BANGKOK – His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua and Her Majesty Queen Suthida have attended cremation rites for the late President of the Privy Council and Statesman, Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda.
At 5:29 p.m. on Sunday (Dec 8), Their Majesties the King and Queen proceeded to Debsirindrawas Ratchaworawihan temple in Pom Prap Sattru Phai district, Bangkok, to attend the cremation rites for Gen. Prem. He was 98 years old at the time of his death.
Their Majesties the King and Queen were accompanied by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati Krom Luang Ratchasarinee Siripatchara Maha Watchara Ratchathida.
His Holiness Somdet Phra Ariyavongsagatanana, the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, presided over the cremation rites.
Gen. Prem was born on August 26, 1920, at Bo Yang subdistrict in Muang Songkhla district of Songkhla province. He was the son of Bueng and Odd Tinsulanonda, and was the sixth of eight children.
Gen. Prem graduated from Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy (CRMA) in 1941, and started his military career as a civil servant. He served in the tank corps on the Thai-Cambodian border during the French Indochina War, and also participated in the Greater East Asia War. He was later promoted to the position of captain and commanded a military unit in Lopburi province.
In 1968, Gen. Prem was given the rank of major general and appointed commander of the Cavalry Centre and the Saraburi Military District. In 1974, he was given the rank of lieutenant general and appointed commander of the Second Army Region. In 1977, he was promoted to the rank of general and appointed commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Army. The following year, Gen. Prem pursued his career in politics and served as a senator, a member of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), the Deputy Minister of Interior and the Defense Minister. He became Thailand’s 16th Prime Minister, serving three terms from 1980 to 1988.
His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej the Great appointed Gen. Prem to the Privy Council on August 23, 1987. He was granted the title “statesman” six days later. On September 4, 1998, he was appointed to president of the privy council.
Gen. Prem also served as the regent in the reign of the current monarch. Due to his trustworthiness, Gen. Prem remained the privy council president until his death.
Gen. Prem was considered a venerable person who had performed to the best of his ability. His honesty and loyalty to the kingdom, the institution of the monarchy, and religion have set an example for all Thais.