Siddhi Savetsila dies at 96

Privy Councillor ACM Siddhi Savetsila presents an award to a winner during the SCBS Young Star Investor 2004 award presentation in Bangkok on Oct 3, 2004. (Bangkok Post file photo)

King Bhumibol Adulyadej looked frail on his last appearance before the … Siddhi Savetsila, a member of the Privy Council, In this picture Siddhi Savetsila was presented with an award to a winner during the SCBS Young Star Investor 2004 award presentation in Bangkok on Oct 3, 2004. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Privy Councillor Air Chief Marshal Siddhi Savetsila died of natural causes on Saturday morning. He was 96.

The former foreign affair minister passed away peacefully at 5am on Saturday, Manager Online reported.

A bathing rite will be held on Monday at Wat Benchamabophit, where funeral rites will start later on the same day.

Born in Bangkok in 1919, ACM Siddhi held several key positions, including deputy prime minister and the top post at the National Security Council.

The privy councillor was a son of Maha Amnart Tri Phraya Wannapruekpicharn (Thongkham Sawetsila) and Khunying Khlip Wannapruekpicharn (Thes Bunnag).

He and his spouse Khunying Thida had four children, including Tada, the husband of well-known actress and TV host Mayura.

ACM Siddhi studied at Saint Gabriel’s College, Wat Ratchabophit, Suan Kularb Wittayalai and Mahavajiravudh Songkhla schools before pursuing his tertiary education at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Engineering in 1938, where he ranked first in his class, according to Manager Online.

He later won an Air Force scholarship to continue his bachelor and master’s degrees in engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US. During his overseas studies, he joined the Seri Thai (Free Thai) movement during World War II.