Author: Lem Chuck Moth
Started date: June/01/2003
Last updated: December/30/2017
All right reserved.
Since this paper is still drafted, the readers would be wise to ignore any context errors. The content is not final and subjected to be reviewed.
On the location of Champa and its past history, the Ming Shi account confirms our argument that prior to the Tang Dynasty, Champa did not exist as a state.
Champa is situated in the Southern Sea. From Quang-Tchou, one can reach there in one day and night by sailing with the wind. From Fu-Tchou, one needs to travel ten days and nights in a southwesterly direction to reach there. It was the Yueh-Xiang of the Tchou era. During the Qin Dynasty, it was known as Lin-Yi, while during the Han Dynasty it was Xian-Lin District. At he end of latter Han, Ou Lian occupied this place, where he became known as the King of Lin-Yi. (MSAC: Translation, p. 2)
Since the Tchou era, it was the Yueh-Xiang of the Hiong-wang kingdom as mentioned in Chinese text. Scholars later identified Yueh-Xiang, the country of the Yueh leadership as the progenator of the Funan Empire (Kamboja-Desa: The Funan Court: The Re-establishment of Lavo). During the Han era, the Tchou court was subdued and Lin-Yi was formed as part of Funan to be the country of the displaced Tchou Dynasty (Prey Nokor: The Fall of the Hiong-Wang Kingdom: The Fight for Independence).
Only after the Chenla uprising that the Cham faction of the Chenla court formed Champapura with the support of the Tang Dynasty.
During the Tang Dynasty, it was known as Cham-Bu-Luo or Champa, while the place where the ruler resided was known as Cham-Tcheng (Cham-pura or Champapura in Sanskrit). (MSAC: Translation: p. 3)
It is important to note that Champapura was not meant to be the city of the Cham People since most of its inhabitants were of austroasiatic mountainous tribesmen. It was actually a country that was administered by the Cham Aristocrats and stayed for most of their past existence under the Khmer Control of Prey-Nokor. After defeating the Land Chenla Clan, the Khmer consortium took Lin-Yi as the site of the Khmer Cakravatin Empire (Huang in Chinese). After Jayavarman II moved the center of the Khmer Cakravati Empire to the Angkorean site, Prey Nokor stayed as one of its cardinal states. During the dynastic crises, Angkor that was under the Mahidhara court of the Sri Vijaya lost its supremacy and during the fight with the Chola appeared to lose control of Prey Nokor. It was when the Ming Shi mentioned that Champa became a country of its own.
During the Tchou and Sung Dynasties, Cham-Tcheng was used as the name of the country, and their tribute responsibilities were not disregarded. (MSAC: Translation: p. 3)
It indicates that Champapura became a country and was paying tribute to the Chinese court of the Later Tchou (951-960) and the Sung (960-1278) dynasties. It explained why the Cham Court was taking side with the Annamete rather than with the Angkorean court, during the attack of King Suryavarman II on the Chinese military command post. The Situation stayed the same until Jayavarman VII reorganized the Angkorean Empire and finally brought the Cham Court under the Angkorean Control. The situation once again changed when Kublai Khan subdued the Sung Dynasty and took Champapura under its direct control.
The Yuan Emperor Shi-zu, angered of their obstruction of his orders, raised a huge force and attacked them, but was unable to pacify them (MSAC: Translation: p. 3)
The Ming-Shi then stop mentioning about Champapura altogether until the Ming Emperor Hongwu defeated the Mo9ngols and freed Champa fron the latter' control. From then on, the rest of the Ming-Shi account of Champa was only about conflicts and aggression between Champapyura and Annam as they became two of the Mings tribute systems.
The Historical Records of Medieval Champapura
An inscription found on the site of Bien-Hoa illustrated the formation of Nokor Kanta, a country that included both Virapura and Champapura (BEFEO IV: L'Inscription Chame de Bien-Hoa, Par M. Antoine Cabaton). The name of the new country was not a coincidence since the legacy of Kanta had always been connected to the Kambojan kings of Sri Vijaya. Closely connected to Angkor, its government was for most of the time a Zion of the Angkorian court. The formation of Nokor Kanta was another typical example of the formation of Champapura by a leadership from Sri Dharmaraja. Topping themselves over regional feudal communities, the new court took control of the country mainly through the support of lower feudal courts. Two rulers who were mentioned in the same inscriptions, Jaya-Simhavarman and his son Indravarman, fought off the control of Annam to build the New Kingdom. As we shall see, the next kings of Champapura had deep past connection with Sri Dharmaraja and to some extend the last remnant of the Angkorian court. Moreover, theirs crown titles ending with "varman" were undeniably the legacy of the late Angkorian Empire. It is interesting to note that while this Sanskrit legacy was already over in the new Angkorian court, its remnant was still alive in the court of Champapura. Unfortunately it was also the last inscription in Sanskrit language, ever found in Southeast Asia. The rest of information was from Chinese sources, the Ming-Shi Account of Champa" in particular, that recorded interaction between the Cham and the Chinese courts during the last stage of the Ming Dynasty. The records convey a deep separation of Champapura from other Southeast Asian countries and its total dependency on Chinese court for survival. Other information were from Annamete sources that provide more detail information of its intriguing politic of aggressiveness in regard to Champapura that ended up costing the latter its statehood.
THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF CHAMPAPURA
Started after the opening up the western frontier by the Hans, the Yueh mass migration set forth for the southern parts of China. Their southern communities were referred in the anal of later Chinese courts as the Yueh barbarians. Another era of Yueh migration to take place was when Kublai Khan made his move to take control of Yunnan and once again encouraged the Yueh to keep moving south. The Great Khan ' s plan to take control of the South encouraged Chinese merchants to make their move to tap in the plentiful resource of the south (The Fall of Nokor Thom: The Fall of Angkor: The Visit of Chou Ta-kuan). Through his ambitious project, Kublai Khan started on a new development over Southeast Asia that scholars code-named as the Cinicization.
The Aspect of Cinicization
After liberating China from the Mongols, the Ming Emperor Yong Le (1402-1424) was tempted by many ambitious projects left undone by the Khans. One of them was the establishment of Chinese control over the southern sea-trade. With no prior experiences with southern environment, the project suffered a serious setback. To repair their mistakes, the Ming Court reached out to the southern states and helped them to recover back the sea venturing with the west. The intervention of the Ming however came a little too late as the fail policy had already took a toll on the Southern countries and created serious implication to the overall recovery of Southeast Asia (Sri Dharmaraja: The Reestablishment of Sri Dharmaraja: The Abandon of Sri Dharmaraja). Oppressed by Java whose connection with Middle East continued on through Zorostrianism, the new Sri Vijayan court found itself prey to the rivalry of Chinese communities along the seacoast of Southeast Asia. To make he matter worst, the new involvement of European venturists already started to exert its intrusion into the region. Evidence show that with Chinese support, the new Sri Vijayan court had to move his court out from the congested sea trading of the Malay Archipelago to establish its control over the site of Champapura (Sri Dharmaraja: The Javanese Interference: The Old Port). As we have argued, they were the remnants of the last Angkorian court in escape from the Mongol' s incursion. In correlation with the advents of the Khmer King Lampangraja establishing his new venture at Sri Dharmaraja and the foundation of Lan-chang by King Fa-Gnum, the restoration of Champapura was part of restoring back the Khmer-mon consortium of Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, it was not an easy proposition. As part of the Cinicization, the influx of Chinese migrants drowned the Southeast Asian continent with their own way of conducting business and life-style. To make the matter worst, they were already in the position to stand their ground against the Ming Dynasty and submitted themselves to no law. They had not much to fear, as the local recovery was so weak and baseless to induce any serious harm to them. Without strong commitment, the new Khmer-mon consortium soon lost its steam leaving Champapura totally isolated to become the first victim of Annam' s occupation. Taking the opportunities of later Ming' s weakness, the southern Yueh communities set themselves free to look for more opportunities through the Ming' s sea venturing campaign. With the help of a local citizen of Yunnan named Tcheng-ho, the Ming built a strong fleet and set sail for the southern sea and beyond. It was the start of a high impacted sea exploration that changed both the politic and economic establishment of Southeast Asia until today. At the mean time, it attracted all kind of western venturers into the already congested South China Sea trade. For Southeast Asia, it was the start of a new phase of cultural and commercial interference that overwhelmed the locals. First, they had to encounter massive migration of southern Chinese people that never happened in ancient time (Notes: The Austronesian vs the Chinese migrants). In a short time, the seashore of the mainland Indochina and the Malay Archipelago became crowed with Chinese immigrants. As recounted by their own stories, the first comers were poor folks who left their families behind to look for better living. At first, they came as coolies or army recruits to serve local communities or courts. Their concentration was contributing to the formation of cities and market places. At the beginning, the Ming had high hope in cashing-in from the Chinese communities that they helped settling in Southeast Asia but would soon learnt the hard way that these Chinese aristocrats were only good for themselves. Their tendency to piracy and black marketing were enough to overwhelm the Ming' s effort in stabilizing the southern sea venturing business. Becoming victims of their own policy, the Mings were forced to scrap altogether their southern sea' s channel in an effort to protect theirs own sea venturing. The dilemma was that they could not close it down, as it was already open for international trading. Through the influx of more Yueh migrants, accommodation by coastal Chinese communities attracted European sea-merchants to tap in the free trade business. Theirs tendency to take on the Monopoly by military means shunted altogether the locals (including China) from participating. Playing the role of facilitators for European merchant ships, the Chinese migrants were able to cash-in handsomely as middle-agents with the locals. They were mostly of Yueh background from the north who through many generation after migrating south became known as the southern Yueh of China. Their close networking allowed them to maintain their trade channels of the local government through corruption by bribery. Once they became better off, they moved their family to joint them and together, they formed their own communities to take on the monopoly with European sea-intercourse. As it is now, the Silk road was virtually deserted as the Yueh already made theirs way to tap in the southern sea-route.
