, land is not concentrated, but we began by abolishing the illegitimate landholdings of gangster landlords, and destroying other forms of feudal exploitation. We took learnings from these two models. In the lowland or semi-lowland, changing the enemty's reactionary administrative area into a base area must begin by creating an extensive guerrilla zone. If there is only a small guerrilla zone, the enemy may be able to destroy the creation of a base area. Phuphan was surrounded by an extensive gue-rrilla zone in four directions. Over the past 13 years, our armed forces experienced combat on many thousand occasions, destroying a large number of soldiers. The more combat, the larger our numbers, and the more our expertise in tactics and technique. Our armed forces were widely supported by the people. The armed forces were united with the people. The people nurtured, loved, and helped the armed forces. The armed forces and the people were both steadfast in battle. In these thirteen years of armed struggle, it can be said that the worker-peasant alliance developed to the point it could serve as the foundation for a united front to unite


JCA 33:4

people widely in the future. After the event of 14 October, and especially after 6 0tonber, the people's democratic united front expanded greatly. On the basis of armed 'struggle, our armned forces became largerand stronger, and the united front expanded. Our party grew lar and stronger. Party :members were tested, trained, and consolidated. At present Thailand has two state powers, two iarmies. We believe strongly that we shall continue tO fightuntil the final victoy, butwe are prtpared for a tlog duration. At first our cbiatlforces were not large. After 13 years of fighting, they have increaedW but still cannot be consideredgreat. We must prepare tofigt fo miany more years. But we shall try to work Well and stnrve for a quick victory. We must take care not to mtakek mistakes, or as few and as litle mistaks as possible, otherwise we wvill suffer losses. The 13 years of struggle have not psed smoothly.

There were mistakes, especially earfy on When we did not have experience in leadership, mnilitary work, or mass; Work.

The enemy tied to sever the Mreations bween the army :and the people -- bailing the water to catch the fish, as it's called. We had: to engage the enemy. We had to go

a blddand steadfast hungry. Several deserted.In this sitiuation, it was important to he spirit to have political work in the armed fore and among the masses, to correct deviadons:and return to the correct path. In 1968 we announcdd a 10-point prormme, an ameended version of the old 12point propgramme to suit the situation of armed strutggle, Later in 1976, the 10-point : programme was ameEended again

In early 1969, we issued a manifesto and orders of the spee command of the armedfores, whiechannounced thte name of te Petople's LibrationA myof Thailand. trevolutionThis had theffetof rousing the fighters ain giving encouragemient to the

ary masses throughout the country. tend At the

of 1972, we issued tihe 30Anmversary Statement, summing up clearly

the lessons and exprience of thepr0ty over the past 30 years tmprntantily, it explained thie gertal line of the party an the diretion for future struggle. It stimulated study and d roused the party me ernrs, armed forced, revolutionary masses, and patrioic crats. Internally the party was even more cooprative and unified.


Under the leadership of our paty, arm6d sttuggle in the; countryside arose all over the country.It shook thedgovernment ofthe ruling class, and swelledthe peole's struggle

up to the inidentodlf 14 October, which wasf a broad 'and forceful peoples movement, a historcal momentt in ourtcountry. The 14 October incident was a mnajor struggle of the Thai people. Its main ftorces

were the patriotic-democratic schoo pupils, students, anid intellectuals of Thailand. Although this struggle did not bring about an elemental change ini the government, it created al broad and continuous patriotic-deocratic movenent over almost 3 years, educated the masses both broadly and deepty, opened eyes and ears, spreat progressive thinking especially Marxist thinking on a big scale - something our party could not number of patiotic democrats, ina the past - trained and moulded A lar fully aceve several of whomn becarne revolutionary cadres. After the 6 0Otober incident, thousands

