6 June 2024

Thailand’s eminent historian, social critic and scholar Professor Nithi Iewsriwong died of lung cancer in Chiang Mai province today (Monday). He was 83.

A source who is close to Nithi’s family said that the late professor had decided to donate his body to the Suan Dok Hospital in Chiang Mai and that there won’t be a funeral, because he didn’t want to bother people who may have to travel to Chiang Mai to attend.

A religious ceremony will, however, be held at Wat Umong this Thursday morning.

Many people have expressed their condolences on social media for the loss of one of Thailand’s leading historians and social critics. Move Forward party secretary general Chaithawat Tulathon wrote in his Facebook post that he had read Dr Nithi’s commentaries in the Matichon newspaper since he was a high-school student.

Dr Nithi was born in Chiang Mai in 1940. He spent his high school years at Assumption Si Racha boarding school and graduated with a BA and MA in history from the Faculty of Arts of Chulalongkorn University. He was a lecturer in history at the Faculty of Humanities at Chiang Mai University before he furthered his study for a PhD at Michigan State University. He then returned to Thailand to teach at Chiang Mai University until his retirement in 2000.

Nitthi had authored and co-authored numerous books about Thai history, Thai culture and social issues during the past 50 years, besides writing countless commentaries in Matichon weeklies.

He received an outstanding researcher award from the National Research Council, the Fukuoka Prize and Sriburapha award in 2002.