Sunday, December 23, 2012
Militant dreams of restoring lost glory
In Prachinburi, Pitsanulok, Ayudtaya, Petchabun, Muang Nong Bua Lam Phu and MaeSuay, ChiangRai (surely among other places too), are “San” shrines (spirit residences) for King Naresuan the Great (Somdet Pra Naresuan Maharat; สมเด็จพระนเรศวรมหาราช or Somdet Phra Sanphet II, สมเด็จพระสรรเพชญ์ที่ 2). From the age of 20, Naresuan (then Pra Naret) participated in 29 military campaigns with major battles between large armies. Altogether, as King he spent only 2 years in his capital. A map at the MaeSuay shrine shows Naresuan to have controlled all of Cambodia and Laos, parts of Western Vietnam, southern Burma to the Irrawaddi and most of the Shan States, west past the Salween and north to Hsenwi, where the Shawbwa was a friend from childhood. This is fabrication.