ntnernta History


of them joined the armed struggle in the countryside, took up guns to fight the enemy, and became people's cadres under the leadership of our party. After 14 October, the vanguard of the people's movement in the enemy zone, and the people's armed struggle in the countryside, reinforced one another, rattling the enemy government ever more by the day. The American imperialists, big landlords, and big capitalists aspired to preserve their positions. Eventually, this resulted in the bloody incident of 6 October, masterminded by... family. But the effect was counter-productive. The enemy shot himself in the foot. The savage killing and torture, and the arrest of a large number of people on trumped-up charges, not only antagonised progressive people, but also unsettled the moderate population. Killings, mass arrests, and the open revival of fascism by the ruling class did not make the revolutionaries back down, but made them even bolder. A large number of the moderate population shed their illusions, and turned to support or join the armed struggle. The armed force in the countryside attacked the enemy more. People in the enemy-governed zone began new movements of struggle in various forms. The ruling classes themselves were fragmented into warring factions. The stable situation of the ruling classes in the time of Plaek and Sarit had gone for ever. Only one year after the 6 October incident, when savage suppression had failed to be effective, the enemy had to change horses. The army made a coup to overthrow Thanin Kraivixien, the king's prime minister. Thanin had tried to oppose conununism and oppose the people, but did not have the support of the gun. He had to step down from the stage. The army thought that by making a coup, changing names and horses, and changing the ways of fooling people, they could govern the country and oppress the people. But the people at the present time are not the people of the past. The enemy cannot escape defeat. The victory of the people is not something remote and out of reach. Before and after the Third Congress, a direction was proposed inside the party "to build a national party." If the objective had been to focus the party on adapting Marxism to suit the reality of our country, understanding the nature of society in our country, and building close relations with the people especially workers and peasants, there would have been no essential error, except using wrong words. But when it was broadened to organisational work by emphasising the issue of nationality in selecting party cadres, it amounted to unintentionally lowering the class character of the party, generally confusing the cadres, and giving opportunities for people with narrow nationalist thinking to take advantage. In 1968, the second meeting of the Third Central Committee took a resolution to solve this problem. In the thirteen years of armed struggle since the Third Congress, there were two major struggles inside the party, In the first, the party struggled against the treacherous revisionism of Phin Pua-on. Phin was a member of the Third Central Committee of the party. Later he was elected to the committee of the Political Department in place of comrade Ruam Wongphan who sacrificed his life when the enemy arrested and executed him. Phin was arrested by the enemy in 1967. In the face of the threats, deceptions, and blandishments of the enemy, he became a traitor. At first he spread his fantasies about the enemy among those in custody. When the enemy from time to time let him out of custody, the party several times ordered



him to flee to the zone of armted struggle= He refused, citing various reasons, and instead tried to gather those still in custody organsatioJn not lto enter the zone of

and those






the o(l

rmtied struggle, antd not to pay attention to the organisation's warnings. Later he, joined up with the seret agents, traitors,and hbaksliders wh6o used tobe in the party orgransation to establish a gtFroup to deceive the progressive masses and build a power base for himself Before andafter 14:0Octoberi Phi uised the pen-name Avnmnar Yuitrhawiwat"' Under the cloak of Marxismi, he openly publicised his theory and thinking whic1h' weir opposite to the correct line Of the party For example hetarued that as the government was ruling democratically, peaceful struggle should dotmiate: "let the 14 0ctober line flourishn1:" Struggle should work within 'the confines' of the law; attackornly impetialism, attack the blg guys; build progressive forces in the parliamient to16bargain with the progressive wing of the ruling etass These are examlEes. He created confusion amongr ghe mnasses He tTred to encourage; threrasses :to

sltruggle within thie limists imposed by thxe::enemTy, even lto thelpoin:t ofaclcusing studentstolf being far left, thirowing cold fwater onf th.e wo;rk ofschsool:pupils aSnd istudents, senin3g people to infiltrate tass orgamisatons, and setting up parallel organisations among the masses: to hitnder and fragmentthe :power of the students When people Wtumed against the studentsiand workers, he revealed his treacherous faet and&openly served the enemiy by

praising some big guys in Stpeial Branch, distorting the inrternal factsof tlhe paty and openly4attacking our conrades:. But after VOPT broadcast the article, 'The Path ofthe

Thai Revolution," his deceptve, theory was smashed. The fourth meettng of the Third

Central Comtmittee took a resolution to expe ihis traitor fron the parly. The other utime concerned the critiotie of the Party Central Cotmittee by the triprovince area (Pherchahuntsanul Lei). Thistcritique was targeted at the party qentre for takingcertain actiowsS without direction. ItHexpanded into cornflit between the tni-provineae:ta tand' most: of the working zones all fover the country at somelevel.I This criuique, whether right, or :wrong, was:sbect to detailed1 scrutiy at, the fouth meeting of the IThid CentralCommititeeiThis incident arose between nid- 19690 ad

