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06BANGKOK5928 THAI MFA PERMSEC CONFIDENT OF MEETING TWO WEEK DEADLINE

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“79699″,”9/26/2006 11:02″,

 

“06BANGKOK5928”,

“Embassy Bangkok”,

“CONFIDENTIAL”,”06BANGKOK5894|06BANGKOK5908″,”null

Debra P Tous 09/27/2006 09:37:24 AM From DB/Inbox: Debra P Tous

 

Cable

Text:

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L BANGKOK 05928

 

SIPDIS

CXBKKSVR:

ACTION: POL

INFO: TSA AMB CHRON CONS DAO DATTLO DCM ECON JTF

JUSMAG NAS PA RMA SA RSO

 

DISSEMINATION: POL1

CHARGE: PROG

 

APPROVED: AMB:RLBOYCE

DRAFTED: POL:DRGREENBERG

CLEARED: DCM:AAARVIZU

 

VZCZCBKI060

OO RUEHC RUEHZS RUEHBY RUEHWL RUEHUL RUEHLO

RHEFDIA RHEHNSC RHHMUNA RUEKJCS RHHMUNA RHHMUNA RHFJSCC RUEAIIA

RUCPDOC RUEATRS

DE RUEHBK #5928/01 2691102

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 261102Z SEP 06

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1907

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 6087

RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 1528

RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 2138

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1187

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

RHFJSCC/COMMARFORPAC PRIORITY

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY”,

“C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 005928

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

TREASURY PASS TO FRB SAN FRANCISCO/TERESA CURRAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/26/2016

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

SUBJECT: THAI MFA PERMSEC CONFIDENT OF MEETING TWO WEEK

DEADLINE

 

REF: A. BANGKOK 5908 (PREM ON TRANSITION)

B. BANGKOK 5894 (BORWORNSAK ON CONSTITUTION)

 

Classified By: Ambassador Ralph L. Boyce, reason 1.4 (d).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) MFA Permanent Secretary Krit Garnjana-Goonchorn said

the King would sign Thailand\’s interim constitution on

September 29. In a September 26 meeting with the Ambassador,

Krit said this constitution would provide for the Council for

Democratic Reform (CDR) to become a new Security Council,

operating as a type of caretaker government until the

swearing-in of a civilian cabinet. The civilian Prime

Minister would be publicly known as early as the weekend of

September 30-October 1, but he and his full cabinet might not

be inaugurated until a week later. The Ambassador stressed

the importance of a transition to civilian government within

the CDR\’s self-imposed two week deadline. Krit said one of

the first acts of the new civilian government would be to

lift martial law. He acknowledged the legitimacy of USG

statements expressing disappointment with the coup, but hoped

the USG would take an encouraging tone to help Thailand set

itself back on a democratic path. End Summary.

 

TIME FRAME FOR TRANSITION

————————-

 

2. (C) The Ambassador opened his September 26 call on MFA

Permanent Secretary Krit by mentioning that he had met

September 25 with Council for Democratic Reform (CDR — the

council formerly known as CDRM) member General Winai and

stressed the importance of meeting the CDR\’s self-imposed two

week deadline for a transition to a civilian administration.

The Ambassador also described his phone conversation with

Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda on the subject (ref

A). Krit foresaw no problems meeting that deadline, saying

the CDR was \”pretty confident\” and had been working

diligently on transition issues. Krit noted CDR leader

General Sonthi had opened a meeting of the \”phantom cabinet\”

on the morning of September 26 by remarking that would be the

first and last meeting of the group.

 

3. (C) Krit said the King would sign the interim constitution

on Friday, September 29. At that time the CDR per se would

cease to exist. In its place would come into being a

\”Security Council\” (presumably composed of the CDR\’s members)

that would exist separate from Thailand\’s longstanding

National Security Council (which is under the Office of the

Prime Minister). The Security Council\’s activities would be

prescribed and limited by the interim constitution. During a

brief transition period, until the swearing-in of the new

cabinet (consisting of the PM plus 35 persons), the interim

constitution would provide for the Security Council to act as

a caretaker administration, although it would operate with

the very limited goal of keeping the government functioning;

the Security Council would be \”even more minimal than a

caretaker government.\” Krit indicated it could take a week

between the promulgation of the interim constitution and the

swearing-in of the new cabinet, although he predicted that

the identity of the civilian Prime Minister would be made

public by the weekend of September 30-October 1, or, at the

latest, early in the week of October 2-6.

 

4. (C) One of the first acts of the new civilian Prime

Minister\’s administration would be to repeal marital law,

Krit said. (Note: Although the CDR has issued numerous

proclamations restricting civil liberties, it has never been

made clear exactly what \”martial law\” under the CDR entailed.

End Note.) Krit commented that General Sonthi had remarked

privately, \”I don\’t know what it (martial law) is for,

anyway.\” After the inauguration of the new cabinet, Krit

said, the Security Council would \”fade to the background,\”

although still exercising certain limited functions. Krit

initially suggested waiting to see how the interim

constitution would define those functions, although when the

Ambassador shared a readout from constitution drafter

Borwornsak (ref B), Krit agreed that Borwornsak\’s description

(in which the CDR nominates the cabinet and retains emergency

powers to deal with a counter-coup or southern militancy)

tracked with his own understanding.

 

USG STATEMENTS

————–

 

5. (C) Krit acknowledged he could not take offense at

statements by USG officials who expressed disappointment over

the coup. However, he hoped for a positive tone in future

remarks. Thailand had stumbled while on the road to

democratization, he said, and now needed a helping hand to

help pull the Thais back up. (Comment: Krit did not indicate

clearly whether he viewed the coup as the stumble, or what

many considered the increasingly authoritarian methods of

Thaksin Shinawatra. End Comment.) It served no one\’s

interests to keep Thailand \”in the diplomatic doghouse,\” and

Krit hoped that Thailand would be encouraged to resume its

former role as a leading country in Southeast Asia. Krit

also hoped that any announcement of a cutoff of American

assistance to Thailand would also take positive note of

actions taken by the Thais to restore civilian rule.

 

6. (C) Director General for American Affairs Nongnuth

Phethcaratana drew the Ambassador\’s attention to a September

20 statement by Senator Biden (available at http://www.senate.gov)

that not only criticized the coup (as a \”setback for the

cause of democracy\”) but also made explicit references to the

King. Although Senator Biden\’s references were generally

positive, Nongnut believed it inappropriate to refer to the

King in such statements. Krit also suggested that the State

Department spokesman reprimand a journalist who made

insulting remarks about the King in State Department press

briefings. If a reprimand was not possible, Krit recommended

at least an explicit comment from the spokesman to the

journalist noting that the Department disapproved of his

\”abusive\” language.

 

FTAS

—-

 

7. (C) The Ambassador asked about a September 25 remark by

CDR member General Winai that the RTG would maintain its

policy on free trade agreements (septel). Krit said he

believed the reference was to the Thai-Japanese free trade

agreement, or perhaps to ongoing negotiations in an ASEAN

context — not to the U.S.-Thailand FTA.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (C) Krit appeared comfortable and confident that the CDR

would put Thailand back on the democratic path. However,

according to the timeline he described, he seems to believe

civilian rule begins with the promulgation of the interim

constitution, which will have transitional provisions

enabling the Security Council to act as a type of caretaker

government. The swearing-in of the new Prime Minister and

his cabinet may take place after the two-week mark.

 

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

July 13, 2011 at 6:01 am

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