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05BANGKOK3588 NOMINATION OF MICHAEL D. SWEENEY FOR THE POWELL FELLOWS PROGRAM

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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 003588

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP, EAP/EX, EAP/BCLTV

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: APER

SUBJECT: NOMINATION OF MICHAEL D. SWEENEY FOR THE POWELL

FELLOWS PROGRAM

 

REF: A. STATE 92063

 

¶B. STATE 79836

 

NOMINATION STATEMENT

 

¶1. (U) I nominate Michael D. Sweeney for consideration as

one of the EAP Bureau’s nominees for the Powell Fellows

Program. Michael is a tenured FS-03 Foreign Service

generalist who has distinguished himself while working in the

Consular and Political sections in Embassy Bangkok. He is

the type of officer whose strong qualities should be nurtured

early in his career, and the Powell Fellows Program is an

excellent opportunity to provide him with exposure and

development that will redound to the Department’s benefit.

 

Mike’s contributions to the Mission in his current position

as the Embassy’s human rights officer have been exceptional.

He is known for his initiative, insightful written work,

astute cultivation of government and NGO contacts, and

general ability to stay far ahead of the curve on reporting

or any of the many projects for which he is responsible.

Mike is widely respected by American and Thai staff for his

maturity and motivation, and for his openness to people and

ideas.

 

Examples that highlight Mike’s performance and abilities come

easily to mind. Mike’s Thailand 2004 Chapter for the Human

Rights Report (HRR) was praised as one of the best in the

region. His early drafts were balanced, detailed and clearly

written. He negotiated careful edits with the Department.

Mike also authored several of the most relevant cables sent

from Bangkok, including an analytic piece, “Thaksin’s Victory

— Credit the Man, Innovative Policies, and the Thai Rak Thai

Political Machine.” That cable in particular illustrated

Mike’s great versatility. When the tsunami disaster strained

the Political section’s ability to properly cover the

national elections, Mike easily stepped up to a central role

in reporting on domestic politics, adroitly drawing on

knowledge gleaned from being our lead reporter on Thai civil

society. Mike’s cable on the views of the new foreign

minister toward Thai-Burma relations, “New Face, Same

Policy,” also influenced Washington. In updates to senior

colleagues, briefings to visitors on his areas of

responsibility, and exchanges with Thai officials and

politicians, Mike’s verbal skills mirrored his writing; he

was always organized, informed, articulate and to the point.

Remarkably, Mike could make such presentations in either Thai

or English — he is by far the best Thai language speaker in

the Political section and is rivaled by only a handful of

other Americans in the entire Mission.

 

Mike’s leadership potential is especially impressive. He is

relatively new to the Foreign Service, but entered after over

10 years of work experience, most of it overseas, in

community development, human rights and refugee work. He

brings good judgment and a seasoned background to his efforts

to improve the way goals are achieved in the Mission. He has

organizational and managerial skills equal to much more

senior officers, and time and again in Bangkok has made

superior contributions to the work of the Consular and

Political sections. He implemented a Department grant

supporting Thai citizenship for hill tribes. Working closely

with USAID, he was the prime shaper of a USD 1 million

program to improve freedom of the press in Thailand.

 

PERSONAL STATEMENT OF NOMINEE MICHAEL SWEENEY

 

¶2. (U) I would like to participate in the Powell Fellows

Program because I want to broaden my leadership skills,

including the ability to find creative solutions to problems,

enhance openness in our profession to innovation, and

ultimately to become a more effective diplomat. Since

joining the State Department in 2001, I have learned that

leadership requires the ability to see problems and solutions

to those problems in a multidimensional way, beyond the

traditional top-down bureaucracy that holds our many

administrative and decision-making systems together. Being

part of large regional missions like Manila and Bangkok,

which constitute a vast array of agencies, I have experienced

the need to contrast and compare different work cultures from

various offices and agencies at post. I have had to learn to

make meaningful contacts with key officers from other

agencies that helped me do my job better. Lastly, I learned

the importance of promoting the State Department’s key

programs and policy initiatives within the context of the

interagency Mission team. All of these efforts required

leadership.

