Thailand's Asean co-founder Thanat Khoman dies aged 101

Former Thai foreign minister Thanat Khoman (seen in this 1972 file photo), one of the co-founders of Asean, died on March 3, 2016.
Former Thai foreign minister Thanat Khoman (seen in this 1972 file photo), one of the co-founders of Asean, died on March 3, 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE

BANGKOK - Thailand's former Foreign Minister Thanat Khoman, who was one of the co-founders of Asean, passed away on Thursday (March 3) at the age of 101, Thai media reports said.

Mr Thanat, who was Foreign Minister from 1959-1971, passed away due to old age at Ramathibodi Hospital at 3.49pm, the Bangkok Post reported.

Mr Thanat was regarded as one of the masters of Thai diplomacy for his role in the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in 1967.

Along with the foreign ministers of Asean - Mr Adam Malik of Indonesia, Mr Narciso R. Ramos of the Philippines, Tun Abdul Razak of Malaysia and Mr S. Rajaratnam of Singapore - Mr Thanat had signed the Asean Declaration that established the grouping on Aug 8 of that year.

Mr Thanat was the last of the surviving Asean founding fathers.

There was no statement from his family or Thailand's Democrat Party, which he led during 1979-1982, The Nation reported.