PHUKET: Thailand's Tourism and Sport Minister, Chumpol Silpa-archa, died in hospital today after a long illness. he was aged 72.
Khun Chumpol passed away about 10.30am. He had been in a Bangkok hospital since December 17 after collapsing in the Parliament building.
Khun Chumpol headed the very flexible Chartthaipattana Party in the Government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
He was also a member of the previous Democrat Government under PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and had headed the Tourism and Sport ministry since 2008.
He is the younger brother of former Prime Minister Banharn Silpa-archa.
met Khun Chumpol at the opening of a big new Phuket resort a couple of years ago, he said: ''I haven't been here for 20 years. Phuket has changed a lot.''
Phuket has indeed changed a lot, despite the lack of visits from Tourism Ministers. However, the outlook on tourism for Phuket has not changed and did not change under Khun Chumpol.