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08BANGKOK2111 THAILAND’S FOREIGN MINISTER RESIGNS AFTER TEMPLE CONTROVERSY

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“161477”,”7/10/2008 8:11″,”08BANGKOK2111″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,

“08BANGKOK1978|08BANGKOK2091”,

“VZCZCXRO3515

OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM

DE RUEHBK #2111 1920811

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 100811Z JUL 08

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3657

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 8892

RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0917

RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 6161

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1695

RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI PRIORITY 5448

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY

RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI PRIORITY

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY”,

“C O N F I D E N T I A L BANGKOK 002111

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR PHU

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/10/2018

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, KDEM, KJUS, TH

SUBJECT: THAILAND\’S FOREIGN MINISTER RESIGNS AFTER TEMPLE

CONTROVERSY

 

REF: A. BANGKOK 2091 (CLOUDED FUTURE)

B. BANGKOK 1978 (APPROACH TOWARD DEMONSTRATORS)

 

Classified By: Acting DCM Anne Casper, reason: 1.4 (b) and (d).

 

1. (U) Within hours of returning to Thailand from Canada,

Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama held a press conference at

the MFA on July 10. He briefly reviewed the Samak

administration\’s efforts to improve Thailand\’s international

relations, then specifically addressed the controversy

surrounding the Thai-Cambodian Joint Communique on the

inscription of Preah Vihear temple on the UNESCO World

Heritage List. Noppadon insisted that various RTG agencies

had determined that he had not acted improperly in signing

the Joint Communique, and that his actions had not damaged

Thai interests. Nevertheless, the Constitutional Court had

ruled that the signing of the Communique was unconstitutional

(ref A), and Noppadon said that, to promote reconciliation

and place the nation\’s interests above his own, he was

resigning from office, effective July 14.

 

2. (U) Separately, the Constitutional Court ruled on July 9

that Public Health Minister Chaiya Sasomsab had violated laws

on financial disclosure, because he did not disclose within

30 days of his inauguration the significant stake his wife

held in a private company. The Court\’s ruling retroactively

terminated Chaiya\’s status as Public Health Minister.

 

3. (C) Comment: The recent Constitutional Court rulings have

rattled the Samak administration. It is unclear whether

Prime Minister Samak might try to stabilize the situation by

carrying out a broad reshuffle, or whether he will simply

plug the existing holes in his cabinet and forge ahead. It

is also unclear whether his opponents will be temporarily

placated by Noppadon\’s resignation, or, like sharks smelling

blood, will intensify their attacks. We would stress that,

at present, the administration is trying to cope with

adversity stemming from court decisions and from the

parliamentary opposition, rather than from street protests,

which have quieted down somewhat since their late June peak

(ref B).

JOHN

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Written by thaicables

July 16, 2011 at 6:24 am

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