The Formation of Nokor Kanta
On its own standing, evidences show that the new formation of the Champa' s court relied heavily on the Ming Dynasty for survival. The history of the Ming recalls the reign of the last Champa king named Ngo-ta Ngo-che whose reign that begun at 1360 was made possible through a close relationship with the Ming. We know him from the Chronicle of Sri Dharmaraja that he sent one of his daughters named Candramauli Sripadanarathasuravamsa to be the consort of the Ming Emperor (Sri Dharmaraja: The new Angkorian connection: Prah Bnom Khale). Her name "Candramuli" moreover connects her to the legacy of Sri Dharmaraja court of king Candabhanu, and specifically to the court of king Bansasurah (Notes: King Bansasurah). After the last ruler of Sri Dharmaraja Candabhanu died, Banbakara took the throne in the name of Bansasurah. If the assumption is true, Bansasurah must to leave Sri Dharmaraja during the epidemic breakout and brought his surviving court to Champapura. Known as Che Bong Nga, he was mentioned in Annamete records to make many campaigns deep inside Annam. The Vietnamese name "Che Bong Nga" was actually a reference to the Sanskrit title "Sri Vamsa Sura" (Bansasurah in Malay), which was according to the chronicle of Sri Dharmaraja a reference to the last Sri Vijayan Ruler. From Annam accounts we know that Che-Bong-Nga started a series of victorious campaigns against Annam from 1361 to 1390 (Notes: The Exploit of Che Bong Nga). The event took place at the same time with the establishment of Luan Prah Bang by Fa-Gnum and the constant fighting between the new Lan-xang court with Annam. As we recall back, the establishment of Luan Prah Bang by Fa-Gnum was done trough the support of the new Angkorian court of king Suryavamsa. Connected the two events together, we believe that the reestablishment of Champapura was also done in a close consortium with the Lao court of Fa-Ngum and the Angkorian court of king Suryavamsa. In correlation with the Inscription of Bien-Hoa, we shall identify that Sri Vamsa Sura (Che Bong Nga in Vietnamese) was no other as the new Champa' s king Sri Jaya- Simhavarman. Following the strong campaign conducted by Fa-Ngum and his father-in-law against Ayudhya, the Chanpa' s king had to wage extensive war against Annam to reestablish Champapura. The treason by a low ranking officer however changed the course of the new Champa ' s history. According to the Vietnamese source, Che-Bong-Nga whose ship was surrounded by his enemies was killed in the ambush and his troops were forced to withdraw after the defeat. One of his generals took the Champa throne by driving out the last ruler' s sons. Known to the Vietnamese sources as La Khai, the new Champa ruler had to relegate back all the territory fought by the last ruler to Annam. The province of Indrapura was also handed over to Annam in 1402. The betrayal that was perhaps schemed by Annam allowed him to rule Champapura for a short time. The next King of Champapura was known in the same inscription of Bien-hoa as the son of the late Jaya Simhavarman. He introduced himself in the inscription as "Nauk Claun Vijaya", the ruler of Vijaya (BEFEO IV: L'Inscription Chame de Bien-Hoa, Par M. Antoine Cabaton).
The son of Sri Jaya Simhavarman, Nauk Clon Vijaya, protected the Kingdom. He had defeated the Yvan Country (Annam). He went (to battle) and came back to take this country of Prah Kanta.
The passage indicated that he went out to rage a war against Annam. By defeating the latter, he regained back Indrapura where he ascended under the name of Indravarman in 1407. By then the Chinese court under the Ming Yongle Emperor (1402-1424), had succeeded to annex back Annam into the Chinese control. By suppressing the usurping dynasty of the Kaeo, the Ming court took direct control of Annam and freed Champapura from the harassment of Annam. It allowed Indravarman to consolidate his country and to extend its frontier over the southern part of Champapura. The inscription of Bien-Hoa confirms that he regained Virapura (Notes: Virapura) to be consolidated with Champapura in 1441.
He won many battles and came back to this kingdom of Champa in Caka 1363 (1441). He religiously erected this Tribhuvana Kranta with the trophy conquered from Kvir. He gave his own belonging to different divinities and lingas for the joy to be either in Kvir nagara or in Champa nagara.
The inscription is among other evidences to witness that up to this stage, Champapura was under a leadership holding on still to Hindu legacy.
The Fall of Champapura
During the decline of the Mings, the Le's court started on campaigning for its own account. The big break for Annam from the control of China meant for Champapura a misfortune to come. During the moment that Champapura was very much isolated, Le Loi renewed the attack against Champapura in 1471. As we had seen, Lan-xang was under the aggression of king Trilokara of Lanna who just took control of Nan. It happened during the moment that the Hindu Cham ruler was not in good term with the Muslim ruler of Malaka, Alaodim. Broke free from the Ming Dynasty, Annam immediately resumed its conquest over Champapura.
Cham and Yvan had fought many times, many years. Lately Cham was defeated by Yuan. Yuan appointed the son of the Cham king to rule as vassal of the Yuan country. At the time a Cham king name Chao Rang-lac-Kratrod, some called him Po thoan, rebelled against the Yuan control. He led an army (of one million troops?) to wrestle two provinces. ?
The Champa king in the passage was no other than Indravarman, the successor of Jaya Simhavarman who with the Ming' s support went out to invade Annam. The victory was however short-lived as Annam soon fought back and the Chams found themselves without country.
At the time the Yuan king name Le-chan-tong headed the Yuan army against the Cham king in three fronts. He won over the Chams and drove them back home. In 1534, the Yuan armies invaded back the Cham Country. ?
