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06BANGKOK5895 THAILAND UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 25

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“79552”,”9/25/2006 11:10″,

 

“06BANGKOK5895″,”Embassy Bangkok”,

“CONFIDENTIAL”,”06BANGKOK5463|06BANGKOK5747|06BANGKOK5834|06BANGKOK5874″,

“null

Debra P Tous 09/27/2006 10:18:17 AM From DB/Inbox: Debra P Tous

 

Cable

Text:

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L BANGKOK 05895

 

SIPDIS

CXBKKSVR:

ACTION: POL

INFO: TSA AMB CHRON CONS DAO DATTLO JTF JUSMAG NAS PA

RMA SA DCM ECON RSO

 

DISSEMINATION: POL1

CHARGE: PROG

 

APPROVED: DCM:ARVIZUAA

DRAFTED: POL:GREENBERGDR

CLEARED: POL:SUTTONSM, ECON:JCAROUSO

 

VZCZCBKI995

OO RUEHC RUEHZS RUEHBY RUEHUL RUEHWL RHEHNSC

RHEFDIA RHHMUNA RHHMUNA RHFJSCC RUCPDOC RUEATRS RUEAIIA

DE RUEHBK #5895/01 2681110

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 251110Z SEP 06

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1881

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 6082

RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2131

RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 1524

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI

RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI

RHFJSCC/COMMARFORPAC

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC”,

“C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BANGKOK 005895

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

TREASURY PASS TO FRB SAN FRANCISCO/TERESA CURRAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/24/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, PREL, MOPS, KDEM, ASEC, TH

SUBJECT: THAILAND UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 25

 

REF: A. BANGKOK 5874 (CONTINUED CALM)

B. BANGKOK 5834 (RETURNING TO NORMAL)

C. BANGKOK 5747 (HAT YAI BOMBING)

D. BANGKOK 5463 (BORWORNSAK ASSESSES THAKSIN)

 

Classified By: DCM Alexander A. Arvizu, reason 1.4 (b) and (d)

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: The Council for Democratic Reform Under the

Constitutional Monarchy (CDRM) banned both wiretapping and

political activities against the interests of the CDRM.

Television broadcasts have featured the coup leaders

receiving the Royal Command that gave the King\’s imprimatur

to their seizure of power. The CDRM has appointed members of

the National Counter Corruption Commission and a special

panel to investigate corruption during the Thaksin

administration. A September 23 roadside bomb in Pattani

province marked the first significant act of political

violence since the coup. An MFA official dismissed rumors of

a Burmese high-level visit to Thailand. The CDRM\’s search

for a civilian Prime Minister continues. End Summary.

 

CDRM UPDATE – MORE GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS

—————————————–

 

2. (C) The CDRM issued Public Announcement 21, banning

illegal eavesdropping/wiretapping of telephones or other

communications. This announcement appears to be in response

to the widespread fears (which we believe were justified)

that Thaksin and his supporters were using their control of

the largest cellphone operator to eavesdrop on their

political opponents (ref D). In Public Announcement 22, the

CDRM advised all administrative and political organizations

on the local level which \”disagree with the CDRM\” to \”stop

their political movements or activities until the situation

in the country is back to normal.\” Nevertheless, press

reports indicated students and university lecturers in

Bangkok would hold an anti-coup political discussion at

Bangkok\’s Thammasat University late on the afternoon of

September 25.

 

RECEIPT OF ROYAL COMMAND TELEVISED

———————————-

 

3. (C) All television stations simultaneously broadcast a

September 22 ceremony at which CDRM leader General Sonthi and

other CDRM figures received the Royal Command empowering the

CDRM to run the government (ref B). The King does not appear

in person for such ceremonies, however. Thai television has

yet to broadcast video footage of the King subsequent to his

August 4 release from a local hospital. Meanwhile, a Chinese

journalist from Guangming Daily informed us that the Thai MFA

protested a Xinhua News Agency story that linked the coup

with the monarchy, and Xinhua was in the process of formally

apologizing for the report.

