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Praphas Charusathien ( th, ประภาส จารุเสถียร, , ; 25 November 1912 – 18 August 1997) was a Thai military officer and politician. He was a field marshal ('' chom phon'') of the Royal Thai Army and minister of interior in the governments of military rulers Sarit Thanarat and Thanom Kittikachorn.


Personal life and education

Praphas graduated from the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy and became an infantry officer. He was sponsored by Field Marshal and Prime Minister-to-be Sarit Thanarat. He was quickly promoted to higher ranks. In 1957, Sarit appointed him minister of interior, a position in which he continued to serve after Sarit's death in 1963. The new Prime Minister was Thanom Kittikachorn, whose son married Praphas' daughter. From 1963 to 1973, he was additionally deputy prime minister and List of Commanders of the Royal Thai Army, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army. During this time, Praphas was the strong man in the background who pulled the strings in the Thanom government. He was known for obscure financial transactions and political intrigues, while sitting on the boards of 44 companies. In 1973, he was replaced as army commander by General Krit Srivara, which signaled his loss of influence. In October 1973 protests against the rigid military rule grew into a 1973 Thai popular uprising, massive popular uprising that was answered by a bloody crackdown on the protesting students and democracy activists. The many dead civilians prompted King Bhumibol Adulyadej to intervene. Praphas, Thanom and his son Colonel Narong Kittikachorn went into exile. Praphas returned to Thailand in January 1977, after the military had ended the democratic interlude in Thammasat University massacre, October 1976. However, he was not able to exercise political influence again.


Died

Praphas Charusathien died on 18 August 1997 in Bangkok.


Honours


Foreign honours

* : Honorary Grand Commander of the Order of the Defender of the Realm (1964) * : Grand Cross with Sash and Star of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany *: Grand Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau *: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic *: Commander of the Legion of Merit


Notes


References

{{Authority control 1912 births, Charusathien, Praphas 1997 deaths, Charusathien, Praphas Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy alumni Ministers of the Interior of Thailand Deputy Prime Ministers of Thailand Commanders-in-chief of the Royal Thai Army Field marshals of Thailand Honorary Grand Commanders of the Order of the Defender of the Realm Grand Crosses with Star and Sash of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Marshals of the Royal Thai Air Force