 

One recent of example where my own leadership skills were

called to task was during discussions about Economic Support

Funds (ESF) for Burma. I was tasked with organizing

logistics for a joint State Department – USAID team visiting

the Thai-Burma border and Bangkok. The goal of the trip was

to find out the best way to spend funds earmarked by Congress

to support pro-democracy groups working for democratic change

inside Burma. Yet even as closely as State and AID work

together, I found a real culture gap: in work vocabulary,

budget cycles, and even the mundane details of protocol at

meetings. At the end of the trip, after a week of traveling

and 12-hour days of site visits and office calls, team

members were asking the question, “What now?” For a while,

it appeared that no one wanted to make the suggestion we were

all dreading: another meeting. I found myself in a

situation where leaders can often find themselves thinking,

“Who is going to ask the question, speak up and make a

suggestion and get the ball rolling?” Well, I did. Almost

overnight, rather than letting the joint team just get on a

plane the next day and go back to DC, I organized a late

afternoon meeting of all the relevant offices and section

chiefs (including the Ambassador and AID Mission Chief) to

get a summary of the findings of the team and to learn more

about the many offices at post that work on Burma. If I had

not looked beyond my control officer role and seen the larger

interagency picture, that meeting and the possibilities for

further interagency and interoffice exchange on one of the

most important issues to this Mission and to the U.S., would

not have taken place.

 

I think broadening this experience even further through a

program of contacts with leaders in politics, academia,

research centers and other sectors would be an excellent

chance to build on the leadership skills I have achieved thus

far.

 

As I come near the end of my second tour as a Foreign Service

Officer, I look forward to the challenges facing me as

Consular manager in Vientiane, Laos. My goal following that

is to seek increasing management responsibilities at a larger

Consular post, such as Guangzhou or another larger post in

another geographic region. I would also like to pursue work

in either the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

(DRL), or Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), where I

can use my background and personal interest in human rights,

civil society and refugees to lead others in our shared task

of implementing the management of human and other resources

to accomplish our foreign policy objectives.

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

August 28, 2011 at 6:17 am

Posted in Unclassified

05BANGKOK3144 THAILAND: ARF MISSILE DEFENSE CONFERENCE; EAS

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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 003144

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP, EAP/RSP, EAP/BCLTV, AC

PACOM FOR FPA (HUSO)

OSD/ISA (POWERS)

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PARM PREL TH ASEAN

SUBJECT: THAILAND: ARF MISSILE DEFENSE CONFERENCE; EAS

 

REF: BANGKOK 2600

 

¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Poloffs met with Thai Foreign Ministry

(MFA) officials to discuss planning details and next steps

for the Missile Defense Conference which the Royal Thai

Government (RTG) has agreed to co-host with the U.S. October

6-7 in Bangkok. The Thais expect to achieve consensus within

ASEAN on the proposed conference prior to the ASEAN Regional

Forum (ARF) Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in Vientiane. The

Thai requested close coordination with the U.S. Delegation to

the ARF SOM prior to any U.S. presentation on the Missile

Defense Conference. In preparation for the Missile Defense

Conference, the RTG request that the U.S. send a team of

experts to Bangkok to brief their intra-agency team on

technical aspects of what will be discussed. They also want

close coordination with the U.S. on developing a

“deliverable” from the conference. On the separate issue of

the East Asia Summit (EAS), the MFA officials indicated that

they expect India, Australia, and New Zealand to be invited

to the December summit as part of an “inclusive” EAS. END

SUMMARY

 

YES TO BANGKOK MISSILE DEFENSE CONFERENCE: OCTOBER 6-7

 

¶2. (SBU) On May 10, Poloffs met with several Thai MFA

officers from the ASEAN Affairs Division to discuss the

proposed U.S./Thai ARF Missile Defense Conference, and other

regional issues. ASEAN Division Counselor Dr. Suriya

Chindawongse led the Thai side. Suriya agreed that October 6

and 7 would be the best dates for the proposed co-hosted

conference. The RTG has checked the ASEAN calendar, and

those dates do not interfere with other ASEAN events. He

reiterated that Bangkok would be the preferred venue.

