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Suchinda Kraprayoon

General
Suchinda Kraprayoon
สุจินดา คราประยูร
19th Prime Minister of Thailand
In office
7 April 1992 – 24 May 1992
Monarch Bhumibol Adulyadej
Preceded by Anand Panyarachun
Succeeded by Meechai Ruchuphan
Minister of Defence
In office
17 April 1992 – 24 May 1992
Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun
Preceded by Praphat Kritsanajun
Succeeded by Banjob Bunnag
Commander in Chief
of the Royal Thai Army
In office
29 April 1990 – 7 April 1992
Preceded by Chavalit Yongchaiyudh
Succeeded by Isarapong Noonpakdee
Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces
In office
1 October 1991 – 4 April 1992
Preceded by Sunthorn Kongsompong
Succeeded by Kaset Rojananil
Personal details
Born (1933-08-06) 6 August 1933 (age 84)
Bangkok Noi, Thonburi, Siam
Nationality Thai
Spouse(s) Wannee Kraprayoon
Signature
Military service
Allegiance  Thailand
Service/branch Royal Thai Army
Years of service 1953–1990
Rank RTA OF-9 (General).svg General
Commands Commander-in-Chief

Suchinda Kraprayoon (Thai: สุจินดา คราประยูร; rtgsSuchinda Khra-prayun, born 6 August 1933) was Prime Minister of Thailand from 7 April 1992 until 24 May 1992.

Suchinda, son of Juang and Sompong Kraprayoon, was born 6 August 1933 in the Thonburi, Siam, and is of Chinese[1][2][3] and Mon descent.[4]

Early life and education

Suchinda first attended Wat Rajabopit School and later Amnuayslip School. He studied medicine at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok for 12 months before entering the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy. He graduated from Class 5 of the Academy, many of which would join in the National Peace Keeping Council. He also attended the US Army Command and General Staff Course at the Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and the US Army Command and General Staff Course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Early military career

Suchinda returned to Thailand in 1953 to serve as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Thai Army. On 25 January 1958 he became Troop Leader in an artillery infantry regiment. He was gradually promoted and given more responsibilities including:[5]

NPKC

Suchinda was a leader of the National Peace Keeping Council (NPKC), which conducted a coup d'etat that ousted the elected government of Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan on 23 February 1991. The NPKC installed former diplomat Anand Panyarachun as Prime Minister.

After the general election on 22 March 1992, five parties (Rassadorn, Justice Unity, Social Action, Thai Citizen, Chart Thai) designated Suchinda as the prime minister. His appointment as Prime Minister on 7 April 1992 resulted in large protests, culminating in a general curfew and military deployment in Bangkok. In the event known as Black May, hundreds of people are believed to have died when soldiers opened fire on unarmed students and demonstrators during the protests.[6] Further escalation was avoided by the intervention of King Bhumibol.

Suchinda resigned from the Premiership on 24 May 1992. The Deputy Prime Minister, Meechai Ruchuphan, became caretaker Prime Minister for an interim period until the new government was assigned. He was succeeded by Anand Panyarachun.

Post-downfall

After resigning, General Suchinda was appointed Chairman of Telecom Holdings, the holding company of Telecom Asia.[7] Telecom Asia was awarded an unprecedented concession to build 2 million telephone lines in Bangkok after the NPKC seized power.

Personal life

Suchinda is married to Khunying Wannee Kraprayoon (Noonpakdee). He has two sons: Jerdwut Kraprayoon and Janewit Kraprayoon, and five grandchildren: Jomphob (JJ) Kraprayoon, Polchate (Jam) Kraprayoon, Chyatash (Jeff) Kraprayoon, Titipat (Just) Kraprayoon, and Jittisa (Jane) Kraprayoon.

References

Political offices
Preceded by
Anand Panyarachun
Prime Minister of Thailand
1992
Succeeded by
Meechai Ruchuphan
Preceded by
Chavalit Yongchaiyudh
Commander-in-Chief of Royal Thai Army
1990–1992
Succeeded by
Itsaraphong Noonphakdi