As no help from other allies could be counted, the Cham King sent messengers to the Khmer king Suryaday of the eastern region to help repelling Annam' s attack. The Khmers were themselves amid theirs own crisis under the aggression of Ayudhya. To make the matter worst, King Suryaday was very much tied-up in the feud against his uncle, Sri Raja. At the time, king Suryaday was in control of the southern part of Prey-Nokor and to strengthen his position against his uncle, was in the process of building a new port city that would be named as the city of Prey-Nokor. His venture stopped when Ayudhya started to intervene in the Khmer court' s politic through the request of another challenger to the Catomukh court King Sri Dharmaraja (Nokor Catomukh: The Founding of Nokor Catomukh: The Break-up of the Catomukh' s court). Unable to help, he sent the Cham messengers back home. Annam' s troops then captured Vijaya, killed 60,000 people and took 30,000 prisoners, among them were the king and 50 members of the royal family. As the Chams were defeated, many members of the Cham court escaped into Khmer protection. Others went up to take refuge with the mountainous tribesmen (of Stieng and Rhade). As Laos had always been politically in close connection with Champapura, it is expected that the remaining high court of Indravarman would escape into Laos and settled there (The Kingdom of Siam: The connection with the court of Udong: The Cham' s alliance). Luang Prah Bang had been known as Muang Chawa, an indication of high concentration of Javanese immigrants in the region. Some Chams however stayed put at the south of Cape Varella, forming the last remnants of Nokor Champa. At the mean time, the Le' s court delegated the Nguyen family to take control of the new conquered territory. For the Trinh who took care of central state affair for the Le' s court, the attack of Champapura, was by no mean a conquest for the land. Evidences show that the conquering of Champapura was not part of the Nam-tien campaign that was carried on by the Nguyen Court later, in the conquest of Cochinchina. Compared to the Red River' s valleys, Champapura had little fertile land on the small strip of the plain to persuade the people of the Red valley Delta to move in. At the contrary, it was the sea-trade along the eastern seashore of the mainland Indochina that was their real motive. The conquest was to eliminate the only rival that competed with Annam for the services of the ships in their way to China. The lack of competition from Champapura constituted, by all means, an opportunity for Annam to benefit from the increase of sea venturing revenue. Thus it was in the best interest of the Le' s court to dismantle the commercial infrastructure of the southern region than to build it as a colony. The stationment of the Nguyen court at Hue was, besides collecting taxes, to disable all rebels to the Trinh. During the conquest, Champapura did not lose all its population even though the defeat was incurred with high casualty. As the attack targeted the high court, most refugees moving out were members of the Cham aristocrat to take refuge in neighboring countries. Among the remaining people, only the Muslim Chwea migrants, whose presence in the region was part of Champa's military mobilization against Annam, had the reason to escape the Vietnamese execution.
THE LAST OF THE INDIANIZED STATES
As we had argued, the Ming' s mistakes completed the fall of the Angkorian Empire. Through Chinese migrants, the next Cinicization of Southeast Asia would undermine the stability of the Meru Culture during the next centuries to come. After Angkor was formed, evidence shows that the Cham Court along with the Chenla Kings was absorbed by the Sailendra consortium of Sri Dharmaraja. Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that the new court of Kanta shared a strong legacy of the Bull Nanda that was in fact the Meru' s ancestral lineage of the Khmer King Kaundinya. In the next chapter, we will bring to the open the cultural clash between divinity brought by the Meru culture (represented by Prah Ko) and technology of western culture brought by the Cinicization.
The Impact of Cinicization
As the Mings scraped their southern venture, new-formed Chinese communities along the coast were well prepared to fill out the gap. By now, Chinese migrants had already settled themselves along the seacoast of Southeast Asia that extended Yueh communities of Southern China into the lucrative sea-trade of the South China Sea. With no intervention from the Chinese court, new Chinese aristocratic communities of Southeast Asia were free to take control of the local economy and created their own rules. As cities were formed and enlarged, the notion of centralized states and nations were then initiated to the local government. With the growing dependency on the financial backup by the new aristocratic communities, the local courts started to take part of the new development. Intermarriage took place to complete the integration of the high societies that changed along the way into becoming the power elite of the new nations. For the local people, the situation was devastating, as their traditional ways of doing business could not survive competitiveness. First loosing their market places, they soon lost their land and heritage to the new migrants who became the driving forces in the shape-up of Southeast Asian economy until today. Becoming the minority in their own lands the local people were drawn to fit the new societies or they were kept to stay in the background. Their grass-root tradition and histories were purportedly clouded to cast them as second ranked citizens of the new nations that were founded largely on migrating Chinese aristocrats. In a close network between themselves, they soon took control of the sea-trade and became the sole benefactors of the Ming' s failed venturing campaign. They had also strong support and contribution from their peers of southern Chinese provinces, for endless supplies of human-resource and in capital' s funding. In connection with other Chinese organizations, they established themselves as the new masters of the Southern Sea. As far as the authority of the Ming Dynasty over Southeast Asia was fading, the presence of the Dutch and later the Portuguese sea venturing in the South China sea started the new colonization era for Southeast Asia. It became an opportunity for the Chinese migrants to build their wealth by serving these early European colonists as collaborators. During the assault of Alphonse of Albuquerque on Malaka, the Sultan Mamat sent envoys to inform the Ming court of the disaster. The Ming' s response was a decree directing the Portuguese to stop assaulting Malaka and instructing the Siam court to help repulsing the Moors back home.
At that time the Emperor Shih-tsung sat on the throne; he issued a decree upbraiding the Franks, told them to go back to their own country, and ordered the king of Siam and other countries to assist their neighbor in the need; none of them obeyed. However, and so the kingdom of Man-la-kia was destroyed.
With no military intervention, the decree of the Ming had no effect whatsoever. As Malaka fell into destruction, Ayudhya among other Chinese communities were seen strengthening their cooperation with more European interference. In paving the way to the early wave of colonial development, the European merchants found in Chinese migrants of Southeast Asia reliable supports for their ventures. They rewarded them with business opportunities and used them as intermediaries in dealing with the locals. The arrangement allowed more Chinese mops to make their way in extending their southern control deep into the South China Sea.
At the end of the period Kia-txing (1522-1566), the famous Cantonian thief Tchang Lien, caused troubles and the officers of the army reported that they captured him. In 1577, merchants coming from Kieuo-kiang saw that the man was opening a series of shop and was the chief of the indigenous navy. Later a number of Chinese of Fou-Kien joined with him and he acted like a commercial superintendent of China.
After the Dutch moved out from Malaka, Chinese commercial networking stayed to extend over the Malay Archipelago and the seacoast of the mainland Indochina. After the decline of their countries, the Dutch and the Portuguese who stayed behind were sought out for they were specialized knowledge in western warfare. Many of them were recruited along with their western partners to join in the local courts as theirs advisors for foreign affairs and most of all as army' s officers. Their strong presence in both Ayudhya and Annam would make the two courts becoming strong benefactors of the first colonial legacies in the history of Southeast Asia.
The Last Legacy of the Bull Nanda
Through mis-interpretation of historical data, scholars portrayed Champapura as a standalone country often fighting with the Khmer Empire for survival. At the contrary, our findings show that the court of Champa shared the same legacy of Kaundinya since the early formation of the Khmer Empire. After driving out the Cham king, Kaundinya topped himself over the Cham court and absorbed Champapura as part of the Khmer kingdom of Prey-Nokor. Beside the Cham aristocrats, the rest of people were the same indigenous tribesman of Indochina originated since the Great Flood. Later on, Kaundinya founded the Khmer Empire based on the Hinayana Buddhism brought from Maghadha. Nevertheless, he himself was a member of the ancient Brahman cast of the Nanda, which according to Sivaite Culture was the mount of Lord Siva. In the Khmer tradition, Prah Ko (the divine cow or the Bull Nanda) is considered as the big brother of Prah Keo (Buddhism) who together brought prosperity to the Khmer Empire. It represents the Indianization brought by Kaundinya that became the basic organization of the Angkorian Cakravatin Empire. In Hindu folklore, Prah ko was the representation of the agriculturist societies that seated the original Brahmanism and Sivaism. As we had argued, the Nanda was the class of Brahmins who compiled and kept the Rig Vedas as part of the Meru Culture. The Indian prince Prah Thong, known in inscription as Kaundinya (the Bull Nanda), was a member of this ancient family. The symbol of Prah Ko remained since his legacy as the founder of the Khmer Empire. It lasted from the fourth century to the thirteenth century and remained to represent the Indianization of Southeast Asia. In close connection to the formation of the Khmer Kingdom at prey-Nokor and later of Angkor, the Cham communities of Champapura also retain a strong legacy of the Bull Nanda through the ancestry of the Sailendra kings. In Prey-Nokor where the Sailendra court continued to retain its strong legacy from Kaundinya, Prah Ko was revered under the God King Bhadrasvara. In the Angkorisn court where the interference of the Sri Vijaya was also strong, the legacy of the Bull took the supporting role for the God King Paramesvara that was consecrated to Meru himself. As the big brother of Prah Keo (Buddhism), Prah Ko took on heavy responsibility in protecting the younger brother. The incursion of the Mongols however challenged the status of the divine bull and reversed his authority. In conjunction with the western development, the Bull Nanda had to prove his credibility against science and technology that was brought by the latter in their campaign against Angkor. Cham and Khmer tradition each had its own account of the contest that ended with the divine bull losing his battle to the modern challengers. The native people of the site of Champapura still retain a story about the lost of Champa and its Indianized court to the new comer Nguyen family. When the two met to discuss who was the next ruler of Champa, a contest was set forth to be the final decision. If the divine cow flies, the Cham ruler would rule. At the contrary, if a piece of Bamboo survived by planting upside down, the new Viet ruler would rule. While the Cham' s divine cow did not fly, the piece of Bamboo planted upside down survived. The story ends with the losing Cham court leaving the country to the winner of the Viet court of Hue to take over. A similar story is also found in Khmer Tradition in which the contest was between the divine bull born from a Khmer couple at Lawek and the mechanical Bull made by Ayudhya. In the Khmer story, the divine bull still flied and fought vigorously the Siam mechanical bull. Ayudhya however did not stop the contest and kept insisting on sending a new improved mechanical bull to fight. In the bring of exhaustion, the divine bull finally gave up and lost the fight. To avoid being captured by the Siam court, Prah Ko took on his younger brother to escape. They were later captured by the Siam' s army and brought to Ayudhya and were kept as Siam trophies until now (The break down of the Cakravatin Empire: The Causes of the Break down: The impact of the Mongol' s incursion). The story line that incorporated some historical facts of the fall of both Angkor and Champapura was not by all-means the actual presentation of the real events. As we had argued, contests were only good and used to solve petty feud between brotherly nations (Nokor Caktomukh: Notes: The will of God). There were no actual contests neither between Ayudhya and Angkor, nor between Champapura and Annam that ended in the lost of territory to the two foreign aggressors as mentioned. Prah Ko and Prah Keo were actually representing both the Nanda and the Buddhist legacies of both the Khmer and the Cham communities (Notes: The last of the Nanda). The stories were just reminders of the weaknesses of both Angkor and Champapura, being of Indianized background and facing with the aggressiveness of their new Cinicized neighbors. As we shall see, their falls were actually the outcome of relentless military campaigns and political outmaneuvering brought by the new formed Cinicized Siam and Viet nations upon the two exhausted Indianized states.
