Kriangsak Chamanan

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Kriangsak Chamanan
เกรียงศักดิ์ ชมะนันทน์
Kriangsak Chomanan 1976.jpg
15th Prime Minister of Thailand
In office
11 November 1977 – 3 March 1980
MonarchBhumibol Adulyadej
Preceded byThanin Kraivichien
Succeeded byPrem Tinsulanonda
Minister of Defence
In office
11 August 1977 – 11 May 1979
Prime Ministerhimself
Preceded byLek Neawmalee
Succeeded byPrem Tinsulanonda
Minister of Interior
In office
12 November 1976 – 11 August 1980
Prime Ministerhimself
Preceded bySamak Sundaravej
Succeeded byLek Neawmalee
Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces
In office
1 October 1966 – 30 September 1977
Preceded byKamol Techatungka
Succeeded bySerm Na Nakorn
Personal details
Born(1917-12-17)17 December 1917
Samut Sakhon, Siam
Died23 December 2003(2003-12-23) (aged 86)
Bangkok, Thailand
Spouse(s)Wirat Chamanan
Military service
Allegiance Thailand
Service/branch Royal Thai Army
Years of service1940 - 1980
RankRTA OF-9 (General).svg General
RTN OF-9 (Admiral).svg Admiral
RTAF OF-9 (Air Chief Marshal).svg Air Chief Marshal
CommandsSupreme Commander
Battles/warsFranco-Thai War
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War

Kriangsak Chamanan (Thai: เกรียงศักดิ์ ชมะนันทน์, pronounced [kria̯ŋ.sàk tɕʰā.má(ʔ).nān]; 17 December 1917 – 23 December 2003) served as prime minister of Thailand from 1977 to 1980.


A professional soldier, in WWII he was posted in occupied Shan State.[1] He fought against the French in the Franco-Thai War, and against the communists in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War. In 1977, as Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, he staged a successful coup d'état against Prime Minister Thanin Kraivichien.

Kriangsak is widely credited for defusing a long-running communist insurgency in northern Thailand. Allegedly, he allowed the People's Republic of China to ship arms to the rebel Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in exchange for the PRC withdrawing its support of the communists in Thailand.[2] However, this is denied by the Thai government, which cites his offer of amnesty as the primary reason.

In 1974 he secretly brokered a prisoner exchange with the Burmese government, in which the opium warlord Khun Sa was ransomed for the freedom of two Soviet doctors who Khun Sa's followers had kidnapped.[3]

Kriangsak voluntarily retired in February 1980[2] and was succeeded by General Prem Tinsulanonda. In 1981 he re-entered politics at the head of a new political party, the National Democratic Party, which emerged as the only credible political opposition to Prem. His election campaign was partially financed by contacts he had made among the leaders of the opium trade: Khun Sa and Li Wenhuan each secretly contributed $50,000 US.[4]


Foreign honour[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, Martin. Burma: Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity". Zed Books. 1991.
  2. ^ a b "Kriangsak Chomanan". The Economist. 2004-01-08. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  3. ^ * Lintner, Bertil. "Death of a Drug Lord". Asia Times Online. November 1, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2018. p.2
  4. ^ Lintner, Bertil. Burma in Revolt: Opium and Insurgency Since 1948. Silkworm Books. 1999. p.319
  5. ^ "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat".

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Thanin Kraivichien
Prime Minister of Thailand
Succeeded by
Prem Tinsulanonda