KI-Media Note: The following is a rough translation from the text in French into English by Google
The Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1904 and 1907
On October 30, 2008, after the parliamentary vote authorizing the Thai Government to negotiate with Cambodia on border issues, in Preah Vihear and elsewhere, the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that "Thailand will reject any move by Cambodia of use maps drawn by France in 1904 as the basis for the demarcation (the borders between the two countries). The rejection of Thai Franco-Siamese treaties of 1904 and 1907 is not new, and the excuse is always the same: they are treated as 'patchy', imposed by France in Siam at the time (1). The recall some historical facts to understanding why and how these treaties have been concluded.
In 1791, a major dignitary Khmer, Chauvea Ben, fled to Siam with the young King Ang Eng. In 1794, the King of Siam, Chakri Rama-1, was crowned the new King Ang Eng of Cambodia, Bangkok, to mark the suzerainty of Siam in this country. After returning to Ang Eng Oudong with a Siamese army, Ben, to escape his enemies Khmer folds in the north-west, where it grants itself a large area comprising the provinces of Battambang and Angkor Sisophon ( Siem Reap), with, it seems, the consent of King Ang Eng (2). Obviously, Ben is put under the protection of the King of Siam also, to whom he sends tributes of vassalage, as the king of his Oudong. Since it is not a secession of Ben - maybe it dare not do so or refuses to do as well - the King of Siam Khmer accentuates the division by decreeing that abused the office of Governor of the territory be inherited by the family of Ben. The administration of this territory remains fully Khmer until 1867. Despite this internal division, Cambodia is still a united state until the arrival of the French in Indochina. However, in 1851, Bangkok introduces Westerners maps showing that the Khmer provinces of Koh Kong, Kratie, Chantabor, Battambang, Siem Reap, Mlou-Prey Tonle Repou and Stung Treng are already part of Siam and the rest of Cambodia is under the joint suzerainty siamo-Annamite.
Siam between Great Britain and France
This situation continued until 1863, when France, after colonizing Saigon in 1859 and Lower Cambodia (later called Cochin China) in 1861 concluded with King Norodom directly to the Treaty of the Protectorate of Cambodia. This treaty deeply dissatisfied Siam who always says lord of this country and that increases pressure on King Norodom that it revokes. At that time, Bangkok, which has also just get that France comes to his aid and expand trade with Siam, dare not openly denounce the act French in Cambodia. Indeed, the greatest threat to Siam is Great Britain, ball rod to attach from Burma on its Indian Empire (1852), to link India itself to the British Crown (1858), and control firmly several states of Malaysia - State theoretically vassals of Siam. The general context is that the whole region should be shared between these two great European powers. The concern of Siam is then to preserve the political independence of Bangkok, by playing the rivalry between Great Britain and France, while trying to keep up its "acquired" earlier in the region.
In reality, aware of the technical inferiority of Siam, King Mongkut, Rama IV, from its inception in 1851, opens wide his country to trade and methods of government of the West. British and other Europeans and Americans are expected to lead directly to civil and military authorities of the kingdom. On the other hand, the king's dispatch ambassadors to negotiate "treaties of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation with Great Britain, the United States, France, Denmark, Holland, Prussia ... A Franco-Siamese treaty is concluded August 15, 1856, giving France the commercial advantages, ensuring religious freedom and allowing French warships, under certain conditions, access Menam River to Bangkok. On 27 June 1861, the French emperor Napoleon III, as a sign of special consideration for Siam, receives ambassadors with great fanfare at the Chateau de Fontainebleau. These fruits of modernization and the diplomatic recognitions have obviously raised the prestige of Siam in the eyes of the West - that is "viable". Britain and France will eventually grant him the status of a "buffer state". In Cambodia, the successor to Ben, who then governs the territory of Siem Reap-Battambang-Sisophon, is totally committed to the Court in Bangkok.
A diplomatic victory of Siam (1867)
At the signing of the French protectorate, 11 August 1863, Cambodia, which always includes the three provinces of north-west, got rid of de facto Siamese suzerainty. But, July 15, 1867, the Paris government suddenly decides, by a treaty to engage in Siam and the coastal provinces of Chanthaburi (Chantabor) and Kratie (Trat) and the surrounding islands, supposedly in exchange for Siamese formal recognition of the French protectorate in Cambodia, so the renunciation of Siam to his alleged suzerainty over that country. Paris concluded the treaty simply on reports of its consul in Bangkok - so the indications Siamese - without the Khmer king, the French resident of Cambodia and the governor of Cochinchina are consulted, and without the demographic and political field is changed. This is a great diplomatic victory in Bangkok. Only after that date that begins siamisation "soft landing" of the Khmer provinces in the face, in fact, strong resistance from indigenous people - who refuse to begin to learn and speak Siamese (3).
