Siddhi Savetsila, politician, Died at 96


Siddhi Savetsila was born on January 7, 1919, and died on December 5, 2015.
He was a retired Thai air force officer and politician.
After finishing his military career with the rank of air chief marshal, Siddhi served as the foreign minister of Thailand from 1980 to 1990.
Since 1991, Siddhi has been a member of the Privy Council of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Siddhi was born in Bangkok. He comes from an aristocratic background.
His father was a high-ranking official in the royal government.
Siddhi paternal grandfather was Henry Alabaster, who was the British consul in Siam during the reign of King Rama IV (Mongkut) and then served as an advisor to King Rama V (Chulalongkorn).
His mother was an offspring of the influential Bunnag family.
Siddhi studied metallurgic engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), graduating with an S.B. degree in 1943.
During the Second World War, Siddhi joined the Free Thai Movement (Seri Thai) which resisted against the de facto occupation of Thailand by Japanese forces.
Siddhi collected data for the US foreign-intelligence agency OSS (predecessor of the CIA) and was temporarily detained by the Japanese.
Two of Siddhis sisters married US intelligence operatives, one was the wife of former OSS agent Willis Bird and one of CIA officer William Lair.
After the end of the war, Siddhi returned to the MIT and received his S.M. degree in 1947.
Siddhi then served in the Royal Thai Air Force and rose up to the rank of air chief marshal (phon akat ek).
From 1975 to 1980 he served as secretary-general of the National Security Council.
In this position, Siddhi assisted Prime Minister Kriangsak Chomanan at the time of the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia 1978/79.
Siddhi Savetsila passed away at age 96 in December 2015.