Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909

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The Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 or Bangkok Treaty of 1909 was a treaty between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Siam signed on March 10, 1909, in Bangkok.[1] Ratifications were exchanged in London on July 9, 1909.[2]

The agreement effectively divided the northern Malay states into two parts. The area around modern Pattani (Malay: ڤتنا (Patani)), Narathiwat (Malay: منارة (Menara)), southernmost Songkhla (Malay: سيڠڬورا (Singgora)), Satun (Malay: مقيم ستل (Mukim Setul)) and Yala (Malay: جال (Jala)) remained under Thai control, while Thailand relinquished its claims to sovereignty over Kedah (Thai: ไทรบุรี (Saiburi)), Kelantan (Thai: กลันตัน (Kalantan)), Perlis (Thai: ปะลิส (Palit)) and Terengganu (Thai: ตรังกานู (Trangkanu)) which integrated the British sphere of influence as protectorates. These four states, along with Johor, later became known as the Unfederated Malay States.

Satun and Perlis had been part of the Malay Sultanate of Kedah, but only Satun (with a mixed Thai and Malay population) remained with Thailand.[citation needed] Patani, Narathiwat, southernmost Songkhla and Yala were historically parts of the Malay Sultanate of Patani, which had long been tributary to the Thais and finally was conquered by them in the 1790s and thereafter ruled directly.

The British reason for sanctioning the continued Thai rule of the remaining northern half of the Malay provinces was the perceived value of Thailand as a friendly buffer against the French in Indochina.[citation needed]

Both signatories of the 1909 treaty had previously agreed to the Burney Treaty in 1826. The Burney Treaty stated that Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu were Thai provinces while Penang and Province Wellesley belonged to the British while Thailand would not interfere with British trade in Kelantan and Terengganu.[citation needed]

This agreement has had a long-lasting effect on both Thailand and the Federation of Malaysia. The border between them was mainly drawn by this treaty.

The incremental tide of discontent generated by the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 may have, in part laid the foundations for the South Thailand insurgency in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat from the 1960s to the present.


  1. ^ U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Office of the Geographer, "International Boundary Study: Malaysia - Thailand Boundary," No. 57, 15 November 1965.
  2. ^ Great Britain, Treaty Series, No. 19 (1909)

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