fearly 1970,

but the problem lingered tuntil 1972, when it was resolved. This incident had a big impact inslid the party. It wasigood it did ttnot lead 'to:a party split We must learn a strong lesson firomthis inciden.L Above is the situation in the fourth period of o6r party:the line was correct; various activities


success-,thlie revolution progressed; the party became bigger and'stron-

ger in size and quality. The party gradually matured Summaty In summary, in over 30 years sinice te First Congress, however the situation of country changed, whethert ruling classes pursued fascist dictatorship or some degree

of "demnocracy," however hard it suppressed our party and whatever ricks itbused, oUr party ceontinuedi to) strugglte by combnlionug Marxismrl-L.eninismn anld Mkaoedn tho0ughat together with revolutionary practice in our country to lead the revolutiono aortnever m.ore fully correct path. Daily the party grows bigger atd stronger. The number of mem:bers and cadres increases in thde ourse of struggle. Our party is the leadership of


Hi stor


the Thai peoplc's revolution. In Thailand, no other party has such close relations with the people. Our party has pioneered new situations and is the hope of the Thai people. Our party has continually and resolutely opposed the modern revisionist theory led by the Soviet Union, side-by-side with fellow parties who are always Marxist. Our party is a truly Marxist party which conmnmands high respect Internationally. But the path which our party followed has twisted and turned. We made some mistakes and incorrect deviations. Before armed struggle, the question of what path to follow could not be solved. After the decision for armed struggle, we made errors on the question of specific method. We were effective in certain areas but were not victorious all over the country. We had experience but did not learn from it fully. There are still many problems ahead of us which we have to solve, such as how to build the existing base areas in the backward countryside to become stronger and more progressive; how to extend the guemlla zones; how to mobilise more peasants; and how to use the existing favourable situation to strengthen work in the urban areas, in big, medium, and small towns. We must still build larger and stronger armed forces to defeat the enemy, and must expand the united front to support and assist the armed struggle so that eventually the enemy is isolated. We must also make the party stronger so that it can be the core leadership in all types of work. In sum, to gain victory throughoout the country, we must work and struggle a great deal. Speaking generally, there are still obstacles in front of us. We still have considerable difficulty. But the revolution in our country has developed a great deal. Our party has definite strength. And the situation is favourable for revolution. The only thing is that all the party must strive steadfastly to hold to the correct policy line, and to unite the people of various classes and all patriotic democrats. Then we will certainly be victorious in the national democratic revolution which is the first stage of revolution in our country. In over 30 years past, our party has learned important lessons, as follows. One. Our party is the vanguard, the front line, and the command of the working class. To enable the party to lead the revolution with the working class as true leaders, we must "build a party in the style of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong thought, which extends throughout the country, and which is politically strong and secure in both thought and organisation" (30 91 Anniversary Statement). As we have learned, we must strive to study and uphold Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong thought, otherwise we will make mistakes. To combine theory with the revolutionary practice of our country, we must begin from reality, persist in gathering information, persist in learning from work, oppose revisionism, and at the same time oppose empiricism and dogmatism. We must relate closely with the masses, serve the people with body and soul, hold to the mass line, study with humility, listen to the opinions of the masses from the masses for the masses, oppose any deviation by the masses, whether that is getting ahead of the masses or falling behind them, haughtiness, or the arrogance of refusing to listen to the opinions of the masses. We must also dare to criticise and to criticise ourselves, stand by the truth, correct mistakes, be strict with ourselves, help others, not hide mistakes, and not be partisan.


CA 33:4

Democratic centraism is the organising principle of the party, that is democracy uinder cen:tralised leadership, and 'centralsm: :on democratic foundations. We must expand

democracy within fthe party to promote commitment to work andownoership othe rev:olution by every member Of the partySAt the saime timne, We must centralise tat the high level so ihat vanrous activities of the partycan proceed. But we must oppose ultrademcracy whichbecormes meaningless, and0opose suppression od6emocacy.t All ativities must be cariied out on the principles of cooperation and personal responsibili. For mtor problems, we must canvassthe opinions of the group and, after debatingand passing a resolution, allocate thefresponsibilities forimpleementation. The secretaries and committee members or comres in the same unitmust respect and supipor one another, and not allow any

single person toqresove a pr0bem0 alone (in emegency situations whent thee is,not the

