Kukrit PRAMOJ [ Special Commemorative Prize 1990 ]
- Special Commemorative Prize 1990 [1st]
- Writer, Statesman
- Thailand / Literature, Others
- Born April 20, 1911 (aged79）
He is one of the greatest intellectuals in Thailand. He has been engaged in a wide range of activities as a writer, journalist, statesman and businessman. "Sii Phaendin" (Four Dynasties), "Lai Chivit" (Many Lives) and "Phai Daeng" (Red Bamboo) are recognized very highly among the masterpieces of Thai contemporary literature. "Phai Daeng" has been translated in over ten European countries and stirred the sensation. It won him a great fame throughout the world.
- * The details of title, age, career and award citation are at the time of announcement of the Prize.
M. R. Kukrit Pramoj is a man who represents a modern Thai intellectual. He has been active as a journalist from 1950 since the time he established the "Sayam Rat" newspaper company, which placed emphasis in printing comments of news, dissertations, reviews, etc. Even as a manager, editor and chief editorialist, he was constantly busy writing articles himself to enlighten the general public.
His work as a writer started when he published the "Sii Phaendin" (Four Dynasties) in 1951, and "Lai Chivit" (Many Lives) in 1953, and in 1954, "Phai Daeng" (Red Bamboo) consecutively. These three literary works are the so-called Kukrit Pramoj trilogy, and each of them is highly rated among the masterpieces of Thai contemporary literature. Especially, the "Sii Phaendin," which he wrote from the viewpoint of one having been born near to the royal palace. With his family pedigree as a background, his shrewd and keen observations of the environment are very well described. With the king's palace being the uncles of Thailand, the books accurate delineation of the historical background of the palace and the four dynasties down from King Rama the 5th makes it not only interesting historically, but the close insight into the old cultural traditions and customs those days increases the value of the novel. "Red Bamboo" has also been translated in more than 10 countries in Europe and it was this book which brought him world fame.
Pramoj's intellectual depth may be attributed to his varied personal career. After graduation from the Faculty of Economics at Oxford University, he worked for the Finance Ministry; after that he went out into the business world and later became Vice President of Thai's Commercial Bank. With the construction of the Thai National Bank in 1941, he became Chief of the Secretariat for the Thai National Bank. In 1947, he entered the political world and was immediately installed as Minister of State Affairs. The following year, he became Commercial Vice President of the Phibul Cabinet. In 1975, he assumed office as the 13th Prime Minister of Thailand. Up until this point very few politicians had ever become Prime Ministers, and for a civilian to attain that post, it is said that he must have been of top class calibre.
Furthermore, he has talent as a musician, dancer, cinemastage actor and is actively participating in various fields. And through these activities he is imparting valuable, deep intellectual influence to the people of Thai communities.
As stated above M. R. Kukrit Pramoj's presence indicates one method of guidance not only to his countrymen, but also to other intellectuals living in Asia. Therefore, it is considered that the role of his accomplishments is great, and as such, he is truly worthy of receiving The Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prizes - The 1990 Special Commemorative Prize.