Should Thailand go back to the name ‘Siam’?

Should Thailand go back to the name 'Siam'? - June 26, 2004
Revival of `Siam' proposed - Name change urged to promote peace - Bangkok Post, June 26, 2004
A former political activist called on the government to accept the existence of ethnic Malays by changing the country's name back to Siam.
Supoj Dantrakul said accepting ethnic Malays and other ethnic groups was key to ending unrest in the troubled South. The 81-year-old recipient of the Apiwat award was speaking at a forum on sustainable peace in the deep South to mark the 72nd anniversary of the June 24, 1932 revolution.
He said love of one's ethnic origins and motherland was a key factor contributing to southern unrest.
Mr Supoj said the current name symbolised dictatorship and was based on an "outdated" concept.
"The name 'Thailand' is based on an obsolete concept of ethnicity.
"The name 'Siam' on the other hand is up to date, and reflects reality because it is the land on which people of various ethnic origins live," he said.
Mr Supoj said that statesman Pridi Bhanomyong was also opposed to the new name which was adopted by nationalist leader Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkhram.
He said violence in the deep South was provoked by people whose vested interests were affected. By this, he meant operators of underground businesses and some government agencies facing budget cuts who would benefit from the fighting.
"I also mean the 'invisible government' commonly known as the CIA who makes the Muslim community look as if they are violence- and terrorism-prone in order to justify its war," he said.
Anusorn Thamjai, a former student activist, meanwhile, called for a second round of political reforms to promote wider public participation.
Mr Anusorn also urged the government to recognise the importance of June 24 and declare it a public holiday.
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