France is quickly realizes his mistake, particularly because of its shortfall on agricultural wealth of these provinces amputees in Cambodia, while economic activity in the region are facing Cambodia as to Siam and Great Britain. So the French are trying to establish itself more firmly in Battambang and Siem Reap, just trying to do business in order to bring these provinces in their economic sphere. The Khmer, they continue to claim to French residents return of these provinces in Cambodia, but nothing concrete is done. For Laos, to the detriment of Cambodia (1893)
France is concerned, so she would settle in Laos and expand. In 1886, Auguste Pavie (then French consul in Luang Prabang) raises the question of border between Thailand and Laos, and a global confrontation is underway to determine the respective powers of France and Siam in the region. The discussions lasted three years without any positive result. To give weight to his claims, Bangkok decided to send its troops along the left bank of the Mekong River and Laos in the southern provinces of Champasak blank until the Annamite chain, in spite of repeated warnings French. In 1893, the French go to the cons-attack with his troops from Annam, rapidly replacing all posts Siamese created along the left bank of the Mekong and begin to occupy the entire southern part of Laos. On the other hand, many incidents are also among the French ships and coastguard Siamese in the Gulf of Siam. In July 1893, two French gunboats forced the mouth of the Menam river and are caught in the glare of strong Siamese, causing injuries and deaths. The gunboats retaliate violently and head to Bangkok where they directly threaten, July 14, the palace of King Rama V-Chulalongkon and impose a blockade of the Menam. On the 20th, Auguste Pavie (now Minister of France in Bangkok since February 1892) presents an ultimatum to the king in which he claims the transfer by Siam to France the Lao town of Luang Prabang and the whole left bank of the Mekong, including the islands of the river, and the province of Stung Treng Khmer - which will be integrated into ... Laos. This is Britain, which then presses the king Chulalongkon accept the terms of the French ultimatum, ultimatum with safeguards such as the demilitarization of a strip 25 km wide on the right bank of the Mekong - which does is an old tape of Lao and Khmer territories - also the demilitarization of the territory of Battambang and Siem Reap-Sisophon-French occupation of the coastal province of Chanthaburi (Chantabor), populated by Khmers. But Siam still retains Kratie province (Trat) Koh Kong and the island. The Franco-Siamese treaty was signed October 3, 1893, for a new life in Laos, even at the expense of the rights of Cambodia. From 1901, with the Bangkok Agreement, the former Khmer province of Kratie (Trat), will also be occupied by a resident and a French garrison, presumably to better control of the French shipping along the coast of Cambodia Gulf of Siam.
For the borders of French Indochina (1904)
But elsewhere, the Franco-Siamese remain difficult, as Bangkok does not respect the political terms of the Treaty of 1893. By violating the demilitarized zones, the incursions of the Siamese forces continued in Laos and the northeastern provinces of Cambodia, and constantly, according to French reports, acts of piracy and sabotage in Battambang (Aranha, Poipet, Sisophon) and in the coastal provinces Khmer. On the other hand, Malaysia, the English decided to appoint commissioners in two states, Kelantan and Trengganu on, and have to deal directly with them, in violation of the Anglo-French Declaration of 1896 on the region without the Siam has responded. Paul Doumer, Governor General of Indochina, revives and conversations with Siam in 1899, the two parties resume real negotiations on outstanding issues of Laos in particular. This time, negotiations had not a few months as in 1893, but five years, culminating in the agreement signed February 13, 1904. If the idea of surrender in Cambodia Battambang and Siem Reap provinces back then confused in their minds, it is not in the French claims.
France is the first setting of the north and south of the border with French Indochina and Siam. It should be noted that the Franco-Siamese discussions take place on the basis of treaties and agreements between the two parties over the past half century and on principles of law governing international relations and people of the time. Undoubtedly, they are also interested in monitoring other Western powers when present in Siam and the region, particularly from Great Britain. Thus, despite its obvious advantage in the balance of power, France shows moderate in its demands vis-à-vis the Siam, compared to those of Great Britain and especially in relation to the legitimate claims of Laos and Cambodia.
By the treaty of 1904, France kept on Laos Lao throughout the left bank of the Mekong, but leaves that of the right bank in Siam, except the territory of Luang Prabang. The Kingdom of Champasak (Pasak), which must be Khmer, belongs to Laos. For Cambodia, she brings back the small-prey Melou provinces and Tonle Repou, and agrees that the ridgeline of the Dang-rek chain forms the border with Siam. To the south, the French took over the island (Koh) and Kong Kratie province (Trat) and leave for the Khmer Chantaboun (Chantabor) to the Siamese, that in setting their respective powers in the Gulf of Siam, after impact of 1893. The 1904 Convention provides topographic details of borders and boundaries for their Joint Commission is appointed. But the "gains" French is not up to the expectations of Cambodia. Far from it.