tfie or conditions to consult within the group, comades involVedd y deal wth the matterjointly,ibut subsequently must quickly reot their vlew to their unit). When a problem has been decided, there must be someone responsible for iplementation. withinAthe party there is biouind tbe conflict and struggle. We oppose left and rit opporunsm. This00pont is not a problem. It ist wrong to avoid struggle against incorrect thinking or even against an incorrect line for the sae of friendly relations inside the t adet to preventithe conflict exparty. But in managig such struggle, efforts' must be panding into n incorrect left.diaion

ber of fte party muost stand by the tree do's and three dn'ts. Do tings Every memfi thiati areMarxist; don'ttdo those whichi are trevisionist. Do be iunited; dont inlite divisi. 'Do be open: nd straightforarwd;: don't be devious. Internal party struggle must be ciassifd into two6kinds of conflictrconflict iaimong the people, and conflict between us and thelenemy. When' cnflict hasi not deveoped into:thelatter type, it must be dealt be strict withd ourselves,andisiWemust with bythe fobrmua"uniitycrticWism-unity." to correct between right and wrong, but make It possible for pople tinguish lely their mlstakes, learn ftro the,O and so have unity among comrades. It itsa Marxist principle to dare to go agin:sthdth current, but the current in this the partyis corret or senemust be a current that is incorret. Wheln the policy lineif

iwhen 0aprobleist sti£ll subect to disagreemen amonog lthe 0people,::going tagainst th£e current means going against anything which deviates from thety lite or from the correc0 principe ofS4UMarxism. The rules And discipline of the party muiiist be upheld. Actingwithouttthe organisation is a mistake. In the situation that the paty is waging a violent revolutionary war, we must'stictly follow the discipline o f the party, and: not rea rles and discipline at all. We must increase the revolutionaries who corme fromn tihe working class, peasantry, as othert patriotic democrats Who pss scrutiny to enter the 5 aitalistst as well 6*petty party. Idnexpanding party membershl,] we shiuld not lower the standard for aecepting pary mhembers, buit should not close the door and refuse entry to outstanding pewple.

Thef tobjective in expandingpartymembershitpis "dare to expand, but don't allow bad people toinfiltrate."

Members of thte Commtunist Party of Thailand must: honour Its good name, hold the benefit of the people's party above all else, be letders in all work, dare to think and act"and

Internal History


take responsibility, dare to correct mistakes, work for the revolution all through life, study throughout life, adjust themselves continuously, and always stand by the revolution. Two. Adhere to the principle of seizing state power by armed force. Our country is on the path of countryside encircling town. We cannot dream of a peaceful path. For this purpose, we must understand correctly the role of the peasants who are the main armed force of the national democratic revolution. We must strive to mobilise the peasants, and build a worker-peasant alliance as the foundation of arned struggle and as the foundation for building a united front. If peasants do not join, there will be no path of countryside encircling town, and the united front will have no secure foundation for armed struggle. Without definite peasant mass power, nothing can be done. Our learning is that it is not necessary to organise peasants in great numbers before launching armed struggle. A small spark can start a forest fire. We expanded by this law. But we must pay close attention to the peasants and solve their problems to make the force of the revolution expand and strengthen quickly. Mobilising the peasants begins from understanding the social conditions and especially class in the locality, doing study and propaganda work until the peasants are organised, struggling against oppression, aligning with the movement to support armed struggle, and finally joining the anned struggle. TMis is one process of work (in which the sequence is not fixed). Those doing peasant mass work must be persistent, have the spirit to serve the masses, conduct themselves in the best way, stand close by the masses, hold to the class line in the countryside and various party policies, integrate the party line with the real situation in the locality, do propaganda and educational work among the masses, generate targets and build core organisation in the locality, and mobilise covertly in the villages. We must establish an appropriate relationship between secret work and open work. We must prepare both manpower and materials for armed struggle, expand the membership, and build the party in the locality. When the work has expanded to a certain extent, or when it becomes necessary to use armned struggle to answer the aggression and oppression of the enemy, we must begin by dealing with secret agents and local gangsters. We have learnt that, in combat against an enemy whose duty is to suppress the people, mobilising the masses and fighting the enemy must go together and reinforce one another. At present our mass work has expanded a great deal. The armned force has grown and strengthened. We can use armed force to do widespread propaganda and attack the enemy, which has an impact on the masses. But for mass work in depth, we must organise a steadfast force. This cannot be abandoned. In the organisation for armed struggle, the major force fighting with the enemy is the army. Our party holds to the principle of building a Marxist army and military strategy. We have created a new form of revolutionary army which is a people's army. Our armed forces are of three types - the main army, local army, and village army. The first two types together make up the People's Liberation Army of Thailand. The third type is an arme-d force which is not divorced from household production. It assists and supports the Liberation Army. Our army comes from the people, fights for the people, and wholeheartedly shoulders the duty of liberating the people. The party has led this army totally, that is, the army acts strictly according to the party line. The revolutionary


