Former Thai diplomat Nitya (Nit) Pibulsonggram died in Bangkok on 24 May 2014 at the age of 72.
Nitya was born in 1941, the sixth child of Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsonggram and Thanpuying La-iad Bhandhukravi. He studied in the United States, receiving a BA in Government from Dartmouth College and an MA in Political Science from Brown University. He joined Thailand’s Foreign Service in 1968. His posts included Ambassador to the United States, Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After retiring from the Diplomatic Service in 2001 he was appointed adviser to the Foreign Minister and led Thailand’s negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. The talks were suspended in 2006 following the military coup in Thailand which overthrew the government of Thaksin Shinawatra, after which Nitya was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in the interim government headed by General Surayud Chulanond. Nitya resigned from this post in early 2008.
An accomplished diplomat, Nitya was always a courteous and intelligent interlocutor, well fitted to hold some of the most senior positions in the Thai Foreign Service. He felt less comfortable in the febrile political atmosphere following the 2006 coup.
He is survived by his American-born wife, Pacharin (Patricia), a practising healer and Reiki therapist.