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» 2016 marks the 100th year since the birth of Puey Ungphakorn, top economist and former Bank of Thailand governor. A number of commemorative events were already held, and many more are planned to celebrate this important anniversary in the eyes of many Thais who admire him. But if you ask, you might get different answers as to why he is so hugely admired. He is remembered by some as the founding father of the modern Thai economy; by others as a member of Seri Thai which fought to maintain Thailand's independence during World War II; and yet also as Thammasat University's rector during the troubled time of October 1976, when he had to flee Thailand to live and die in foreign country.
» Next Wednesday will be the centennial of the late Puey Ungphakorn, known as the founding father of modern Thai economy and recently named by UNESCO as one of the world's most important people for his "impeccable ethics".
» When I studied with Benedict Anderson at Cornell University in 1974, he seemed the quintessential absent-minded professor; at once erudite and bookish, idealistic and dreamy-eyed. The fact he had just been kicked out of Indonesia only added to his aura. Giving lectures about coups and counter-coups and revolutionary martyrs, he'd pace the front of the classroom in clunky boots and mismatched outfits, captivating class attention with his soft but mellifluous Irish-accented voice.
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