JCA 33:

army has

itree duties: to ftight with the enemy do mnass work; and do production to

share the burden of the people. W set u p a party oranisation in tile army. including establishing a system of political Work, and setting up an organisation which does political work in the army. Each uift of the arytt has a par of commtianders military andl poitical 0- who sShare work$and; responsibihl[ty underf the leaeship of teach level oSf party committee. They uphold trtee princtples ot political work: unity between comrnarders and troops insi&d

the armly; unity b0tween army and the people, work to divide and

destoy the qenemy. There are three democratic points, political decltracy; military democracy, and economric demoracy. Committees of revolutionry fighters are




iassstance to the executfive. In orde rto yve i as PLAT

work and provide

every military $unit must organise political study and ultutral study;, encourage godpeople6and good actionss; and pss on the fine traditions ofthe army. At present our6armfy is still underdevIeliopment. Our polifical Work must still imnprove. We mtrust learn lessons and strengthen political organisation in our army. The nmilitry strategy and tactics of our army are flexible. Sm1all army units-,with fewer menSand arms thin the denemy must depend oon revolutionary heroic sirt, fear neither hardship nor death, try to take the initiative andf hbld, to the 16 character formula ofguerrilla warfare*: "the enemy adanees, we retreat, the enetmy cmps, we hatass; the enemy tires, we attak; the enem mretreats, we pursue;9" and "figtwhteni you can win, move away when you cant whin." Thaey supOOp the guerrilla method of fightingk in rnany shas and forms; try to destroy the liflefore f the enem:y, and seize their company,

war material


wieapons for


use, gain victory by


suppression by "en-

irclement," and afttacking the enemy strongly and massively:amidst the people's war,

to change the mfilitar

power balance and finally daefat the enaemy. Our army must

expad fuirther onthe fondations of mobilisirg the petople, raisingbhigher the level of tactics and, tehnique. and6propeling the War to a new strategic level. war f ajlong-term nature, Whe6nconducting armed struggle, especially a pee's for war. We created an tbase mititar strategic a as areas it is necessary to6create bast a inumber of a created also and zonet, liberattd a as areas base and zone extensive guerrilla temporary base areas. These base $areas arose as a resuilt of battles with the enemy, destructioniif feudal oppression, ad overthrow of the old state power to build a people's state which is a new society in our country Thisaccods With the line of c:ountryside

encircling tor>wn, that is, seizing state powerbitbty bit until eventually the whole country is taken. These base areas are in the backwari zone of jungle and hill. We gained in pitially, economically and culturally, and trained various people about the strengthpol creationiandadmifnistration of a new society sohat, afte wvehave gainedvictory triugh-

out the country, they can atdinister and rebuild the ountry. At presenth . we must still extend& theguerrlla zone and base areas, and build new base areas according to the conditions of stggle in varilus localities. In followng$ fthe direction of countryside envcircling town, armed struggle is the primary form Thatdoes not mean neglectingwork in teurbtan areaand rJejecting struggles In otherfs


throuEghout. Aft'er


has conz;nBued urban activities ankdusedotherfornms ofmstuggie

Octoer, tw" directionas of struggile emrergedl- armned istruggle in the

Internal Histerov


countryside, and the movement for patriotic democracy and justice in the enemy-governed zone. The first battle front both propelled the expansion of the second battle front and gave it support at the same time. The situation after 6 October has proven this. The second front has supplenmented the first front by publicising the attacks on the enemy. mobilising the masses widely, and cooperating with the first front to shake the enemy's government. In future, we must maintain work in the urban area and in the enemygoverned countryside, hold onto the objective of "disguise the core, accumulate over the long term, conceal forces, await the opportunity;" integrate secret activity with open activity, legal activity with illegal; build activities within the mass base, as well as broadening the united front to upper class people in various forms, according to the situation and conditions in the urban area and the level of the masses and the united front; expand the forces of the mass base to drive the united front, at the same time, have the united front activity supplement the activity of the mass base; strive to develop the progressive forces, win over the middle forces, and isolate the die-hard forces; lead the struggle of the masses in different forms and levels according to the benefit, consciousness and readiness of the masses; attack the enemy, and train and consolidate the masses. Three. Build the people's democratic united front to be broad and strong. The problem of the united front is the problem of allies in revolution. The Marxist principle is to forge unity of classes and fractions as widely as possible, profit from conflict within the

