The BurmaNet News: Monday, January 23, 1995
In their naming of the Naresuan force [. . .], Thai officials seem to be engaging in a less than good-natured sport with the Burmese. The purpose of Naresuan is surely welcome to the SLORC: blockading Khun Sa's Mong Tai Army. But it is the name of the force that carries an unpleasant reminder for the Burmese. The force is named for King Naresuan of the early Thai kingdom of Ayuthaya, (b1555-d1605), who participated in an expedition against the Shan States in 1581. Naresuan is most remembered however, not for his battles against the Shan, but for killing the Burmese crown prince Minkyi-Zwa in the battle of Nong Sarai (1592), and for attacking the Burmese cities of Pegu and Toungoo.
The SLORC has shown itself to be adept at the same sort of gamesmanship. In Tachilek, Shan State, the Burmese are putting up a statue of their King Bayinnaung. Bayinnaung first conquered the Shan States in 1556 and the gesture is, in part, an ungenerous reminder of that to Shans by SLORC. However, putting the statue in a border region facing towards Thailand is a gesture with a meaning that is probably not lost on the Thais-- Bayinnaung twice sacked the Thai kingdom of Ayuthaya. The first time (1564), Bayinnaung carried off the king as a hostage and after the Thais later rebelled, he sacked the city again (1569), taking very nearly everybody else back to Burma as slaves.
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