The Spread of Islam
Common quote of modern history of Vietnam is that the next phase of Vietnamization was immediate after the fall of Champapura. On the same premises, the occupation of the City of Prey-Nokor was also assumed to be uneventful. This mistake was perhaps due in part to the wrong interpretation of the story about the Bamboo plantation and the divine bull' s contest. According to general perception, the Khmer and the Chams were seen as layback people and through many centuries of Indianized doctrination became superstitious and passive. When the Viet, the Bamboo' s planter, won over the Bull' s keeper, it is said that the loser left the country to the winner without any incident. At the contrary, the last battle between the Cham court and Annam had never been that bloody. Left under the control of family members of the Kao court during the Song Dynasty, Annam had been brought under the Central Chinese control during the reign of the Ming Emperor Yong-le (1402-1414). After his death, the ruler of Annam Le Loi took advantage of the Ming internal problems to free Annam and worked on finding resource to support the new state. It came at the worst moment that Champapura, lacking of external supports, was virtually defenseless. After the Cambodian court left Angkor, Champa fought for itself. Even though the support from the Chinese court of the Ming Dynasty came occasionally, Annam was always there and was ready to make a move, anytime opportunity presented itself to them. On the other side, Champapura had virtually no population to mobilize for its own army. The long distant connection with Malayu and Java was left to be the only hope and mass migration of Indonesians who were already converted to Muslim was by all means necessary to face Annam' s invasion. According to the Javanese tradition, it was a Champa princess who initiated the introduction of Islam to Champapura (Sri Dharmaraja: The birth of Malaka: The Muslim' s conversion). Married to one of the sovereigns of Majapahit, she was the first link of the Mainland Indochina to the Muslim world of Java. Happening at the beginning of the fifteenth century, Islam reached Southeast Asia through family' s connection of the Suni sect. During Alaodim' s reign, Malaka became the Muslim contact with Mecca and there was serious effort from his part to spread the new faith into Southeast Asia. His death was speculated as the result of an assassination' s plot by the Champa king and other Malay rulers who were resisting the conversion. As a devout Muslim, Alaodim tried to exert his influence in bringing all Malay rulers to Mekka and subsequently converted them Islam. The king of Champa who was no other than Indravarman, was still very much a Hindu advocate. He was seen conspiring with the ruler of Pam to take down the life of Alaodim just to avoid the trip and the conversion (Sri Dharmaraja: The birth of Malaka: The Muslim' s conversion). Despise his resistance, the spread of Muslim to Champapura however took place. As we shall argue, the Cham king had to accept Muslim migrants to strengthen the defense of Champapura. These Muslims called themselves Chawa, meaning Javanese, and their presence in Champapura was mainly to protect the latter from Annam' s invasion. Unfortunately, the re-population of Muslim migrants at Champapura did not stop the aggression of Annams. Their presence in the rest of Indochina came after Champapura lost the war as they were escaping Annam' s execution. After the Cham high court was driven out, the Cham communities and the mountainous tribesmen were left to face hardship under Annam' s occupation. As long time settlers, they were attached to their country and were not inclined to leave their land behind any time soon. What they encountered next were not Vietnamese peasants coming to take their land away, but criminals and vagabonds coming to look for better life-style at their expense. The new comers, many were of Chinese descended, took no time to start their petty business on scavenging from the native communities. As to the Vietnamese peasants migrating south, evidences show that it was happening a lot later during the French occupation. At the time that Hue was still a tax collection office for the Trinh, no Vietnamese peasants were interested to settle in on narrow strip of the seashore. Only for the Nguyen' s interest that Prey-Nokor was later loaned to Hue to serve as the training facility of Hue in the fight with the Trinh. On the other hand, the Trinh who took care of the state affair for the Le' s court at Annam had never favor the southern Viet country as a rebel' s camp against them. The real dilemma for the natives was actually the outcome of the old Nguyen court' s ambition to carve its own dominion. Their ordeals were aggravated as they were forced to pay higher taxes to the Nguyen court who had to fund their own hidden agenda, in addition to their tax obligation to the Trinh (Notes: The Cham Lamentation). As we shall see, Hue' s oppression was met with serious setback from the start. According to oral tradition that is still retained by the Cham and the Khmer communities of Kamboja Krom, bloody uprisings soon rose up against the Annam occupation.
THE CONNECTION WITH THE COURT OF UDONG
Unlike the formation of Annam that was done under the imperial court of China, the Vietnamization of Champapura was done in a much smaller scale by the court of the Nguyen. It requires applying the same procedure used by the Han all over again. Known as the bamboo plantation, the first stage consisted of supplanting native communities by Viet migrants on controlled territory to take over their country. With far less means to accomplish its goal, the Nguyen court had to rely on harsher measure to be able to attain the same result. To their dismay, the measure did not yield good result, since there was not fertile land at Champapura to attract Vietnamese peasant to move in.
The City of Prey Nokor
In contrast to Champapura, Prey Nokor had fertile lands to support its population. Its foundation dated back since the fall of the Hion-Wang Kingdom to be the country of the displaced Tchou and Tsu courts escaping the Quin and later the Han Dynasty of China. The lack of information created misconception about the city of Prey Nokor that grew up to become and important seaport during the colonial era. Most western scholars assumed that the city was founded by Chinese migrants on a small fishermen village (Notes: The City of Prey-Nokor vs the Kingdom of Prey-Nokor). As we had seen it was instead the remnant of the Jungle Kingdom (Lin-Yi in Chinese) that after Champapura fell under the Nguyen control, was developed by the Khmer King Suryauday of Catomukh. During the battle between the last Champa king Indravarman and the Annamete cort, the Khmer Kingdom was split into three political divisions. The eastern region that included Prey-Nokor was then under the control of King Suryauday. Unable to help the Cham court fighting off Annamete invasion, he had made appropriate measures to safeguard Prey-Nokor from being the next target of Annam. If the Siam King Cakapata did not take him as a prisoner to Ayudhya, his work would make Prey-Nokor to replace Champapura as a seaport to become a strong contender with Sri-dharmaraja that was controlled by his uncle and rival Sri Raja. After his death, evidences show still that his next successors, the king Sri Dharmaraja and his son Soganbath continued on safeguarding this important maritime venture to the Khmer Court, since it was now the only seaport left to interface with the International sea-trade. Due to it strategic location at the delta region of the Mekong River, the port was not only serving the sea trade but also served as its extension into the mainland Indochina through the Bassac Rivers as well. Until the advent of King Chey Chetha II, the control of the new seaport was firmly under the Khmer court. One of many major obstacles that limited the Nguyen' s court from immediately invading Prey-Nokor was that the fertile land of the Mekong' s delta region was inhabited by Khmer communities of Cohinchina. Known as the Khmers of Kambuja Krom, they were actually refugees from the Tsu state of Southern China before they were displaced down south by the Han Dynasty. Their communities were strong to guard against the Nguyen to distribute the fertile land to the new Viet Settlers. The destruction of Lawek by the attack of Ayudhya resulted in Lawek leadership being captured and brought to Ayudhya.
