Kouprasith Abhay

Kouprasith Abhay
Nickname(s)Fat K
Service/branchRoyal Lao Army
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg

Major-General Kouprasith Abhay (nicknamed 'Fat K') was a prominent military leader of the Kingdom of Laos during the Laotian Civil War. Scion of a socially prominent family, his military career was considerably aided by their influence. In early 1960, he was appointed to command of Military Region 5, which included Laos' capital city, Vientiane. Removed from that command on 14 December for duplicitous participation in the Battle of Vientiane, he was reappointed in October 1962. He would hold the post until 1 July 1971, thus controlling the troops in and around the capital. Over the years, he would be involved in one way or another in the coups of 1960,[1] 1964,[2][3] 1965,[4] 1966,[5] and 1973.[6] His service was marked by a deadly feud with another Laotian general, Thao Ma; the feud was largely responsible for the latter two coup attempts against the government.

After the Royal Lao Government fell to the communists in 1975, Kouprasith retired to exile in France.

Rise to power

Major General Kouprasith Abhay (1926–1999?)[7] (Order of the Million Elephants and the White Parasol)[8] was the son of Kou Abhay. The Abhays were an aristocratic family of Chinese-Lao heritage from Khong Island, which is sited on the Mekong River near the Cambodian border in extreme southern Laos.[9] Siho Lamphouthacoul, who was younger than Kouprasith, was raised as a protegé of the Abhay household. For unknown reasons, Siho resented this.[10][11] Kouprasith Abhay was also related to the influential Sananikone family,[12] since his own mother came from that family. Kouprasith would also marry into the Sananikone family.[13]

Kouprasith followed Colonel Phoumi Nosavan and his aide de camp Siho Lamphouthacoul to France, where they attended staff courses at the School of Advanced Military Studies (French: Centre des hautes études militaires) in Paris, followed by a posting as the Royal Lao Government's first military attaché to France. While in that post, Kouprasith procured two Aérospatiale Alouette II helicopters for Laos. He returned to Laos early in 1960 to take command of the Royal Lao Army (RLA) troops in Military Region 5, headquartered in Vientiane.[14]

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