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Posts Tagged ‘The Treacherous Ahaiwongse family

A Khmer Was Once the Premier of Thailand: The Traitorous Ahaiwongse family

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Khmerization digged up an interesting historical piece on Khuang Aphaiwong (ควง อภัยวงศ์), the former three-time Khmer premier of Thailand. Though he wasn’t really someone we should be proud of, this article is still worth reading. Enjoy!

The Aphaiwong family has ruled Battambang province for over one hundred years from 1795-1907. The first member of the Aphaiwongs to rule Battambang was Chaufa Ben, a native of Takeo province, who was a powerful military commander under the reign of King Ang Eng. In 1795, with the aid of the Thai army with Chau Ponhea Bodin as a commander, Chaufa Ben declared himself the Lord Governor of Battambang and swore allegiance to the Thai kings. He pays homage to the Thai kings and since then Battambang was put under the suzerainty of Siam. As a reward, he was accorded the title of “Chau Ponhea Apheithipess” which in Thai it is called “Chao Phraya Aphaithebet” or “Aphai”. This title was later adopted as a family name of Ben’s descendants of Aphaiwong, when his descendants moved to live in Thailand, after Battambang was returned to Cambodia in 1907.

When Chau Ponhea Apheitipess Ben died in 1809, his son, Pen, ascended the Lordship of Battambang with the same title of Chau Ponhea Apheitipess. Chau Ponhea Pen ruled Battambang for only seven years and died at a young age and was then succeeded in 1816 by his son, Ros, who ruled Battambang for twenty years. When he died in 1835, Chau Ponhea Ros was succeeded by his son, Nong. There was no record of how long Chau Ponhea Nong ruled Battambang, but there was a record which shows that in 1856 he had ordered his official to buy a Tripitaka scripture from Siam to give to Wat Po Veal temple. When Apheitipess Nong died he was succeeded by his son, Year called Nhonh.

Lord Chhum, The Last Lord Governor of Battambang

Chau Ponhea Nhonh was very close with Chau Ponhea Bodin, the Thai military commander for Battambang. As such, he married his eldest daughter, Neak Mchas Klip, to Bodin’s son named Em Singhaseni. When Ponhea Nhon became old, Mrs. Klip took charge of the provincial affairs. The Thai king was so impressed of her managerial skills and so was preparing to appoint her husband, Em Singhaseni, to succeed Ponhea Nhonh. Chhum, the only son of Ponhea Nhonh, knew of the plan and became jealous and had Em Singhaseni assassinated. And when Ponhea Nhonh died in 1895, Chhum succeeded Ponhea Nhonh as the Lord Governor of Battambang. Chhum ruled Battambang for only 12 years when it was returned back to the control of Cambodia. He and most of his relatives, numbers in the thousands, moved to live in Prachinburi province in Thailand. He was, effectively, the last governor of Battambang. Read the rest of this entry »


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