 

PRESENTING THE CONFERENCE AT THE ARF SOM: “PLEASE COORDINATE”

 

¶3. (SBU) Suriya said that he expected to have ASEAN

endorsement for the Missile Defense Conference prior to the

ARF SOM in Vientiane on May 20. Suriya said that Thai MFA

Permanent Secretary Krit Garnjana-Goonchorn — who will lead

the Thai delegation to the SOM — will give a

“pre-presentation” on the proposed Missile Defense Conference

to ASEAN members on May 18. To date, Suriya has not heard

any complaints or concerns from other ASEAN members about the

Missile Defense Conference. While he is optimistic that

ASEAN members will not have any serious late-breaking

reservations about the conference, he noted that “one or two”

countries at the ARF SOM (which he would not name) might

raise some concerns. He advised that the U.S. delegation

should be prepared to answer questions in Vientiane.

 

¶4. (SBU) Suriya asked how the U.S. delegation would raise

the issue of the Missile Defense Conference at the SOM.

Would the U.S. would present an updated version of the

concept paper presented in Potsdam? Suriya recommended that

the U.S. give a broad presentation, outlining the agenda as

well as basic logistical information (dates, location).

Following the U.S. presentation, the Thai delegation will

immediately offer support for the U.S. proposals. Suriya

requested that the U.S. delegation coordinate its

presentation with the Thai ahead of time.

 

PREPARING FOR THE CONFERENCE: U.S. EXPERTS BRIEF IN BANGKOK

 

¶5. (SBU) Following the ARF SOM, the RTG will have an

intra-agency meeting to discuss the Missile Defense

Conference and determine responsibilities within the Thai

government. As of now, it has not been established whether

MFA or MOD will have the lead within the Thai bureaucracy.

Suriya said that the RTG will request a technical briefing on

the draft agenda from U.S. arms-control experts. The RTG

prefers to have the briefing in Bangkok in order to be able

to include the widest audience possible from within the Thai

government. In an aside, Suriya said the briefing would be

an important factor in bringing the Thai military on board,

and that MOD’s participation will be a crucial factor in the

Conference’s success.

 

¶6. (SBU) The Thais said they appreciated that Assistant

Secretary of State for Arms Control Rademaker would lead the

 

SIPDIS

U.S. delegation, and said they would designate an appropriate

senior official to work with him as co-chair. They expressed

appreciation for the U.S. offer to cover the costs of the

conference, but said that, as “co-hosts” the RTG would host a

reception during the event.

 

¶7. (SBU) Suriya asked that the U.S. think about what kind

of “deliverable” should be expected from the Missile Defense

Conference. The Thai expressed concern that an overly

ambitious outcome document might bog the meeting down. They

suggested that an ARF Statement, issued at the ministerial,

as a possibility; at a minimum, they expect the U.S. and

Thailand to issue a summary report as co-chairs.

 

EAS: THAILAND WANTS, EXPECTS, “INCLUSIVE” SUMMIT

 

¶8. (SBU) Turning to the East Asia Summit, Suriya commented

that the RTG is following the consensus established at the

Cebu ministerial. Suriya stressed that from the beginning,

Thailand had favored an “inclusive” EAS (reftel), and is

confident that Australia, India, and New Zealand will be able

to participate at the December EAS in Kuala Lumpur. Suriya

noted that New Zealand is particularly close to receiving an

invitation, and confided that Prime Minister Clark’s visit to

Bangkok had gone “very well.”

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

August 28, 2011 at 6:09 am

Posted in Military, Unclassified

05BANGKOK3110 THAILAND — DEMARCHE DELIVERED ON UNMANDATED SESSION RE: UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION REFORM

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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 BANGKOK 003110

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR IO/SHA – SMEHRA, S/UNR – JGERAN, USUN – MZACK

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PHUM TH

SUBJECT: THAILAND — DEMARCHE DELIVERED ON UNMANDATED

SESSION RE: UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION REFORM

 

REF: SECSTATE 82967

 

(U) Poloff delivered reftel talking points to Peerasak

Chantavarin, Director of the Social Division, International

Organizations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

He immediately forwarded the points to the Thai Embassy in

Geneva. However, Peerasak said that the Royal Thai

Government (RTG) has not yet established a final position on

formation of a working group in Geneva to discuss reform of

the UN Human Rights Commission. He refused to speculate how

Thailand would vote on the proposed resolution establishing a

working group if it is presented to a formal meeting of the

UN Economic and Social Council (ESOSOC). Peerasak said that

the MFA is still listening and weighing different points of

view on the issue. Poloff pressed and Peerasak conceded the

point that reform of the UN Human Rights Commission will

eventually have to be settled in New York.

