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05BANGKOK1248 THAILAND COUNTRY CLEARANCE REQUEST FOR: FORMER PRESIDENTS GEORGE H.W. BUSH AND WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 001248

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

FOR CHIEF OF PROTOCOL

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: OVIP PGOV TH HUMAN RIGHTS VETTING

SUBJECT: THAILAND COUNTRY CLEARANCE REQUEST FOR: FORMER

PRESIDENTS GEORGE H.W. BUSH AND WILLIAM J. CLINTON

 

REF: STATE 28561

 

¶1. (U) Post welcomes and grants country clearance to the

Presidential Delegation on its visit to Thailand February 19

– 20, 2005.

 

¶2. (U) Post is working closely with the advance team for

this delegation to ensure a successful visit to Phuket.

 

¶3. (U) Control Officer is DCM, Alexander A. Arvizu and

Embassy point of contact is: Colin T. Crosby, Work phone:

(66-2) 205-4621, Home: (66-2) 254-3812, cell phone: (66-1)

173-1729. After-hours emergency number for the embassy is

(66-2) 205-4108. We provide the security assessment below to

assist members of the delegation. RSO is engaged directly

with the Secret Service and with the Thai security forces on

all security issues.

 

 

¶4. (SBU) SECURITY INFORMATION

——————————-

 

¶A. (U) MANDATORY PERSONAL SECURITY TRAINING:

———————————————

 

– (U) All U.S. citizen personnel serving under Chief of

Mission authority in a temporary duty status of 30 days or

more must complete appropriate overseas personal security

training prior to travel (04 State 66580). Employees who

have completed the Security Overseas Seminar Course at

State’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI) after June 1, 2000

meet this requirement. All other TDYers must either 1)

complete the approved four-day seminar at FSI entitled

“Serving Abroad for Families & Employees (SAFE)” or 2) have

their agency certify to the State Department Bureau of

Diplomatic Security that the employee has undergone

equivalent security training. The contact for this

certification is Assistant Director of training, DS/T, at

telephone (703) 205-2617. Country clearance will not be

granted for any traveler with planned TDY in excess of 30

days if this information is not stated/certified. POC for

additional information is DS RSOBangkok@state.gov.

 

¶B. (U) CRIME:

————–

 

– (U) Crime is generally non-confrontational in nature.

Criminal acts are usually crimes of opportunity such as

purse-snatchings, thefts of unattended property, and pick

pocketing. Visitors should be especially alert in crowded

buses, streets, and markets or while on “tuk-tuks.” Visitors

should lock valuables in hotel safe deposit boxes not in

their hotel rooms.

 

– (U) Be aware of common scams and frauds (including credit

cards, in particular). Visitors should only use credit cards

at well-established and reputable businesses. Visitors

should be careful when purchasing branded or copyrighted

goods. There are many pirated counterfeit products in the

marketplace; their purchase is against post regulations and

it is illegal to import these products into the U.S. Be wary

of common scams for jewelry, suits, silks, gems, or

antiquities. There are no Thai government-owned or sponsored

gem stores. If victimized, seek assistance from Tourist

Police by dialing 1155.

 

– (U) Visitors are cautioned from visiting bars involved in

the sex trade. Many of these operate illegally and clients

can be subject to RTG law; they often charge exorbitant drink

prices and cover charges. There are also many incidents of

crime against patrons in these establishments. Drugging and

robbing of unwary individuals is not uncommon. There are

frequent reports of victims being drugged and robbed or

beaten when visiting these bars. The drugs used can cause

serious temporary memory impairment, unconsciousness, and if

overdosed, death.

 

¶C. (U) TRAFFIC:

—————-

 

– (U) The traffic situation in Bangkok can be difficult and

dangerous for both pedestrians and vehicle occupants. All

visitors should be alert to traffic patterns and unexpected

motorcycle drivers. Traffic drives on the left-hand side,

opposite from the U.S., although there may be a bus lane that

flows in the opposite direction. Pedestrians should use the

overhead walkways for crossing busy streets.

 

¶D. (SBU) TERRORISM:

——————–

 

– (SBU) The threat from transnational terrorist groups to

the U.S. Mission in Bangkok is currently ranked high. Despite

stepped up RTG efforts to monitor its borders, they remain

relatively porous and allow easy illegal access.

Transnational terrorist groups, including Al-Qa-ida and

Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), have utilized Thailand as a transit

point.

 

– (SBU) The threat from indigenous terrorist groups is

currently rated as low. There is no evidence to indicate

that indigenous terrorist groups are planning acts against

U.S. personnel or facilities. The far south of Thailand has

experienced incidents of criminally and politically motivated

violence, including incidents attributed to armed local

Muslim separatist groups. Although Americans have not been

specifically targeted in the past, the indiscriminate nature

of past attacks by these groups – including bombings of

public places – indicates a potential threat to American

citizens.

 

– (U) The State Department is concerned that there is an

increased risk of terrorism in Southeast Asia, including

Thailand. Travelers to Thailand should therefore exercise

caution, especially in locations where Westerners congregate,

such as clubs, discos, bars, restaurants, hotels, tourist

areas, and other places frequented by foreigners.

 

¶E. (U) OTHER SECURITY TIPS:

—————————-

 

– (U) Visitors should avoid making any pejorative comments

about any members of the Thai Royal Family or engaging in

disrespectful conduct within temples or toward religious

objects. Such behavior can result in arrest and/or expulsion

from Thailand.

 

– (U) Precautions should also be taken not to discuss

sensitive or classified matters outside secure environments

or over unsecured and/or cellular telephones, and to securely

safeguard classified or sensitive materials at the Chancery

and not at hotels or residences.

 

– (U) Visitors should also be aware of the State

Department’s Consular Information Sheet for Thailand and the

most recent Worldwide Caution Public Announcements, which are

available via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. DOD

personnel must review the PACOM Force Protection Levels for

Thailand found at http://131.84.1.218/staff/at/athome.shtml.

 

– (U) In essence, visitors to Bangkok must exercise

appropriate caution and be alert to their surroundings with

regard to their personal security. Suspicious

incidents/activities should be reported to RSO Bangkok (Tel.

02-205-4000, 24 hrs/day). On behalf of U.S. Embassy Bangkok,

we hope you have a safe and pleasant visit.

BOYCE

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Written by thaicables

August 26, 2011 at 5:26 am

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