Sunthorn Kongsompong

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Sunthorn Kongsompong
GEN Sundhara Kongsompong, left center, Supreme Commander, Royal Thai Armed Forces, and U.S. Ambassador to Thailand cropped1.jpg
Born (1931-08-01)1 August 1931
Bangkok, Thailand
Died 2 August 1999(1999-08-02) (aged 68)
Bangkok, Thailand
Allegiance  Thailand
Service/branch Royal Thai Army
Rank RTA OF-9 (General).svg General
Commands held Commander-in-Chief

Sunthorn Kongsompong (Thai: สุนทร คงสมพงษ์, RTGSSunthon Khongsomphong, IPA: [sǔn.tʰɔːn kʰoŋ.sǒm.pʰoŋ]; 1 August 1931 – 2 August 1999) was the de facto head of government of Thailand from 1991–1992, after a military coup d'etat led by Sunthorn and General Suchinda Kraprayoon deposed the government of Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan on February 23, 1991. The generals accused Chatichai of corruption, and established the National Peacekeeping Council (NPKC) as an interim administration, with Sunthorn as chairman. Anand Panyarachun was appointed Prime Minister in March, but the administration of the country was also executed by the NPKC. Sunthorn left the political office following the May 1992 constitution promulgation, which prohibited members of the military from executing the office of the Prime Minister.

Following his death due to cancer, a scandal arose over the distribution of his estate. He decided to leave most of his fortune of approximately US$ 150 million to his mistress. His wife sued to have the decision declared void. However, questions arose on how a general earning a little over US$1,000 a month could accumulate such a large personal fortune. The case led to the investigation of other generals, politicians, and businessmen into possible money laundering and corruption. It is said that the general also had close relationship with Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted prime minister in another 2006 coup.

References

  • 2Bangkok.com article about the coup d'etat
  • Asiaweek article about estate scandal
  • http://www.becnews.com/backissue/f_famous/suntorn-k.html (in Thai)
  • http://www.politicalfriendster.com/showPerson.php?id=3803&name=General-Sunthorn-Kongsompong[permanent dead link]


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