Pramarn Adireksarn

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Pramarn Adireksarn
ประมาณ อดิเรกสาร
Leader of the Opposition
In office
30 September 1992 – 7 May 1994
Preceded by Chavalit Yongchaiyudh
Succeeded by Banharn Silpa-archa
In office
24 May 1983 – 1 May 1986
Deputy Prime Minister
In office
3 March 1980 – 19 March 1983
Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda
In office
20 April 1976 – 6 October 1976
Prime Minister Seni Pramoj
In office
14 March 1975 – 12 January 1976
Prime Minister Kukrit Pramoj
Minister of Interior
In office
14 December 1990 – 23 February 1991
Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan
Preceded by Banharn Silpa-archa
Succeeded by Issarapong Noonpackdee
In office
9 August 1988 – 9 January 1990
Preceded by Prachuab Soontarangkul
Succeeded by Banharn Silpa-archa
Minister of Industry
In office
9 January 1990 – 14 December 1990
Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan
Preceded by Banharn Silpa-archa
Succeeded by Pramual Sabhavasu
Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives
In office
20 April 1976 – 6 October 1976
Prime Minister Seni Pramoj
Minister of Defence
In office
17 March 1975 – 12 January 1976
Prime Minister Kukrit Pramoj
Succeeded by Krit Srivara
Personal details
Born (1913-12-31)31 December 1913
Saraburi, Thailand
Died 20 August 2010(2010-08-20) (aged 96)
Bangkok, Thailand
Nationality Thai
Political party Thai Nation Party
Spouse(s) Thanpuying Charoen Choonhavan
Alma mater Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy
Profession Military officer, politician

Pramarn Adireksarn (Thai: ประมาณ อดิเรกสาร, RTGS: Praman Adireksan, 31 December 1913–20 August 2010) was a Thai military officer and politician. He was a co-founder and chairman of the Thai Nation Party, deputy prime minister and minister in several cabinets.

Early life, military career, and family[edit]

Pramarn Adireksarn was born on 31 December 1913 in Saraburi. He attended the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy and became an officer in the artillery of the Royal Thai Army in Lopburi. The highest rank he achieved was Major General. Pramarn married Charoen Choonhavan, the daughter of Field Marshal Phin Choonhavan and sister of Chatichai Choonhavan. By this marriage, he became a member of the influential "Rajakru clan".[1][2] Pramarn and Charoen Adireksarn had three sons, including the author and politician Pongpol Adireksarn (pen-name Paul Adirex).

Political career under Plaek Phibunsongkhram[edit]

Later he served as director of the state-run Express Transportation Organization of Thailand (ETO). In 1951 he became deputy minister in the cabinet of Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram, initially assigned to the ministry of transport, he changed to the interior ministry in 1952, and to the ministry of industry in 1953. In 1955 he left the government. In 1957, Pramarn was elected Member of Parliament for the ruling Seri Manangkasila Party, the winner of the election in February of that year. Subsequently, Prime Minister Plaek appointed him Minister of Industry. The 1957 military coup d'état by Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat deposed Pramarn's patron Plaek and brought his political career to a temporary halt.[2] He got involved in the private sector and established a textile concern.[1]

Thai Nation Party leader[edit]

In 1974, after the successful democratic uprising, Pramarn, together with his in-laws Chatichai Choonhavan and Siri Siriyothin, founded the Thai Nation Party.[2] The right-wing conservative and staunchly anti-communist party was the adversary of the leftist student movement.[1] In March 1975, Pramarn led the Thai Nation Party into a United Parties coalition with the progressive Social Action Party and the right-wing Social Justice Party with M.R. Kukrit Pramoj becoming Prime Minister and Pramarn taking the office of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence. The coalition broke in January 1976. It had not been able to cope with the social unrest in the country, including the protests of the students movement, strikes, and fear at the sight of the events in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and inter-party conflicts, namely between Pramarn and Thawit Klinprathum, the leader of the Social Justice Party.[3]

In advance of the snap elections, Pramarn's Thai Nation Party campaigned on the slogan "Right kill Left".[4] The party could significantly increase its share of votes and seats in parliament. This time, the Thai Nation Party joined a Democrat Party-led government under Kukrit's brother M.R. Seni Pramoj. Pramarn Adireksarn stayed Deputy Prime Minister, but was denied the defence portfolio. Instead, he was given the ministry of agriculture. In the morning of 6 October 1976, it was Pramarn who declared in a cabinet meeting that it was the right moment to destroy the student movement. This was eventually executed by the police and ultra-right paramilitary units who shot and struck at least 46 protesters at the Thammasat University dead.[5] On the evening of the same day, the military launched a coup d'état and deposed the Seni government.

After 1976[edit]

In 1978, Pramarn became official leader of the opposition, before Thai Nation joined the coalition government of General Prem Tinsulanonda in 1980, with Pramarn again becoming Deputy Prime Minister. In 1986, Pramarn passed the leadership of the Thai Nation Party to his brother-in-law Chatichai Choonhavan. Chatichai won the election of 1988, became Prime Minister and made Pramarn Minister of Interior. In this position, he was royally promoted to the honorary rank of police general.[1] In January 1990 he switched posts with fellow party member Banharn Silpa-archa and took over the industry portfolio, just to change back to the interior ministry in December of the same year. Chatichai however took on leading circles in the military and was deposed by a coup in 1991. The so-called National Peace Keeping Council seized 139 million baht of Pramarn's assets, accusing him of being "unusually rich" for a cabinet member. From 1992 to 1994 Pramarn once again assumed the leadership of the Thai Nation Party and acted as leader of the opposition. Afterwards, Pramarn retired from the political scene and passed the mantle to his son Pongpol Adireksarn.[1]

Pramarn Adireksarn died of a blood infection at the age of 96 on 20 August 2010.[1]

Quote[edit]

In politics, there is no such thing as a true friend and permanent foe.

—Pramarn Adireksarn[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Obituary: Pramarn passes away at 96", The Nation, 21 August 2010, retrieved 28 January 2012 
  2. ^ a b c Maisrikrod, Surin (1992), Thailand's Two General Elections in 1992: Democracy Sustained, Institute of South East Asian Studies, p. 11, retrieved 28 January 2012 
  3. ^ Neher, Clark D. (1979), Modern Thai Politics, Transaction Publishers, p. 376 
  4. ^ Phongpaichit, Chris; Baker (1997), "Power in Transition: Thailand in the 1990s", Political Change in Thailand: Democracy and Participation (Routledge): 31 
  5. ^ Ungpakorn, Giles Ji (2003), "From the city, via the jungle, to defeat: the 6th Oct 1976 bloodbath and the C.P.T.", Radicalising Thailand: New Political Perspectives (Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University): 7, retrieved 26 January 2011 
  6. ^ Pramarn Adireksarn dies at 97, VoiceTV