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

August 28, 2011 at 6:07 am

05BANGKOK3107 THAILAND: ENCOURAGING SUPPORT FOR THE IRAQ TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT

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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 BANGKOK 003107

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/BCLTV, NEA

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL IZ TH IRAQ

SUBJECT: THAILAND: ENCOURAGING SUPPORT FOR THE IRAQ

TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT

 

REF: STATE 79107

 

¶1. (SBU) Poloff delivered reftel demarche to

Minister-Counselor Amornsate Singha, the new Director of

MFA’s North America Division. In subsequent conversations,

Amornsate said that the Royal Thai Government (RTG) has

already delivered congratulatory messages to both President

Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja’afari through

diplomatic channels and is considering issuing a public

statement of support as well. Amornsate noted that the

language the RTG had used in its diplomatic messages was

almost identical to the language provided in our talking

points. Amornsate said that the RTG does not have any

objection to issuing a public statement of support, but has

not reached consensus on appropriate language within the

Foreign Ministry.

 

¶2. (SBU) Poloff asked if Foreign Minister Kanthati — who

departs May 10 for a May 13 meeting with the Secretary —

would be prepared to issue a statement during his visit to

the U.S.. Amornsate said that a statement of support for the

Iraq Transitional Government has been included in FM

Kanthati’s trip talking points and background material, but

he could not confirm whether the Foreign Minister would make

a public statement during the visit.

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

August 28, 2011 at 6:06 am

05BANGKOK3045 BLUE LATERN LEVEL 3: PRE-LICENSE END-USE CHECK ON APPLICATION 05-955010

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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 BANGKOK 003045

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR PM/DTCC (JSTITZIEL)

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ETTC KOMC TH BLUE LANTERN

SUBJECT: BLUE LATERN LEVEL 3: PRE-LICENSE END-USE CHECK ON

APPLICATION 05-955010

 

REF: STATE 68288

 

¶1. Pol FSN made inquiries to establish the bona fides of

Olympic Arm & Ammunition Co. as requested in reftel.

According to the Department of Business Development of the

Thai Commerce Ministry, Olympic Arm and Ammunition (Thailand)

Co., Ltd. has a three person executive committee made up of

Mr. Charan Chawala, Mr. Witsanu Chamala and Mr. Anuchit

Kanphakdi, all Thai nationals. The company changed its name

from “the Golden Arm Co., Ltd” on August 17, 1999. It is

capitalized at 32 million baht (aprox. 820,000 USD).

 

¶2. An inquiry with Col Chanachit Charoen-nuang of the

Defense Permanent Secretary Office, Ministry of Defense,

confirmed that the company is recognized under Thai law and

has valid permits to operate factories to manufacture

ammunition in Thailand. The company also is permitted to

manufacture Austrian Glock and Italian Beretta automatic

pistols under license. Thai clients of the company include

the Royal Thai Army, National Police, and state-owned firing

ranges nation-wide. The Ministry of Defense has two military

officials (one officer and one NCO) posted at the factory

around the clock to monitor production.

 

¶3. According to Colonel Phunsi Ratsami, Director of the

Industry Control Division of the Royal Thai Defense Industry

Department — the Thai government agency tasked with

overseeing defense contractors — Olympic is certified under

Thai law to manufacture 9 mm, .38 cal., and .45 cal

ammunition.

 

¶4. Pol FSN visited Olympic’s manufacturing facility in

Nakhon Sawan, approximately 240 kilometers north of Bangkok,

on May 3. He noted it was in a controlled access location

and had unarmed civilian guards checking all vehicles and

persons trying to enter the compound. While there, he met

with Mr. Charan Chawla, Managing Director of the Company, who

explained his company’s former relationship with the Greek

firm, Olympic Arms and Ammunition, Co., Ltd (same name as the

Thai firm).

