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06BANGKOK4181 “UNCLE SAM, I’M BEING BULLIED!”

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“71228”,”7/13/2006 10:18″,”06BANGKOK4181″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,””,”VZCZCXRO7629

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O 131018Z JUL 06

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

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INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI

RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI

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“C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 004181

 

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DEPT FOR EAP/MLS;

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E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/12/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PHUM, TH

SUBJECT: \”UNCLE SAM, I\’M BEING BULLIED!\”

 

REF: A. THAKSIN\’S JUNE 23 LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH

 

B. PRESIDENT BUSH\’S JULY 3 RESPONSE LETTER TO THAKSIN

C. BANGKOK 3916

 

Classified By: Charge d\’Affairs Alex A. Arvizu, Reason 1.4 (b) (d)

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: Over the past few days, the Thai media has

widely reported on and printed copies of the exchange of

letters between caretaker PM Thaksin Shinawatra and President

Bush (ref letters). While the President\’s letter to Thaksin

is regarded as uncontroversial and indeed has been praised by

some of our contacts, criticism of the PM ranges from a mild

\”cry baby\” label to accusations that he has \”sold out

national sovereignty.\” Separately, the People\’s Alliance for

Democracy (PAD) announced that they are canceling the mass

demonstration scheduled for Friday at Sanam Luang, instead

opting to march to six different embassies (including the US)

to present open letters to foreign leaders \”explaining the

current political situation in Thailand.\” End summary.

 

LETTER OF SHAME

—————

 

2. (C) News of the controversial exchange of letters between

caretaker PM Thaksin and President Bush was first disclosed

by caretaker senator Kraisak Chunhavan on July 7. Kraisak

accused Thaksin of repeating attacks on \”charismatic\” figures

close to the King in his letter. On July 12, the letters

were published by the Matichon newspaper (the result,

apparently, of a leak from the MFA), and was quickly picked

up by all Thai media outlets. President Bush\’s letter has

been generally well-received, and in fact has been praised by

some Embassy contacts. The line \”the Thai people are

resilient and the Thai democracy is strong\” was covered in

most newspapers. Surin Pitsuwan, a leader from the

opposition Democrat Party told poloff the President\’s letter

was \”a proper response to Thaksin\’s.\” However, the Thai

media has lashed out against Thaksin, calling his letters to

President Bush (and other world and Asian leaders) \”shameful\”

and \”embarrassing to himself and the nation\”. A former Thai

ambassador (presumably Kasit Piromyo) reportedly commented

that Thaksin has \”compromised the Kingdom\’s sovereignty\” when

he \”took domestic issues into the international arena\”. Thai

web blogs are also calling him a \”cry baby\” and a hypocrite

for his prior \”condemnation of American influence in other

nations\’ domestic affairs\”. A comic in Thai newspaper

\”Krungthep Thurakit\” (Bangkok Business) yesterday portrayed

Thaksin sitting like a dog with a letter in his mouth while

President Bush pets him on the head, saying \”Oh my…good

boy…\”

 

WE HAVE LETTERS, TOO!

———————

 

3. (C) Reportedly taking the King\’s health into

consideration (Note: The King fell while walking on Palace

grounds on June 24. End note.), the PAD announced that they

are canceling their planned demonstration on July 14, where

they hoped to draw tens of thousands of supporters to march

on Government House. Instead, the PAD will march to six

different embassies – China, Russia, France, Japan, Great

Britain, and the United States – to present open letters to

explain \”the real political situation in Thailand.\” Sondhi

promised that demonstrations at Sanam Luang will resume after

the King\’s health improves.

 

COMMENTS – A CLOSE CALL

———————–

 

4. (C) The decision by Government House/MFA to release the

texts of Thaksin\’s letters to the President, and the

President\’s response, was probably a mistake. The letters

were leaked to the press ostensibly to refute the accusation

that Thaksin had referred to \”a charismatic figure\” in his

communication to the White House. There was no such

reference, of course, but the petulant tone of Thaksin\’s

letters strike many Thais as undignified, and have provided

more ammunition to his opponents. The postponement of the

PAD\’s demonstrations may put off political pressure a while

longer for the embattled caretaker PM, but it\’s only a matter

 

BANGKOK 00004181 002 OF 002

 

of time before they try again. End comment.

ARVIZU

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Written by thaicables

July 12, 2011 at 5:04 am

Posted in Confidential, Thaksin

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