Only during their absence that evidences show f Chinese and Viet migrants moving to take part of the commercial activities of the new port. Still, the southern Viet settlement was not strong enough for the court of Hue to lay claim beyond the frontier of Champapura. After being released from Adyudhya, the Khmer court restored back the crumbled Khmer Kingdom. They later moved their court to Udong. To distance themselves further from the Ayudhyan intervention, they made a crucial mistake of approaching Hue for support and in the process brought themselves the first time under the sway of Hue' s manipulation. In their judgment, they failed to see that their future threat was no longer Ayudhya but the new court of Hue. Sharing the same fate of all other Indianized Kings of Southeast Asia, Narasuan and his brother Ekasarath were struggling to cope with the new western interference in Southeast Asia. Torn between the benefit of the open trade and the fear of falling into the Western colonization' s trap, they all suffered the worst of the Westernization. This limitation was not a problem to the Nguyen' s court since they had everything to gain and nothing to lose in dealing with the West. As they had their mind set, they stopped at nothing to work out on their Nam-tien campaign. Before his death, Prah Suryapur had initiated a diplomatic relation with the court of Hue. His rational was to use Hue against Ayudhya and in the process secure the next court of Udong from Siam interference. Another reason that the late king Prah Suryapur had turned to Hue for alliance could be due to the unfinished business with Ayudhya. After the fall of Lawek, Ayudhya kept the three provinces that were the cause of conflict between the two nations for good. His intention to retrieve them back perhaps led him to the next misjudgment that drove the Khmer Court deeper into distress. Having been suffered the long-time mistreatment, his next policy could be due to his codependency to Ayudhya. By observing the Ayudhyan code of conduct, Prah Suryapur might realize by now that the only way to neutralize the interference of both Siam and Hue was to use one side against the other (Notes: Joggling between Siam and Hue). It came at the time that Hue was emancipating itself from the control of Trinh and needed help as much as they could get. Prah Suryapur initiated the alliance, thinking that the assistance to Hue would generate a good relationship in the long run that could be used to strengthen the Khmer court against Siam.
The Formation of the Khmer Court at Udong
The first king of Udong was King Jaya Chetha II (1618-1627) who ascended the throne after his father' s abdication. After his coronation, the young king Jaya Chetha took his father' s policy at heart and continued to approach Hue for support. Little he knew that Hue was born naturally good in court manipulation and was already expert in the game that he was playing. Capable of a long memory span, Hue took the initiative to propel theirs own plan. To honor the new alliance, Nguyen Phuc Tan sent his own daughter to the Khmer King as his consort. It was the start of Viet interference in the court of Udong that marked another phase of the Nam-tien campaign against Prey-Nokor, which according to Khmer recollection was blamed to the lust for the Vitnamese princess by King Jaya Chetha II. We hardly can throw all the blames to him since the arrangement was done through his father, king Suryapur and the Viet Ruler Nguyen Phuc Tan. In addition, king Suryapur had all the reason that the Siam king would not leave them alone. Just a few years after his release from Ayudhya, King Jaya Chetha had to face the next punitive attacks from the Siam Court. After realizing by that Udong had already emancipated itself from the control of Siam, the king of Siam named Prah Chao Pdey Kda brought his army to occupy the mountain Chang Cang but was immediately repelled by the court of Udong. In 1622 another attack by Siam that was conducted by a Siam obraja, was also defeated. These victories could be a convincing factor of a positive outcome from the alliance between Udong and Hue. However, the Khmer chronicle is quiet about any assistance from the court of Hue in helping Udong to repel the Siam attacks. If it was the case, the positive outcome only happened during the early stage of the relationship. After marrying one of his daughters to the Khmer king, Nguyen Phuc Tan started to intrude in the court of Udong. As the princess moved to live with her husband, He took the opportunity to incorporate his people in the court of Udong through her escort (Notes: The Viet Princess' s Escort). Soon after, Jaya Chetha II had to allow Hue to use Khmer territory of Prey-Nokor as the southern escape and training ground for the Viet troops to fight with the Trinh (Notes: The Fight between the Trinh and the Nguyen). This seemingly harmless favor had led to the first Viet settlements beyond the frontier of Champapura that was not going to be the last. During King Jaya Chetha' s reign, his Vietnamese consort became a strong authority figure in the court of Udong. Known in khmer source as Prah Ang Chau, she had a son named Chao Pogna Tau who was destined to be heir apparent for the throne of Udong. At the age of 21, Pongna Tau was ordained at the site of Angkor Wat to study Buddhism. He became advocated to Buddhist doctrine so much so that he did not want to leave the monk-hood to ascend the throne when his father died in 1937. The court then crowned Prah Uday, the brother of the last king, as regent to take the throne temporary until Ponha Tau decided to leave the monk-hood and was ready to take the throne of Udong. By then, there was already an intrigue inside the Udong court to promote the Vietnamese consort into becoming the head of the royal house. For that to happen they needed to persuade Chao Pogna Tau to take on the throne as soon as possible. Under the pressure, Chao Pogna Tau agreed to their requests and was crowned under the title of Sri Dharmaraja (1636-1640). During the coronation, Hue sent its envoy to Udong that included a corps of 500 persons to serve as personage entourage for the queen mother. With her cop of entourage renewed fesh every year, the Vietnamese queen made herself the most powerful figure of the court of Udong. Nonetheless, her son Chao Pogna Tau reigned as a good monarch for the Khmer Court. When King Prasat Thong (1629-1656) usurped the throne of Ayudhya, Siam was in constant fighting among members of his court and foreign intrusion. Realizing that both his father and grand-father never forgot about the lost provinces to Siam, he decided that it was a good time now to reclaim them back from Ayudhya. After mobilizing enough troops, he set them out to attack Siam in two fronts. The navire took the way of Kos-Kong to attack Ayudhya directly while the ground troops took the way of Siem-reap to attack Nokor Rajasima (the Khorat Plateau). Because of the storm, the navire could not proceed further and had to station at Koh Kong, the ground troops arrived at Nokor Rajasima and started the fighting. Met with a strong resistance from Ayudhyan troops that were sent in re-enforcement of local troops, the Khmer troops had to withdraw back to Udong. It was the last attempt ever done to reclaim back the lost provinces to Siam. In a twist of fate, Udong was going to have its own crises that led to the lost of Prey Nokor to Hue.
