Kraisak Choonhavan

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Kraisak Choonhavan
ไกรศักดิ์ ชุณหะวัณ
Kraisak Choonhavan 29 Feb 2008.jpg
Deputy Leader of the Democrat Party
In office
15 July 2008 – 16 August 2011
Personal details
Born (1947-08-08) 8 August 1947 (age 71)
Bangkok, Thailand
Nationality Thai
Political party Democrat Party
Alma mater George Washington University
University of London
Profession politician

Kraisak Choonhavan (Thai: ไกรศักดิ์ ชุณหะวัณ, born 8 October 1947 in Bangkok) is a Thai politician. He was a member of the Senate for Nakhon Ratchasima Province from 2000 till 2006.

Born the son of former prime minister General Chatichai Choonhavan and Than Phu Ying Bunruen Choonhavan, Kraisak received a bachelor's degree in International Relations at the George Washington University, U.S., and master's degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, United Kingdom. He taught political economy at the Kasetsart University (1976–1989) and was known for his development studies; taught politics of South East Asia countries and became an activist on regional human rights and the environment. He was adviser to the Prime Minister (1989–91) and was in charge of peace negotiation with Cambodia. After the coup in 1991, he was appointed chief adviser to the Governor of Bangkok (until 1995) on urban pollution and arts and culture. He was elected senator in 2001 and became the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate prior to the 2006 Thailand coup.

In the senate he was a leading member of a progressive group of 45 senators who opposed human right violations, corruption and other abuses under the Thaksin Shinawatra government. He was often interviewed on these issues by the BBC, ABC, CNN, Reuters, AP and other international media agencies.

After the coup, local media claimed that the military junta approached him to become the foreign minister of the interim civilian government.[1] However, he denied the junta made such an approach.

It was alleged that the military appointed him as part of the team for PR work.[2] Kraisak emphatically denies having been approached much less taken part in this PR team.

After the general elections in 2007, Kraisak is now a member of the parliament (proportional representation) of the opposition party (the Democrat Party) and has recently been elected as deputy leader responsible for the North East. He also holds the position of the President of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC)[1] which is composed of like-minded members of parliaments from ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) who work together towards restoring freedom and instituting democracy in Myanmar.


  1. ^ The Nation, Sep 21, 2006 "Kraisak set for Foreign portfolio" Archived 2006-10-11 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ The Nation, Saprang's cousin given PR work 'because of experience' Archived 2007-04-29 at the Wayback Machine., 11 April 2007

External links[edit]

Dr. Kraisak's official personal Thai language webpage appears at *[2]