The Irrawaddy

Surin Pitsuwan Dies at 68

Surin Pitsuwan, former Asean secretary-general, speaks during a lecture in Kuala Lumpur, Oct. 30, 2012.

Former foreign minister and Asean secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan died of an acute heart attack on Thursday. He was 68.
Surin collapsed while preparing to speak at the Thailand Halal Assembly 2017 at Bitec in Bang Na.

He was rushed to Ramkhamhaeng Hospital and later pronounced dead.

Surin was born on Oct. 28, 1949 in Muang district, Nakhon Si Thammarat. He graduated from Claremont College in California in political science in 1972 and earned a master’s degree from Harvard University.

He entered politics in 1986 as a Democrat Party candidate and won a seat in his hometown in Nakhon Si Thammarat in all contests from 1986 to 2005.

Surin was the deputy foreign minister from 1992-95 and rose to become the foreign minister from 1997 to 2001 under the premiership of Chuan Leekpai. He was the first Thai to become the Asean secretary-general during which he served in Jakarta in 2008 for a five-year term before rejoining the Democrat party.

A former Bangkok Post columnist, Surin was a speaker at the Bangkok Post Forum on Nov. 16 this year. He was expected to run for Bangkok governor when elections are allowed.

The funeral will be held at the Tha It Mosque in Pak Kret district, Nonthaburi province, on Friday.