The claims of the Khmer King Sisowath (1906)
The 1904 Convention does not in Cambodia Battambang and Siem Reap. The protests of the Khmer, France prefers to return Stung Treng, which was recovered and given unfairly in Laos in 1893. King Sisowath, who has just been crowned, reacted vigorously. In a letter dated November 5, 1906 in French Resident Superior in Cambodia, that are started before the work of the Commission on delimitation of the border, King lists "(her) comments and (its) reserves." He believes that if the Siamese agree to make the Khmer provinces because they "have wanted to keep it longer because of the lack of importance of these districts did point offset their operating costs, administration and maintenance, "but they keep" the richest provinces of Battambang and Siem Reap, "while" these two provinces, not more than others, have never been given to Siam by any of my predecessors " . King claims therefore return to Cambodia in Battambang and Siem Reap - stating that "in this last remaining ruins of the ancient capital of our mighty kingdom, striking proof of the greatness of our ancestors." It also calls for the surrender of other northern provinces like Kuckhân, Prey Sar-, Stung Por, Soren (Surin), Sangkéac, Neang-Rong Nocoréach-SEMA (Corat) by refusing to consider the chain as Dang-Rek border between Cambodia and Siam. To the west, in addition to Koh Kong and Kratie Chantabor (Chanthaburi) will also return to his kingdom, as "all those provinces (that) are still populated by Cambodians and preserve their Khmer absolute patriotism." Finally, the king concluded, if the provinces of Battambang and Siem Reap with all their dependencies are not handed back to Cambodia, "we always ask us to book for us and our successors, the right to assert our claims until entire satisfaction that justice and we are made. "
Exchanges and forgetful of the Treaty of 1907
King Sisowath's claims appear to be heard, Battambang and Siem Reap for just, given the demographic and geographic terrain and the more that these rich and populous provinces are promising significant financial contributions to the budget of the Protectorate. Moreover, the return of these provinces in Cambodia is that the repair of the error committed by France in 1867. The Commission on border demarcation decides to integrate Battambang, Siem Reap and Sisophon in Cambodia, but ceded to the town of Siam Aranha and about 60 km ², and the strategic territory Krat dance, and some districts of Laos . At the same time, the Commission decided to settle permanently in the Gulf of Siam the maritime boundary between India and French Indochina (Cambodia) by a line connecting the highest peak of the island Koh Kut at a point located in the coastal Opposite this island (4). These boundaries are confirmed by a new treaty of March 23, 1907, unless the statutes of other provinces and their populations in northern Khmer Dang-rek and west of Battambang, legitimately claimed by King Sisowath, are mentioned somewhere .
In short, Cambodia has not recovered much of what has been taken by Siam, as the King Sisowath, "by force and hypocrisy" in the 19th century, shortly before the French arrived. France, in its successive negotiations with Siam, is far from imposing his strength and his will, but has always operated trade "fair" with it, either locally (Cambodia and Laos), either at French Indochina. The work of the Franco-Siamese Commission for the delimitation of the border take place until 1908, "in a spirit of complete trust," according to a letter of thanks from the June 9, 1908 the Siamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister French Colonies, stating that "the attitude (of the French members of the Commission) has been highly appreciated in the circles Siamese. Sarin Chhak noted elsewhere that "the political goal pursued by France occupied a prominent place in the delimitation and territorial cessions would cost (Siam) at the expense of Cambodia" (5). The treaties of 1904 and 1907 are another diplomatic victory for Bangkok, so that France wants to spare for other joint projects in future, given the eagerness of the imperialist Great Britain (6). After signing, visibly improving relations francosiamoises: 1908, French lawyers are responsible for the redesign of Siamese law - actually a load of confidence (7).
But the expansionist appetites of Siam (Thailand), like those of Annam (Vietnam) at the expense Cambodia, are insatiable. These borders of 1907 are challenged by Siam for all occasions in the years 1920 and 1930, but are confirmed again in 1925 and 1937. In 1940, however, after the collapse of France before Hitler's troops, the Songkhram Thailand Phibul denounces them again and demanded the return of Cambodian provinces of Battambang, Siem Reap and Sisophon, it occupies from 1941, with assistance from Japan. Only November 17, 1946, after the defeat of Japan and its ally Thai, as previously annexed territories back, not without difficulty, in French Indochina, by decision of a Conciliation Commission in Washington ( USA). Thailand said while the settlement of land claims on Laos and Cambodia is "definitive." Temporarily "final", since 1958 Bangkok, under Sarit Thanarat, disputes the ownership of the Preah Vihear temple in Cambodia ...
(1) - A comparison with the case of Vietnam, during its occupation of Cambodia from January 7, 1979, argued that the maps of boundaries left by the French are "fuzzy", hence the invention of self- called "dead zones" along the Cambodian-Vietnamese border.
(2) - Adhémard Leclere, History of Cambodia since the 1st century AD, Paul Geuthner, Paris, 1914, p 401.
(3) - Alain Forest, Cambodia and the French colonization, L'Harmattan, Paris, 1980, p 175.
(4) - See especially the Minutes of the Franco-Siamese Mixed Commission of 08/02/1908 to Pailin.
(5) - Sarin Chhak, Frontier Cambodian-Thai Public Law thesis, typewritten, Paris, 1966.
(6) - In 1909, Bangkok will leave the British protectorate four states still Malay.
(7) - Stone Fist, Thailand, Press Universitaire de France, Paris, 1971, p. 58.
Paris, December 10, 2008
of Cambodia's Border Committee
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