PUBLISHED : 21 Nov 2023 at 18:07
Gen Saprang Kalayanamitr, a former deputy permanent secretary for defence who played a role in the 2006 coup that toppled the Thaksin government, died on Tuesday morning. He was 75.
It was reported that the general died of lung cancer. The funeral rites are to be held at Wat Phra Sri Maha That in Bangkok’s Bang Khen district.
Born on July 8, 1948 in the northern province of Lampang, Gen Saprang’s army career began in 1969 after graduating from the Royal Chulachomklao Military Academy, Class 7.
He held several key posts including being the Third Army commander and deputy permanent secretary for defence before his mandatory retirement in 2008.
Gen Saprang entered the public spotlight when he served as the Third Army commander, holding the rank of lieutenant general. He vowed to defend the institution of the monarchy and campaign against corruption.
The outspoken officer was also known for expressing views that were highly critical of the Thaksin administration and his media interviews were seen as a signal that the army was ready to intervene if the country was in a crisis.
After the 2006 coup staged by then army chief Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin, Gen Saprang was named assistant to the secretary-general of the Administrative Reform Council (ARC) and later appointed a member of the Council for National Security (CNS).
Gen Saprang was a candidate for the army’s top post, but the job was given to Gen Anupong Paojinda. Instead, he was made a deputy permanent secretary for defence.
He disappeared from public view after his retirement in 2008 and was said to have spent his time with his family in Lampang, his home province, and in Chiang Mai.