Senator Monthian Buntan dies at 58

Senator Monthian Buntan dies at 58

Blind legislator known for work to improve rights of people with disabilities

Senator Monthian Buntan addresses a joint House-Senate meeting in 2020. He died on Saturday at the age of 58. (File photo)
Senator Monthian Buntan addresses a joint House-Senate meeting in 2020. He died on Saturday at the age of 58. (File photo)

Senator Monthian Buntan has died at the age of 58, the Office of the Senate Secretariat said on Saturday.

Additional details regarding the cause of death and funeral arrangements were not immediately available.

Known for his work to improve the rights of people with disabilities, Monthian was the first disabled Thai, and the first in Asean, to serve on the UN Committee on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) from 2013-16.

Born on May 2, 1965 to a farm family in the northern province of Phrae, Monthian attended a school for the blind before enrolling at Montfort College in Chiang Mai.

He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Humanities from Chiang Mai University and received a scholarship to study music at St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota.

Monthian worked as a lecturer at Ratchasuda College of Mahidol University, and served as an assistant manager to Digital Accessible Information System (DAISy) project.

He served as chairman of the Thailand Association of the Blind since 1998. He was appointed as a senator in 2007, 2011 and 2019. He was also named a member of the National Legislative Assembly in 2014.

Monthian was married to Yumi Shiraishi, whom he met in 1997 while studying in the US.

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