ruling classes, and attack the worst immediate enemy. Because the status of classes and fractions in society is varied, the forces of the united front have two parts: the basic forces, and the non-basic forces. The revolutionary party must build the basic forces of the united front which are the basic forces of the revolution. At the same time, it must not neglect Lo unite and win over the non-basic forces. Not having a united front among non-basic forces is left deviation, door closing, and incorrect. But focusing on the non-basic forces in the united front to the point of neglecting basic forces is nrght deviation and also incorrect. In more than 30 years past, in line with the revolution's core of independence and democracy or national democracy, the party has promoted and built a united front in various forns according to the political situation of each period. We had the experience that building a united front with non-basic forces, at a time when the basic forces were not yet strong and secure enough, was shaky and ineffective. The shape of the united front vanes in different periods and situations. In any one period, the united front may have many forms and levels: at the high level, it may have an organised form with a clear composition and target of struggle; at lower levels and compositions, it may take other forms, some of which are organised and tangible, while others have no definite organised form at all. At present the people's democratic united front has broadened in the zone of armed struggle and the zone of enemy government, including among Thai overseas. In the base areas, the united front has an organised form with a clear composition and political objective. In the zone of enemy government and among Thai overseas, it still has many forms of various levels and compositions. We must drive the people's democratic united front to become larger and stronger. The united front in the zone of armed struggle must drive the united front in various forms in the zone of enemy government; expose, attack, and propagandise the masses to i-nobilise, rise up, fight against American imrperialism and the


JCA 33:4

reactionary government, unite and cooperate with the armed struggle, and eventuallytjoin the armed struggle. The various unite frnts in ft trear zone of the enemy mLust unite people of various classes who love the nation and democracy to fight the enemy according to Whtcoqnditlios allow7 and support anned struggle inNvarious ways ineluding urging international Isupport and assistance for our ptritic and democratic struggle At every level of the party organisation, every comrade with the duty to work with d tMaMo Zedon9g to ht about nfited theunitedfront must istudyMarxismL0eninismanl frot work; 4adhereto the paty lfine espially the part about united ftnt work; tr to expand thetunited front furter bothi; In the ruraliand urban areas; reviewliearimngs often be good at cooperating with peopletoutside the0prty; support demoratic ways; have a consultafive attitude; worktoether with various elements in the unite front:; expand the

commtZitmet of al forc000esn the tunited fron; anld, when 0disagrements: arise, adot an ;stance, seek the truth,iand use reasonhand persuasiveness to solve ethebproiem anayic

Four. Be free selreiant, and stand by the principles of internationalism of tihe out thet World. working class thro working class. COmmunism Is the ideology of t The worild revolution is the common duty"of the working qclasss of every counytry But

in this revolution, th working class of each country must pursue the revolution first in its own country. The working classS parties of: various countries are all equal, but differ

in their freedom to0pursuerevolution intheir own counies. Marxism is universal truth The working class revolution of each country cannot 0deviate from' Marxism;, but to ;this;universaltrtih effetive; i;n their 0cuntry, it must heintegratedwith the rFeal make isiitui;on, in' theirfcountry. Marxist paries muststdythe diec and indirect lessons Of andcondditions of timie the situatio fellow prtits in other countres but must considet

and place Which vary. Th use Marxtist as a religion, or follow the lessons of other countriestotall,

is incortect In the past,: whilelinitegrating the uni-versal truth of Marx-

iland, and learning lessonsfrom fellow partes, our party ism withthe revolutiondi in b lthngs i made dewlations, which in the end we correctd. In future we mulst stand which are correct. Espciay i ntthe:current comlex situation inside the country and internationly, we must eve mnore stand by thlfigs which are cct:e:t. The revolution in our country is one par oftthe world tevolution of the working class. In this Nworld trvolution, the working classes must support one another. But rtvo-

or lution cannot he expored:



through the powerkof our on

it must

anrse from conditions inside tie county

people The pepie are the sorcde of both man-

dff t people power and material force. These are enormrous. We miust rely on this powero