 

¶5. According to Mr. Charan, in 1999, he approached Mr.Vasili

Papadupolos, the Greek National Owner of Greece’s Olympic

Arms and Ammunition Co., Ltd, through Charon’s company

“Golden Arm Co., Ltd,” and invited Papadupolos to buy shares

in his Thai company in exchange for Papadupolos’s technology

and ammunition manufacturing know-how. Papadupolos agreed,

and promised to buy 615,000 out of 1,250,000 shares in

Charan’s company. Charan agreed to change the name of the

Thai company to Olympic Arm and Ammunition (Thailand) Co.,

Ltd. Charan said this agreement was oral only. After Charan

changed his company’s name, Papadupolos changed his mind and

decided not to pay for his shares in the new venture. Charan

had already changed his company’s name and decided to remain

in business as Olympic. Charan claims that Papadupolos still

technically holds one token share in his company. He

suggested that it would be too cumbersome under Thai law to

remove Papadupolos’s small stake in Olympic Thailand. Since

Papadupolos’s withdrawal from the venture, Charon claimed to

have never been in contact with the Greek again. Charan

recently learned of Papadupolos’s arrest in Italy. Plans to

change the name of the company are underway and are expected

to be completed by June this year.

 

¶6. Pol FSN learned that Olympic Thailand has no foreign

subsidiaries and that all of its 50 plus employees are Thai

nationals. Employees must undergo fingerprint checks each

day to verify their identity. The production line operates

from 0800-1700 on weekdays. In addition to the contracts

mentioned in para 2 above, the Thai Department of Special

Investigation of the Ministry of Justice and the Narcotics

Control Board of the Prime Minister’s office have recently

approached Olympic about possible contracts. The company is

not allowed to sell its products in the private sector except

at one facility in Pattaya Thailand. Bullets produced by the

company are marketed to firing ranges under the “Hunter”

brand name and to state agencies under the “Olympic” label.

Charan told our FSN that he has been a weapons dealer for 30

years and is also Managing Director of the Royal Defence Co.,

Ltd. He stated that he has had previous business relations

with Lockheed Martin and US ATK Corporations. The compound

where Olympic is located also has a factory making Glock

pistols under license, owned by Kamonrat Commercial Co., Ltd,

of which Charan is President.

 

¶7. Sales records are maintained electronically and in hard

copy. Pol FSN took digital photos of the facility. Those

photos can be sent to the Department upon request. Please

send requests to Embassy PolMil Officer Mark Lambert.

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

August 28, 2011 at 6:05 am

Posted in Military, Unclassified

05BANGKOK2922 THAILAND EXBS LEGAL TECHNICAL FORUM

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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 BANGKOK 002922

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR NP/ECC (CROUCH)

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ETTC PARM PREL KSTC TH EXBS

SUBJECT: THAILAND EXBS LEGAL TECHNICAL FORUM

 

REF: STATE 69327

 

¶1. (U) Per reftel request, Post has proposed and confirmed

that a “U.S.-Thailand Legal Technical Forum” will be held

under the auspices of the Export Control and Related Border

Assistance (EXBS) program, in Bangkok in mid-May. Post

expects 20-30 Thai participants at the workshop, including

participants from the Thai Department of Commerce (DOC), the

Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Thai Ministry of

Defense, as well as the Australian Embassy. The final dates

of the conference have not yet been confirmed as the Thai DOC

has expressed a preference to hold the conference over three

days (May 18-20), rather than the four days proposed in

Reftel. FCS-Bangkok is also exploring the possibility of an

additional day for private-sector “outreach”. Post POC:

Anthony Tranchina- (66)-2-205-4599

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

August 28, 2011 at 6:04 am

Posted in Unclassified

05BANGKOK2835 THAILAND: GLOBAL FORUM ON FIGHTING CORRUPTION

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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 BANGKOK 002835

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR INL/C

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ASEC CPAS KCRM KFRD TH

SUBJECT: THAILAND: GLOBAL FORUM ON FIGHTING CORRUPTION

 

REF: STATE 63279

 

¶1. Poloff discussed reftel with Brazilian Embassy Minister

Counselor Fernando Jose de Carvalho Lopes. Lopes said that

he had already been in contact with the Thai MFA regarding

the June conference in Brasilia and that his Ambassador

preferred that we demarche the MFA separately. Lopes said

the Thai had told him they would organize a delegation from

Bangkok, but at this time it is unlikely that they will send

a Minister-level official to head the delegation.

 

¶2. Subsequently, Poloff delivered reftel demarche points to

Wasin Dhamavasi from the Latin America Division of MFA.

Wasin confirmed that the RTG planned to send a delegation to

the forum, but were still working on their delegation list.

Wasin promised to pass on the names of the official

delegation as soon as they were decided.

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

August 28, 2011 at 6:03 am