05BANGKOK6727 THAI EXPECTED TO INVITE FORMER PRESIDENTS TO TSUNAMI COMMEMORATION
“This record is a partial extract of the original cable.
The full text of the original cable is not available.
“,”UNCLAS BANGKOK 006727
INFO ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OVIP, CASC, PREL, EAID, TH, Tsunami
SUBJECT: THAI EXPECTED TO INVITE FORMER PRESIDENTS TO
1. This is an action request. Please see paragraph 3.
2. The Thai government is planning a large commemoration
ceremony on December 26 in memory of those who died in the
2004 tsunami. Post\’s consular section is already working
with the families of victims and Americans who were affected
by the disaster who wish to participate in the event.
Because relatively few Americans were in the tsunami zone, we
expect at most a few dozen of these American participants.
3. Post has been told informally by the Thai that they expect
to invite former presidents Bush and Clinton, whose work to
promote tsunami relief was so warmly appreciated by the Thai
people and government. Former Secretary Powell might also be
included in the invitation, although this is less clear.
The ceremony will be held in Phuket, the area most severely
affected by the disaster, with smaller commemorations held at
different locations around the island. Prime Minister
Thaksin will preside over the main commemoration ceremony.
We fear that the RTG will not produce a formal invitation for
the former presidents until very late. Logistical
arrangements for flights and acceptable hotels will be
difficult, as both are scarce. Other embassies, which are
anticipating the arrival of hundreds of their citizens, are
already booking rooms. If either VIP does attend, post will
need to start soonest to ensure transportation and
accomodation. ACTION REQUEST: Therefore, we request
Department check informally to determine whether either of
the former presidents would accept an invitation to attend
the ceremony. Participants would need to arrive in Bangkok
no later than 12/24 and plan to fly into Phuket no later than
12/25 to be in place for the ceremony on the morning of
12/26. We also request a rough head-count of travelers who
would accompany, including any representatives from the
Department. End Action Request.