Direk Jayanama (, ; January 18, 1905 – May 1, 1967)
was a Thai diplomat and politician.
He was one of the civilian Promoters
of the Siamese Revolution of 1932
that changed the country's form of government from absolute to constitutional monarchy
. He was closely associated with Pridi Banomyong
. In the government of Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram
he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, but resigned when Phibunsongkhram led Thailand into World War II
alongside Japan. Direk became a member of the Free Thai Movement
''(Seri Thai)'' alongside Pridi, who fought for the full sovereignty of Thailand and against collaboration with Japan. After the end of war, he served as Minister of Justice, Finance, Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister in several short-lived cabinets. From 1949 to 1952 he was the first dean of the Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University
From 1938 to 1947, Direk served in many important posts in the Thai government during the early years of constitutional rule. During World War II, he held the post of Foreign Minister to become the Ambassador to Japan. He also held the posts of Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister (multiple times), Justice Minister, and Finance Minister. He also served as the Thai Ambassador
to the Court of St. James's
In 1947, he was appointed ambassadorin London, but resigned a few months later as a result of the Phibunite coup.
[ Chris Baker. Journal of the Siam Society 2009. Vol 97.](_blank)
The Negotiator with Allies Power
Direk’s account is especially good on the Franco-Thai conflict of 1940; The invasion by Japan in 1941; The delicate relationship with Japan over 1942–1943; Financial affairs in the immediate postwar period; and the negotiations to rehabilitate Thailand with the Allied Powers, including becoming a member of the United Nations.Chris Baker. Journal of the Siam Society 2009. Vol 97.
The Thammasat University
In 1949, Direk also founded the Thammasat University Faculty of Political Science.
It offers undergraduate and graduate studies in three majors, politics and government, public administration, and international affairs. Most of Thai Governors, Mayors, Leaders, or Activists are graduated from this faculty. He then taught law at Thammasat University, and wrote texts on diplo-macy and foreign affairs.
Direk's younger brother was Pairote Jayanama, former Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs (who had 4 sons who eventually became ambassadors include Asda Jayanama, Surapong Jayanama), and Am Jayanama, an Air Force General at the time.
He was married to Khunying ML Pui, member of the aristocratic Nopawongse royal bloodline, and had 4 sons with her. One son, Wattana Jayanama, became an important figure during the establishment phase of the Bank of Thailand.
*Direk Jayanama. ''Thailand and World War II'' (2008) 575pp;