Prem’s Historic House Faces Demolition, Report Says

Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda greets junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha and his cabinet members on Aug. 24, 2017, at his home in Bangkok's Dusit district.

BANGKOK — The residence where former premier and king’s chief advisor Prem Tinsulanonda lived until his death in May could be set for a demolition, a report on a military news site said.

Lapluangprang website said the army will likely return the house to the Treasury Department, but the authorities have yet to declare what to do with it. The website said there is a possibility that the mansion might be bulldozed to make way for unspecified projects.

But army spokesman Winthai Suvaree said on Monday he hasn’t heard of any plans for the residence yet.

“I think the army will make a formal announcement later,” Col. Winthai said by phone. “Please wait for now.”

A file photo of Prem Tinsulanonda’s residence.

Prem died at 98 after a lifelong military and bureaucrat career, which includes the Prime Minister, the commander of the army, and the highest ranking advisor to His Majesty the King.

Although the property belonged to the state, Prem continued to live there long after he retired from the army in 1980, leading some critics to accuse him of “squatting” on taxpayers money.

The late statesman is set to be cremated on Oct. 18 following months-long funerary rites. Labluangprang said the army will likely hand over the residence to the government by Oct. 31.

The report also said Prem’s personal belongings and artifacts of historical values were already removed from the house, which suggests that turning it into a museum is unlikely.

Prem’s house is located in Dusit district, where a number of historic buildings were either demolished or shuttered in recent years, including the popular Dusit Zoo, a 102-year-old racecourse, and the former Parliament building.

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