|Born||June 2, 1951|
|Died||May 17, 2010(aged 58)|
|Service/branch||Royal Thai Army|
|Commands held||Internal Security Operations|
Khattiya Sawasdipol (Thai: ขัตติยะ สวัสดิผล; RTGS: Khattiya Sawatdiphon; June 2, 1951 – May 17, 2010), alias Seh Daeng (Thai: เสธ.แดง; RTGS: Se Daeng; English: Red Commander), was a major general in the Royal Thai Army, assigned to the Internal Security Operations Command. He claimed to have helped the United States spy on North Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and to have taken part in the CIA-financed "Secret War" against the communists in the Plain of Jars, in Laos. Khattiya also allegedly disguised himself as a Muslim in order to infiltrate rebel groups in Aceh, Indonesia.
Khattiya was a widower with two adult daughters and a young son out of wedlock. He wrote several best-sellers in the Thai language describing his claimed adventures in a series called Khom...Seh Daeng (คม...เสธ.แดง). He frequently appeared on television talk shows and had a cult of followers, achieving almost celebrity status. He came into conflict with the Thai police commander, General Seri Temiyavet, during the investigation of a large gambling den in 2006. General Seri filed a libel suit against Khattiya, who was arrested and sentenced to prison for four months. Khattiya subsequently brought a 600 million Baht libel suit against Seri for defamation.
Khattiya made national news on October 18, 2008, when he announced "he would mobilise government supporters against any military attempt to seize political power." Khattiya said members of the pro-government Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship (DAAD) would use petrol bombs against any tanks and military vehicles taking part in a coup attempt.
Because of his comments, Khattiya was reassigned as an aerobics teacher  by Gen. Anupong Paochinda, the Thai Army commander. An irritated Khattiya responded by saying, "The army chief wants me to be a presenter leading aerobics dancers. I have prepared one dance. It's called the 'throwing-a-hand-grenade' dance."
On 14 January 2010, Army Commander Anupong Paochinda ordered a suspension of Khattiya Sawasdipol after an inquiry committee found that Khattiya had openly supported the DAAD, a political pressure group that called for new elections, which breached the principle that military officers do not take sides in politics. The following day, Anupong's office in the Royal Thai Army Headquarters was attacked by grenades fired from a M79 grenade launcher, leaving the office demolished but no one injured. In the news of the attack, Khattiya was described by BBC as a "renegade Thai general who backs anti-government protesters." A member of the protesters' radical wing, he accused the red-shirt leaders - many who then distanced themselves from him - of not being hardline enough.
On the evening of May 13, 2010, Khattiya Sawasdipol was shot in the head, apparently by a sniper, at the intersection of the Sala Daeng BTS station, as he was being interviewed by a reporter from the New York Times. Critically wounded, he was admitted to Huachiew hospital. On May 16, 2010, he suffered renal failure and underwent dialysis. His death was announced on May 17, 2010 at 9:20 am. At the time of his death, he was about to be cashiered from the Royal Thai Army for his refusal to obey orders to stay neutral.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Khattiya Sawasdipol.|
- Slideshow of book covers
- Cropley, Ed (21 November 2008). "Maverick Thai general does the hand-grenade waltz". Reuters.
- The Nation; 2010, 14 January ; Online.
- Thai Rath; 2010, 21 January.
- "Pro-protest Thailand general shot". BBC News. 13 May 2010.
- "Thai red-shirt supporter Gen Khattiya shot". BBC News. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-16.
- Fuller, Thomas; Mydans, Seth (13 May 2010). "Thai General Shot; Army Moves to Face Protesters". The New York Times.
- "Seh Daeng pronounced dead at 9:20 am". The Nation. 17 May 2010.
- "Seh Daeng pronounced dead". Bangkok Post. 17 May 2010.
- "Thai renegade "Red" general dead: emergency services". Bangkok, Thailand: Channel NewsAsia. AFP/vm. 17 May 2010.
- Post Today. (2008, 3 September). Anupong say 'Stop this civil war.' Extra page 2.
- Thai Rath. (2010, 21 January). Army Commander's office at the RTA Headquarters bombed. [Online]. Available: <click>. (Accessed: 21 January 2010).
- The Nation. (2010, 14 January). Khattiya to cease his activities. [Online]. Available: <click>. (Accessed: 21 January 2010).
- The Nation. (2010, 17 May). Seh Daeng pronounced dead at 9:20 am. [Online]. Available: <click>. (Accessed: 17 May 2010).
- FROM THE BARRACKS: 'Seh Daeng' - a clowning soldier not to be laughed at (retrieved 8:50 PM 11/27/2008). The article says that "his only daughter, Khattiyar, 27, ironically is an ardent supporter of the PAD.... But he was not prepared to go soft on the PAD - believing that one can have another daughter but a shattered nation cannot be rebuilt." [dead link]
- TRC explains 'men in black' connection