The Fall of Prey Nokor
After King Prasat Thong died, Ayudhya was even more plagued with crises. Nevertheless, the court of Udong failed to capitalize on Ayudhyan down turn to reclaim the lost territory to Siam. It turned out that the alliance with Hue, supposedly providing support to fight against Siam, had created instead internal crisis that weaken the Udong' s court for any more campaign against Siam. Splitting into antagonist factions, their primary preoccupation was concerning about their own fight for self-promotion. For their own safety, each faction used foreign mercenaries as body guards because they were skillful in the gunfight. By then, Pogna Tau had Chinese and Vietnamese troops incorporated in his bodyguard. His uncle, Prah Uday on the hand, used European personal for his own need. Learning that his wife was having an affair with the king, Prah Uday sent his European troops to go after him. According to oral tradition, when they caught him hiding on top of a palm tree, they used silver bullet (as a way to show respect) to kill him. Prah Uday then transferred the vacant throne to his nephew, the next brother in line of Chao Pogna Tau, named Chao Pogna Nou. After a short reign, he died of natural cause and Prah Uday delegated the throne to his own son named Chao Pogna Non to reign under the coronation name of Botomraja. According to the Khmer chronicle, another son of the last king Jaya Chetha with a different consort named Chao Pogna Chan challenged his uncle and after killing both father and son (the king), took the Udong throne for himself. He later found a Cham lady who belonged to the displaced Cham royalty taking refuge at Udom and married her. He then brought up the whole Cham communities of her family into Udong. His conversion to Islam and the elevation of her Muslim family members into high position, in the court of Udong became the subject of discontentment with the rest of his court. His stepmother who was no other than the Vietnamese queen (Prah Ang Chau) took the opportunity to interfere. She requested the court of Hue for help in solving the crises (CRC: pp. 368-369). The Vietnamese envoys from Hue caught the king, put him in a cage and sent him to Hue where he died in the same year (1658). After subduing King Pogna Chan, the Vietnamese did not leave, but went instead after the two sons of Prah Uday because they were instructed to subdue the whole Khmer court and submit it to the control of Hue. They did not succeed to capture them. The two brothers were able to drive them out and after all matter settled down brought back the court of Udong in order. While Udong was able to safeguard its court, the city of Prey Nokor already fell under the military control of Hue. During the time that they sent troops to attack Udong, they also started their campaign against Prey Nokor. Under the pretext that the Khmer King Ang chan violated the Annamete frontier, the Viet governor of Dinh and of Tran-bien brought his troops to occupy the region of Moi-xui. It was the start of Vietnamese militarily occupation that allowed Hue to safeguard the Viet settlements without fear of Udong' s intervention. Nevertheless, the Vietnamese queen mother was able to convince the new court of Udong that she was no threat to them and would take care of Prey-Nokor safe for them. It was just a false promise. Through future intervention, Hue established more and more military control over Prey Nokor. Even then, evidences show still that Khmer residents of prey Nokor were able to sustain their communities, mostly under their own initiative outside of the Udong court' s circuit. Their fights were the only reason to keep the Nguyen army out from taking full control of the country. It is important to note that Hue needed the fertile land of Prey Nokor to attract Viet peasants from the north. So far what they could attract were bad elements from the north who, with their vagabond life-style, were too unreliable for the Nguyen to count on as subject of the new country. At the mean time, Hue continued to maneuver the court of Udong to gain more control of this southern fertile land. Increasingly isolated, Prey Nokor became a safe refuge for the Khmer rulers who, out of favor from the court of Udong, were seeking refuge from the latter' s persecution. For their own safety, they had to request protection from the court of Hue. When the defunct king Ponga Non lost the fight with his younger brother Pogna Sor in 1676, he escaped to Prey-Nokor and requested support from Hue to use Viet troops to help him gaining back the throne of Udong. Even though the campaign was unsuccessful, the favor gave more control of Hue over Prey Nokor. In 1690, Hue had made the first official claim that the city of Prey-Nokor was the property of Hue. It is important to note that the claim was by no mean unchallenged by the Udong court of the time. An underground movement was seen underway by a coalition the last Cham refugee court and a Khmer faction of Udong to launch a grand scale uprising to unseat the Hue court.
THE UPRISINGS AGAINST HUE
The lack of information had led to different interpretation of the next events that took place during the Vietnamization of Prey-Nokor. Code-named by scholars as the Tay-son uprising, it was a grass root movement that took the Viet courts by storm.
The uprising was strong enough to shake-up the control of both the northern and southern Viet courts over Champapura and Prey-Nokor. To Vietnamese and western scholars, there are still many mysteries about this particular event that almost destroyed Vietnam altogether. The dilemma was about the identity of the organizers as well as their motives of the uprising against the authority of Hue. Fortunately, the events were also recorded in Khmer source in such way that we could identify the Tay-son brothers and their real motives behind the uprising.
The Grass-root Uprising
Scholars agree that the Tay-son uprising involved all the stratum of low channel population of both Champapura and Prey-Nokor. However, they stopped short of crediting or had played down altogether the grass-root initiative in the uprising. They went instead creating circumstantial evidences that the uprising was done mostly by Viet people, led by three Viet brothers, in a social unrest against the Nguyen court. We shall argue instead that the revolt was actually the outcome of the grass root' s long struggle against the Viet' s occupation. We shall further argue that the uprising was not just a rebellion, but a well-prepared campaign to free Prey-Nokor and Champapura from the Nguyen court and at the same time, to subdue the Trinh from interfering into the south. Two scenarios were formed in regard to the origin of the uprising and its political meaning during the next reigns of the Nguyen court. The first scenario was formulated by Vietnamese historians to claim on Vietnamese poor peasants rising up to strike the wealthy rulers as class struggle. Their assumption was done through analysis on a typical society controlled by the Nguyen imperialist court that relied mainly on military means to run the country. The analysis is otherwise plausible, except that it lacks of basic truth to support the initial statement. At the time of the uprising, there were no Vietnamese peasants of the south yet, to rise up against the Nguyen. At the contrary, we had argued that most peasants of both Champaura and Prey-Nokor were still Cham and Khmer peoples working on their lands since the early time of Southeast Asian history. After many generations of the Nguyen rule, evidences show still that migrants from the north were mostly Chinese merchant and Vietnamese vagabonds of criminal background, making their way south to find fortune (The birth of Vietnam: The Legacy of Prey Nokor: The court of Hue). Looking to make quick bucks out of anything, they were constantly on the move and their stays were mostly transient. This latter fact seams to lend support to the other scenario claiming that the three Tay-son brothers and their clans were no better than Vietnamese bandits. Written by older generation of Vietnamese historians and supported by French scholars, the claim is at least based on the true Vietnamese background in Champapura of the time. Nevertheless, we shall refute this assumption also as it is easy to recognize that the works of the Tay-son brothers were too delicate and well executed as compared to the work of regular banditry. Hard evidences also show that as much as their supporters were mostly not Vietnamese, but native of Prey-Nokor, the three Tay-son brothers were themselves not of low background. We shall argue that they were no peasants nor bandits, but Cham royalty whose elaborate plan was to oust the Nguyen court from Champapura. Our first argument is based on the condition of Nguyen' s control over the South that was until then just a military occupation. Only after 1620 that the Nguyen court deployed Viet settlement in the city of Prey-Nokor (Saigon) with the consent of the Khmer King Jaya Chetha II of Udong. We shall see further that these Viet residents of Prey Nokor (doubtfully peasants) were not against the Hue court but were instead crucial in helping the old Nguyen court to return back to power (The Birth of Vietnam: The Fall of the Tay-son Brothers: The Fall of the Tay-son Brothers). At the same time, the rest of the country was still inhabited by either Cham or Khmer communities. With a good leadership, history had proved that they could rise quickly into a serious resistance against external occupation, the same way as in northern Angkorian territory during the Mongol' s incursion (The Fall of Nokor Thom: The Mongols targeted Angkor: The Mongols took control of Rajapati). Our second statement is that a Lao leader by the name of Po Vamsa, was the one who stepped up to that leadership role (The Kingdom of Siam: The court of Udong: The relationship with the court of Siam). In the absence of any initiative from both the local Khmer and Champa courts, the Laotian of Cham origin responded to the Cham' s lamentation and the plea of liberating them from the control of the Hue court (Notes: The Cham Lamentation). As we shall see, Po Vamsa had deep root from the last Champa' s court and his organization and motive match those of the Tay-son brothers. Evidences later confirms that he actually belonged to the last Cham court of King Jaya Simhavarman (Known in Vietnamese source as Che Bong Nga) or his successor King Indravarman who were driven out by Le-loi from Prey-Nokor, around the late fourteenth century.
The Uprising of Po Vamsa
In Oudong, the last event of King Chao Pogna Chan shows that the alliance between the Cham and the Khmer courts was strong. Some court members saw in the scattered Cham communities as stable alliance to be reckoned with. As we had argued, the Cham and the Khmer courts were of the same root from the Kaundinya court of Prey-Nokor. Before their conversion to Islam, the Indianized Cham aristocrats fit seamlessly in the Khmer societies. Politically, both were very much in the same odd situation when dealing with both the Siam and Viet incursions. During the reign of Prah Chey Chestha (1674-1714), the next intrigue involved the last refugee court of Champapura. According to Khmer chronicle, a Laotian ruler in the name of Po Vamsa brought his people to submit to the Khmer king of Udong.
In 1692, Prah Vong (Po Vamsa), who was Cham, brought his troops to submit to Prah Raja Angka. (CRC: P 375)
During the fall of Champapura by the attack of the Le' s court, it is expected that Laos became one of the strategic escape grounds of the Chams (Nokor Champa and the Lao Kingdom of Lang-xang: The failing of the Ming Dynasty: The fall of Champapura). It is not surprising that Prah Vong was mentioned as a Lao in another passage (CRC: P 375). His title Po Vamsa was on the other hand of ancient Cham legacy belonging to the same scion descended from the last Cham King of Po Nokor. Their presence in Cambodia, requesting the protection of the court of Udong, reflects a new development that was going to affect both the Cham communities and the Khmer court of Udong. In 1712, the Khmer King, Prah Jaya Chetha, arranged the Laotians (the Chams) to stay with one of his court officer named "Oknha Raja Sethi" whom we could identify to be no other than the Chinese Businessman Mac Chau, the ruler of Ha-tien.