 

CORRUPTION INVESTIGATIONS TO MOVE FORWARD

—————————————–

 

4. (C) The CDRM on September 22 appointed the members of the

National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC), to be headed

by Panthep Glanarongran, who formerly headed a royal

development foundation. (Note: The NCCC, one of the

independent agencies featured in the now-abolished 1997

Constitution, had not been operative since May 2005, when its

members resigned en masse after a legal determination of

wrongful action in connection with an attempt to raise their

own pay. End Note.) Embassy contacts in the NGO community

have generally characterized the new NCCC as credible,

although noting Panthep may not be the strongest figure to

chair it. One member of the new NCCC suggested publicly that

the NCCC would prioritize investigation of the purchase from

General Electric of CTX explosives detection equipment for

the new Bangkok airport. Besides appointing the NCCC

members, the CDRM also established a new eight-member panel

to focus solely on corruption in projects approved by the

Thaksin administration.

 

EDITORS KEEP AN EYE ON FTAS

—————————

 

5. (C) Since the coup, various editorial comments in the

press have warned disapprovingly that the CDRM might conclude

free trade agreements with foreign governments. (Note: An

FTA with Japan has been awaiting the Prime Minister\’s

signature since early 2006. End Note.) We believe the media

is primarily voicing concern in order to pre-empt any impulse

by the CDRM to use FTAs to gain foreign favor; we have no

reason to believe the media has detected concrete indicators

of CDRM interest in concluding FTAs. Numerous Embassy

contacts in the finance sector tell us the CDRM is highly

unlikely to take controversial steps or undertake major

initiatives in the economic realm.

 

SEVEN DAY CLOCK ON DETENTIONS

—————————–

 

6. (C) In a September 25 meeting organized by the EU

delegation in Thailand to discuss human rights issues,

including those related to the recent coup, Somchai Homlaor

of the Lawyers Council of Thailand outlined some of the

CDRM\’s restrictions of civil liberties. In discussing the

cases of four prominent pro-Thaksin TRT politicians (ref A),

Somchai noted there are currently no declared charges against

them. Thai law stipulates that detainees would need to be

released within seven days unless criminal charges are filed.

(Note: Prommin Lertsuridej and Chidchai Vanasatidya have

been detained since September 19; Yongyuth Tiyapairat and

Newin Chidchob since September 23. End note.)

 

BOMBING IN THE SOUTH

——————–

 

7. (C) Midday on September 23, a roadside bomb injured four

policemen in the Muslim-majority province of Pattani. This

marked the first significant act of political violence in

southern Thailand since the September 19 coup. According to

press reports, the Pattani United Liberation Organization

(PULO) — one of a half-dozen secessionist groups in southern

Thailand — has publicly supported the coup, and Yala Islamic

Committee Deputy Chairman Nimu Makaje also publicly stated

that the coup could mark the beginning of reconciliation

between southern Thailand\’s Muslim population and the

country\’s Buddhist majority. Meanwhile, the authorities have

arrested two suspects in the September 16 Hat Yai bombings

(ref C).

 

BURMA VISIT UNLIKELY

——————–

 

8. (C) Kallayana Vipattipumiprates, Acting Director of the

MFA division responsible for Burmese affairs, told us on

September 25 that, contrary to rumor, Burmese Army

Commander-in-Chief Maung Aye would not/not visit Thailand in

the near future.

 

RUMOR CONTROL

————-

 

9. (C) In the past few days, there has been widespread

speculation in the press and on the internet that the

generals\’ coup was in fact a move to pre-empt a coup that

Thaksin was planning for the following day. These appear to

be nothing more than an effort at a post-facto justification

of the coup by journalists, who are supporting the coup

because they hated Thaksin, but have a guilty conscience

about it. We note that the generals themselves have not

given this excuse, even in private, and it is clear that the

preparations for the coup started several days at least

before the event. Overall, we put this story in the category

of wishful thinking.

 

WHO WANTS TO BE A PRIME MINISTER?

———————————

 

10. (C) Lots of names are circulating as possible interim

Prime Minister, but no one candidate seems to have a clear

lead. Economic contacts say that Band of Thailand Governor

Pridyathorn does not want the job.

 

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

——————-

 

11. (U) Former Agriculture Minister and Thai Rak Thai senior

official Sudarat Keyuraphan has returned to Bangkok from

Brussels with her family. She says she will take a break

from politics.

 

KINDER, GENTLER COUP – PHOTO OP OF THE DAY

——————————————

 

12. (U) Everyday, the front page of the various newspapers

show pictures of smiling soldiers receiving flowers from the

public and playing with children. Today\’s best public

relations photo showed a smiling bride and groom in Chiang

Mai, getting their wedding pictures taken in front of a tank.

BOYCE

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Written by thaicables

July 13, 2011 at 5:59 am

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