Othis0 foundation, We: can to mke6our;evolutiont, depending on our own resorces.Oti seek intferationhal .suppot anti assistance according to what conditiontsllow. We have stood by this principle inlthe past and will stand by it:in the future. T:his applies also to the various zonesiof actvityin the country, each must help the therSt bteachacti'nty and then go atdn take assistance zone shoul&drey mainly on; the miassf forces in thatzo from tthert acfivity zones accordingto what the situation adi conditionas allow

W strive fr suort

aour own sat the same time we cary out from other douhntries,0

international duty to assist thefrevoluti onay struggles of other coutriess. We hae acted will continue tjoin with felltw this Way, and will ctointine to act this w4ay Our pt Marxist parties and people's revolutions of Various courities, to oppose impralism,

Internal History


revisionism, and various reactionaries until the end. However, in carrying out one's international duty, the most important thing of all is to make a successful revolution in one's own country, liberating both the country and people, and dedicating the result to the international revolution. We must fulfil that without fail. In summary. build our party to be strong; continue armed struggle; expand the united front; be free and self-reliant; rely on one's own strengths; and uphold the principles of internationalism of the working class. These are the important lessons of over 30 years of our party, and the important points with which we will carry the revolution in our country to a successful conclusion. Over 30 years past, our party's activities have increased continuously because our party has a policy line which continually becomes more perfect, and which has come from the bloodshed and sacrifice of the heroes, and the efforts of party members, cadres, fighters, revolutionary masses, and many patriotic democrats. We must pass on the spirit of the heroes, maintain the momentum and our fine practices, in order to seize an even greater victory under the leadership of the party. Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Thanks to Somsak Jeamteerasakul and Fa dieo kan for publishing the original; to Pasuk Phongpaichit for help with the translation; and to Thongchai Winichakul and Kasian Tejapira for responses to queries. According to Sorasak (2003b, p. 169), twelve Indonesians visited the Nan base in 1974 to tearm from the experience of the CPT, Wirat spoke to them over three days, and the edited tanscript became the first version of this History. 1 have added the word "remaining" in this sentence. According to Somsak, this formula was an instruction to CCP cadres in the Guonmindang areas during the anti-Japanese war "have well-selected cadres working underground for a long period, to accumulate strength and bide our time" (Mao, 1956:435). The Comnmunist Suppression Opeations Command was established in December 1965, shortiy after the "first shot." In 1974, it was renamed as the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC). A series of 'anti-revisionist" articles published by the Communist Party of China's theoretical jourrnal, Red Flag (Hongqi), to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Lerin's birth. The first article, titled "Long Live Leninism," appeared on 16 April 1960. On 22 April 1960, the Foreign Languages Press in Beijing published Lenin on the National Liberaxion Movement, and Long Live Leninismn. According to "ABrief Introduction" (CI'T, 1978:164), the Thailand representative at this meeting declared: "For Thailand there can never be any peaceful path, but only the way of armed struggle." On 7 August 1965, the CPT clashed with police at Ban Na Bua in That Phanom district.

References CPlT (1978) "A Brief Introduction to the History of the Communist ParTy of Thailand (1942-1977)," in A.Turton, J. Fast &M. Cazdwell (eds.), Thailand: Roots of Con/hct, (Nottingham. Spokesman), pp. 158-68 (An earlier version of this book appeared in the Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol 8. No. 1(1978). Flood, Thadeus (1975) "The Thai Left Wing in Historical Context," Bulletin of ConcernedAsian Scholars, 7 (2), April-June Mao Tse-Tung (1956) "Freely expand the anti-Japanese forces and resist the onslaught of the die-hards," 4 May 1940, in Selected Works ofMao Tse-Tutg, Vol 11,(Beijing: Foreign Languages Press). Soinsak Jeamteerasakul (2003a) "Prawat pho kho tho chabap pho kho tho (I) (CPT History of the CPT, part 1)," Fadieo kan, I (I), Jan-Apr, pp. 154-200. Somsak Jeamteerasakul (2003b) "Prawat pho kho tho chabap pho kho tho (2) (CPT History of the CPT, part 2)," Fa deo kan, 1 (2), May-June, pp. 164-200.


TITLE: An Internal History of the Communist Party of Thailand SOURCE: J Contemp Asia 33 no4 2003 WN: 0300402471005 The magazine publisher is the copyright holder of this article and it is reproduced with permission. Further reproduction of this article in violation of the copyright is prohibited.

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