The King ordered the Laotians (the Chams) to stay at Ca Kam with Oknha Raja Sethi, the Laotians did not want to stay with him and escaped to stay with the king' s eldest brother, Prah Keo Pha Im. They altogether escaped to live with the mountainous people, and later into the domain of the Annamete King. (CRC: P 378)
According to the passage, the arrangement did not apparently suit the Laotians as they refused to stay at Ha-tien with the Chinese Businessman Mac Chau. They went ahead requesting protection from the king' s eldest brother, Prah Keo Pha Im who helped them move to stay with the mountainous people and later into the domain of the Annamete King (Notes: The origin of the Tay-son Brothers). With the help of the Laotian and Annamete troops, Prah Keo Pha launched a campaign to take the throne of Udong from his brother in 1714. Prah Chey Chestha, also known as Prah Sri Dharma escaped to Ayudhya with another brother of his named Prah Ang Thong. Prah Keo Pha Im reigned until 1722 and abdicated the throne to his son Prah Suthat who was ruling over the southern part of Cambodia. Prah Suthat who founded the seaport of Ha-tien along with the Chinese Businessman Mac Chau, had his reign particularly connected to the new development of Prey-Nokor.
According to the Khmer chronicle, the next development with the Cham leader Po Vamsa confirms that uprisings in a big scale soon started.
In 1730, a Laotian, who lived in the country of Prah sot Ba Phnom, saying that inspired by God, killed many Annametes down to the country of Saigon. (CRC: The reign of Prah Sotha: P 382)
The uprising that was started at Ba Phnom by a Laotian and was extended to Prey-Nokor was clearly against the Nguyen court of Hue who, at the time, had the control of Prey-Nokor. The chronicle does not make clear of any involvement of the Khmer court in support of the massacre. However, the attack by the Nguyen King against Udong soon after, was clearly in retaliation of Hue to the Cham' s incident (Notes: The Nguyen King in 1731).
In 1731, the upset Annamete King sent troops to attack. The Cambodian king pulled his court to Peam Cring, in the province of Santhoc. When the Annametes left, the king came back to Udong. (CRC: P 382)
The next year, the Vietnamese launched another attack and after they left, the Khmer King did not return back to Udong. Expecting more attacks from Hue, he moved his court to Lawek. In close connection with Prah Sothat, the Khmer ruler of Ha-tien, we have the reason to believe that the Lao rebel against the court of Hue was no other than a member of the Lao Po Vamsa' s court. The rebellion was in connection to the settlement of the Cham leader Po Vamsa back at Pandaranga that led to the next Tay-son uprising thirty years later.
The Tay-Son Brothers
There are still debate on the root and the real motives of the three Tay-son brothers who brought down the Hue' s court to a near destruction. They presented themselves as Nguyen Van Nhac, Nguyen Van lue and Nguyen Van-Hue, and were originated from Binh-dinh that was known as the ancient site of Vijaya. As many other locations around the ancient city of Pandaranga, Binh-dinh was not known of any early Vietnamese peasants' settlements. At the contrary, it was one of the last refugee camps, after the fall of Champapura, where the Cham aristocrats found security among a high numbers of their peers. It is said that the Three tay-son brothers were of the fourth generation from their first ancestors who had settled at the region of the An-Khe plateau. It coincides with the settlement of the Lao King Po Vamsa and his people back in mountainous regions and in later process, infiltrated back in the Cham courts of Pandaranga. We come to the conclusion that the first ancestor of the Tay-son brothers at Binh-dinh was no other than Po Vamsa and that the uprising must have been already planned since his first settlements at the region. The eldest of the three, Nguyen Van-Nhac was quoted to have been making the commerce of betel nut with the indigenous Bahnar people and was also quoted to work as a tax collector for the Nguyen. It is suggesting that he had strong connection with the mountainous tribes and had incorporated himself into the local Cham court as a vassal tax collector to Hue. They took the last name "Nguyen", perhaps to help concealing their causes (Notes: The new Nguyen Court). First, they could fool the Trinh into taking them as belonging to the Nguyen court while they were actually fighting against them. To rational observers, their campaigns were far to be just rebellious activities but an organized campaign to unseat the control of the Hue court. The outcome shows that the old Nguyen court was not as strong as many historians had portrayed them to be. Virtually without people for support, most control as we had seen was done so far through subordination of the Cham lower courts. During their early reigns, evidences shows that the Nguyen had established no stable control of Champapura. Most importantly, they had to fight with the Trinh for sustaining self-determination. During an attack conducted by the latter, they had to escape to Prey-Nokor where they could find refuge among new Viet settlers. On the other side, the three brothers had proved themselves, in the eye of the Trinh, to be better than the old Nguyen court of Hue and were rewarded with titles and powers. Their attacks were proven efficient and mostly successful, a military achievement that only could be attributed to well trained court members. If our assumption is correct, the Tai-son uprising must to start during the early uprising at Prey-Nokor in 1730 and was in tune with the fight between the Trinh with the Nguyen (Notes: The Start of the Tay-son Uprising). The elapse of time of more than a decade between the end of the late Nguyen Phuc Chu' s reign in 1725 and the ascension of Nguyen Phuc Thuan in 1739 might had been due to the unrest created by the uprising. Before 1770, evidences show that the Tay-son brothers worked behind the scene to destroy the Nguyen family while in the open they conveyed themselves to the Viet communities and the Trinh, that they were part of the Nguyen family. In 1775, they went out to capture Hue and continued on pursuing and destroying the Nguyen court during the latter' s escape. After all the conquest was done, they could reveal themselves. Through records of European visitors, their life style, their exploit and their way of conducting state affair were noticeable non-Vietnamese. In 1776, Nhac established himself at Vijaya, an ancient capital of Prey-Nokor and, according to European source, reigned with the ancient Cham regalia (Notes: The Cham Regalia). He took himself the imperial title of Tien Vuong (Tien Vamsa), an ancient title that also revokes the past legacy of Prey-Nokor. It was likely the same title "Po Vamsa" (Prah Vuong) of the Lao leader who, as we had argued, was their immediate ancestor. After the Nguyen court was destroyed, the three brothers launched their next campaign against Annam. Their second attack drove the young Chinese protégé Le-Chien-Tong to take refuge back in Peking. In the effort to make peace with China, Nguyen-Hue sent a petition to the Chinese Emperor, informing of his background and status that justified his action against the Le court (Notes: Nguyen-Hue' s Petition to the Chinese court). He revealed that the Nguyen (Tay-son) brothers were the nine generations descended from the ruler of Quang-nam (Champapura) and that Annam was their enemy. Nine generation back, their ancestor who ruled Champapura was no other than the Champa King Jaya Simhavarman (Known as Che Bong Nga in Vietnamese sources) or his successor King Indravarman who was driven out by Annam around the late fourteenth century. The claim was credible enough to the Chinese Emperor who, instead of handing the investiture of the throne of Annam to the Le' s apparent-heir Le-Chien-Tong, had chosen to hand it to Nguyen-Hue. It was a bargain that the Tay-son brothers were not expecting from the Chinese Emperor and that was, in the long run, became their burden. Nguyen-Hue ascended the throne of Annam as vassal to the Chinese court of Peking in 1789.
