Khunying Pornthip Rojanasunand,
Khunying Pornthip Rojanasunand, also spelled Porntip Rojanasunan, M.D. (Thai: พรทิพย์ โรจนสุนันท์; rtgs: Phonthip Rotchanasunan; born 21 December 1954) is a Thai forensic pathologist, author, human rights activist, media personality, and cancer survivor.
Pornthip Rojanasunand was born in Bangkok, Thailand and grew up to be one of the most powerful and important forensics pathologists. Her work motivated transparency within the Royal Thai Police force and greater reform in the Thai justice system. Her efforts to identify bodies during the Tsunami crisis in 2004 were also widely recognized and one of the most valued of her works.
Graduating from the Faculty of Medicine, Mahidol University, in 1979, Pornthip became a medical officer in the Ministry of Public Health. She held several positions in the Ministry, all dealing with pathology. In 2001, Pornthip was transferred to the Ministry of Justice to hold concurrently the positions of Director of the Medical Division at the Central Youth Detention Centre and Ministerial Spokesman.
She next served as Deputy Director (9th Class Administrative Officer) of the Central Institute of Forensic Science, Ministry of Justice, since 2003, and was promoted to Director (10th Class Administrative Officer) by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej in 2008.
Pornthip’s four-year term as CIFS Director expired in April 2012, and her term was extended for one more year. However, Yingluck Shinawatra’s Council of Ministers removed her from the office in May 2013. Pornthip was appointed Inspector General of the Ministry of Justice.
Her removal was effective immediately and without any advance notice, while Pornthip was carrying out her official functions in the People’s Republic of China. Pornthip felt her removal was motivated by politics, since some politicians might have been upset with her work. A number of experts agreed with her, citing Pornthip’s conflicts with the Royal Thai Police, which had caused her and her team to be barred from working in central Thailand and being sent to work in the south instead.
Following the June 2013 murder of Akeyuth Anchanbutr, an outspoken critic of Yingluck’s government, Pornthip was asked by the public to examine the case. However, she said she no longer had any authority to deal with such cases. Asked about her duties as Inspector General, she said they consisted of “only reviewing official papers”