Authorized Biography
Thai Biography
Statesman's Love Story
Positions & Ranks
Important Milestones
Ethics in Public Administration
The Statesman Foundation
The Traidhos Foundation
Prem Tinsulanonda • Center for International Education
Keynote Speeches
General Prem's Private Photo Gallery
News Updates
Information in German

Important Milestones

Prem Tinsulanonda (1920- ), Thai general and Prime Minister (1980-1988), who governed Thailand during an unusually long period of political stability. Prem, born in 1920, rose through the ranks of the Thai officer corps from his appointment as a sub-lieutenant in 1941 to the post of commander in chief.

He served as Deputy Minister of the Interior in 1977 in the government of Kriangsak Chomanan, becoming Minister of Defence in 1979 and then Prime Minister in 1980. Prem led a shifting coalition of parties but he was successful in facing down two coup attempts in 1981 and 1985.

General Prem was able to step down as army commander and continue his administration as a civilian Prime Minister, retaining control of the military by remaining Minister of Defence. Much of the day-to-day running of government was left to civil servants and his government came to be regarded as a "semidemocracy".

Prem himself also had a good reputation for being untouched by the corruption that has been common in Thai politics. The support of King Rama IX for his government was important in enabling Prem to survive the two coup attempts. During the 1981 coup attempt the royal family accompanied Prem to Khorat, from where he was able to rally support and defeat the plotters.

Prem's close relations with the king were confirmed by the bestowal of the rare Nopparat Rajavaraporn (the Ancient Auspicious Order of the Nine Gems) in 1988, the year he stepped down as Prime Minister.

Prem has remained a senior counsellor in Thai politics and was present when the King brought General Suchinda and Chamlong Srimaung before him to put an end to the street fighting in May 1992.


Upon the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 13 October 2016, Prem, at age 96, became regent of Thailand until the coronation of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn as King Rama X on October 4, 2019. Prem was actively involved in many charities, including the Prem Foundation. He established the Prem Tinsulanonda International School, which opened in August 2001 in Chiang Mai Province. The campus covers 90 acres; the student body numbers over 400, with more than 36 nationalities represented.
Prem last picture
Prem died of heart failure at Phramongkutklao Hospital on 26 May 2019, aged 98. King Vajiralongkorn ordered a period of mourning at the royal court for 21 days from 27 May to 17 June 2019. General Prem remained loyal to Thailand and the King his whole life, and he is one of the greatest Statesman in Thai history.

Prem Tinsulanonda Center for International Education, Chiang Mai, Kingdom of Thailand