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by สมฤดี สิงขรบรรจง - Sunday, 29 April 2007, 04:16 PM

Pridi Phanomyong

Pridi Phanomyong (Thai: ปรีดี พนมยงค์; Chinese: ; May 11, 1900 - May 2, 1983) was a Thai politician. He was a former Prime Minister and Senior Statesman of Thailand, and named one of the world great personalities of the century by the UNESCO in 2000.

Early life
Pridi Phanomyong was born in 1900 to a wealthy part Chinese farming family in Ayutthaya. He studied law and political economy at the Sorbonne, and returned to Siam in 1927 to work in the Ministry of Justice. He quickly rose through the ranks, and was granted the honorary royal title of Luang . During this period Pridi gradually and secretly built up a group of fifty civilian officials who wished to an end to the absolute monarchy.

People's Party
On June 24, 1932, the People's Party, with Pridi as the leader of the civilian faction, carried out a lightning coup d'état that abruptly ended 150 years of absolute monarchy under the Chakri Dynasty. In 1933, Pridi went into voluntary exile when his radical economic plans, which called for the nationalisation of land and labour, were violently rejected by many as extreme and allegedly

communist in nature.