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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Historical Siege Cannon From Pattani

Phraya Tani or Seri Patani (Malay) is a historical siege cannon from Pattani in southern Thailand. It is the largest cannon ever cast in Thailand (Nusantara actually), measuring 9 feet and made of brass. It is now on display in front of the Ministry of Defence, opposite the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The cannon is still the symbol of the Pattani Province.

The cannon was cast in the early 17th century by a craftsman of Chinese descent named Tok Kayan (To’ Kian). The ruler of Pattani at that time, Raja Biru, ordered the construction of firearms in response to rumors of a forthcoming attack from Siam. Three cannons were cast, two large ones named Sri Patani and Sri Negara, and a smaller named Mahalela.
After the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, Pattani tried to liberate itself from the tributary status to Siam. However in 1785 the army of Siam under leadership of the vice-king Boworn Maha Surasinghanat defeated Pattani. The two large cannons were taken as booty, however Sri Negara fell into the sea while being loaded to the ship.

Territory of the Patani
Territory of the Patani nation as envisioned by most of the Patani liberation groups. With a population of almost three million, of which 80% are Malay Muslims, Patani Darussalam encompasses the Malay provinces of Patani, Jala, Menara, Setul and the Malay districts of Tiba, Chenak, Sebayu and Nawi in Singgora province. Singgora (or Songkhla) city itself, where Malay Muslims form a third of the population, is often left out. Hat Yai, the Thai South’s biggest city, entertainment centre and relatively recent Thai-centric phenomenon, would remain in Thailand as well and would plausibly become that country’s new southern gateway.

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