- ISSA: The Indianized States of Southeast Asia, by G. Coedes
- CKH: The Chonicle of Khmer heroes, by Sot Eng
- CRC: JA 1871: Chronique Royale du Cambodge, by Okgna Vang Sarpech Nong, Translated by Doudar Delagree
- HRCA: Histoire des relations da la Chine avec l'Annam-Vietnam du XVIe au XIXe siecle: d'apres des documents Chinois, Translated by G. Devaria)
- MSAC: Asia Research Institute (ARI): The Ming Shi Account of Champa, by Geoff Wade
- MALAKA: Malaka, Le Malay et Malayur, by Gabriel Ferrand
- TSON: The Tay son Uprising, By George Dutton
- ANNAM:Histoire Moderne du Pays D' Annam, M. Maybon
1359-1369: The reign of Prah Suryavang at Angkor; 1360: The reign of Jayasimhavarman (at Champa); 1407: The reign of Indravarman (at Champa); 1437: the fall of Sri Dharmaraja into the hand of Ayudhya; 1471: Le Loi liberated Annam and attacked Champapura; 1558-1613: Nguyen Hoang ruled over the court of Hue; 1615: A new mission, specially to take care of Cochin-china and Annam was formed; 1618-1627: The reign of King Jaya chetha II of Udong; The reign of king Botom Raja, son of Jaya Chetha II and the Viet princess; 1671: the Chinese merchant Mac Cau built Ha-tien; 1674-1714: The reign of Prah Chey Chestha of Udong; 1692: Po Vamsa brough his people to submit to the Khmer king; 1708-1732: The reign of Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua Thai Sa; 1714-1722: The reign of Prah Keo Pha of Udong; 1717: Siam attacked Ha-tien; 1722: The reign of Prah Sathat; 1730: First uprising at Prey-Nokor; 1757-1774: The reign of Prah Narayraja at Udong; 1775: The Tay-son brothers captured Hue;
- The Austronesian vs the Chinese Migrants
Linguists often mis-associate modern Chinese migrants to their long lost relatives Austronesians. While the link is strong, there are other considerations that needed to take that create separation between them in custom and cultural backgrounds occurring since the Great Flood. While the Austronesian was subconsciously compatible with the Austroasiatic life-style through many centuries of assimilation, modern Chinese migrants were not.
- King Bansasurah
After all the brothers of King Dharmasokaraja died, evidences show that the Banbakara took the title of Bansasurah of the last brother and moved to Champapura. The title Bansasurah could be the same as "Sri Vamsa Sura" which became Che Bang Gna in Annamete.
- The Exploit of Che Bong Nga
Che Bong Nga lead a series of victorious campaign against Annam from 1361 to 1390. These campaigns were almost continous: in 1361, the pillage of the port of Da-li; in 1368 of the Vietnamese in a place called "Cham Cavern" in present-day Quang-nam; in 1371, the invasion of the Annam Delta and the sack of Hanoi in 1377, the defeat of the Vietnamese before Vijaya (Cha-ban) in Binh-dinh and the killing of King Tran Due-tong followed by a new invasion of Annam and a new pillage of Hanoi; in 1380; the pillage of Nghe-an and Tranh-hoa; in 1384, an attack on Annam by land; in 1389, a new victorious campaign in Annam. (ISSA: The end of Indian Kingdoms: Champa from the Accession of Che Bong NGA (1360) to the final abandonment of Vijaya (1471))
In his translation, M. Antoine Cabaton mistakenly translated the word "Kvir" as Khmer that misled other scholars, George Coedes in particular, to take it as a fight with the Khmer King Chao Ponha Yat. In reality the fight was to liberate Kvir, a short form of Virapura, from the former usurper of the Champa throne back into the control of Indravarman.
- The Last of the Nanda
The lost of the ability to fly reflects the late development of the Cham Nanda clan adopting Vishnuism. On the other hand, the Khmer Nanda clan, by retaining Sivaism still can fly (a show of the divine status).
- The Cham Lamentation
An inscription left at Champapura provided us with better picture of the Vietnamese rule over the Chams.
Among the sons of the Chams, the chief priest swallows his tears, because the Annamete commands to him. (ANNAM: Les Nguyen en Cochinchine et au Cambodge: Footnote)
the Hue' s control over the Cham had not been easy.
Pity to our country! The sons of Annamete command the Cham like the Buffaloes.
Due to their hidden agenda, the Nguyen had to impose more taxes on their subjects to finance their own long-term project.
- Joggling Between Siam and Hue
His flawed thinking of playing Siam against Annam in a political joggling maneuver would cost Cambodia almost its existence. After his death, the next unskilled players of the court of Udong failed miserably in this political game. Instead of joggling the two neighboring states to face each other, the court of Udong found itself being jogged by the two neighbors to destruction. Facing with both Siam and Viet' s aggression, the Khmer court of Udong succumbed while the two master joggers took turn to encroach the rest of Khmer territory.
- The Viet Princess' s Escort
Thousands of Vietnam fully armed soldiers followed Lady Ngoc Van to Cambodia, Many Vietnamese became Cambodian court officials. Two years after the royal wedding, there were 20,000 Vietnamese settlers migrated to Prey Nokor (saigon), Las Krabey.
- The Origin of the Tay-son Brothers
It was the same region that the Tay-son emerged later as the leader of the Tay-son uprising. The mountainous tribes were the Bahnar and the domain of the Hue' s court was no other than Binh-dinh.
- The Cham Lamentation
The rest of the lamentation is about the lack of leadership among the Cham communities, under the Hue' s court.
The Annamete command and laugh, he had a king! But the Cham is orphan! When we end our misery! The Cham were also stupid as the salvages and the people of forest. Lies, we wait for the lord coming down from the sky. To the Cham and the salvages, he will be the savior. I demand that the sky give me a little joy. I only demand to work like our forefather under the Cham kings. (ANNAM: Les Nguyen en Cochinchine et au Cambodge: Footnote)
- The Nguyen King in 1731
There is an elapse of time between the end of the reign of Nguyen Phuc Chu (1691-1725) and the start of next Nguyen king Nguyen Phuc Khoat (1739-1765). It coincides with the attack Cham leader Po Vamsa in 1730 against the Vietnamese stronghold at Prey-Nokor. The Nguyen King in 1731 is then referring to Nguyen Phuc Khoat who was by the time fighting against the Trinh and ascended the Hue' s court in 1739. Until it was over in 1776, the Tay-son fought the Nguyen apparently in cooperation with the Trinh.
- The New Nguyen Court
Contemporary to Southern Viet society of the time, migrants chose their last name, without blood relationship, from the big names of the country. The name "Nguyen" was obviously popular and became one of the common last names of Viet nam until today.
The King Le-hien-tong (believing in having affair with the legitimate ancient Nguyens) offered present of two cities to Nguyen Hue and gave him his daughter for marriage. The King died the year after, 1787 and his Grandson Le-chien-tong succeeded him. (HRCA:10: Alliance de Trinh-can et de Nguyen-hue)
Obviously the Tay-son brothers were able to fool the Trinh' s court during the old age of the King Le-hien-tong.
- The Start of the Tay-son Uprising
New history of the Tay-son uprising dated the start of the uprising in 1770 and that the three Tay-son brothers went on to conquest Hue in 1775. Our association of the Tay-son uprising with the Cham uprising dated the start of the uprising instead in 1730 and was in tune with the fight between the Trinh with the Nguyen that started 1725. The Tay-son brothers took the opportunity of the fight between the two Viet families to launch their own campaign.
- The Cham Regalia
There are evidences that Nguyen Nhac used the Cham court of Vijaya and the Cham regalia to crown himself as Tien Vong (TSON: Tay Son relations with Non-Vietname Ethnic Group: The Tay-son and the Chams).
The appropriation of Vijaya as his capital, as well as Nhac' s seizure of the Cham imperial regalia at some point at the mid-1780, both suggest that the Tay-son leader was more inclined to use the Chams more than to serve their interest.
Living with the Cham communities for many generations, the Chams must to know the three brothers quite well. It is doubtfully that Nguyen Nhac could fool the Cham court without being a Cham himself.
Dispite this the Cham prince whose regalia was seized by the rebel leader became an important political ally of the Tay-son
The support from the Young Cham' s heir proved further that Nguyen Nhac was not just a Cham citizen but a Cham royalty recognized by the whole Cham communities of the region.
- Nguyen-Hue' s Petition to the Chinese Court
Nguyen Hue sent his nephew Nguyen-quang-hien to present a tribute and a clarification to the court of Peking.
It said that the Nguyen owned since nine generations the principality of Quang-nam which the Annam Kingdom was the enemy and that his position in regard to the King of that country was not of a servant and master. They had their conflicts the same as the Man country and the Tchou country in the ancient time. ( HRCA: 27: Nguyen-Hue se concilie les bonnes graces du government Chinois)
The important part of the passage is about the ancestors of the Tay-son brothers ruling over Quang-nam (Champapura) since nine generations, back in the past. It coincided with the formation of Nokor Kanta by a king named Simha(known as Che Bong Nga in Vietnamese source) or his successor King Indravarman who was driven out by Le-loi around the late fourteenth century.