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Archive for the ‘Samak Sundaravej’ Category

08PHNOMPENH578 PREAH VIHEAR: TENSIONS STILL HIGH AS FACE-OFF CONTINUES

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“162428”,”7/17/2008 10:44″,”08PHNOMPENH578″,

“Embassy Phnom Penh”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,

“08BANGKOK2167″,”VZCZCXRO9616

OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH

DE RUEHPF #0578 1991044

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 171044Z JUL 08

FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE

INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK IMMEDIATE 2576

RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0085

RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0618″,”C O N F I D E N T I A L PHNOM PENH 000578

 

SIPDIS

 

PARIS PLEASE PASS TO US MISSION TO UNESCO

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/17/2010

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, UNESCO, SCUL, MOPS, PBTS, TH, CB

SUBJECT: PREAH VIHEAR: TENSIONS STILL HIGH AS FACE-OFF

CONTINUES

 

REF: BANGKOK 2167

 

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Piper Campbell, for reasons 1.5

B and C

 

1. (C) Cambodian sources seemed increasingly anxious about

continued tension along the Thai-Cambodian border July 17. A

Cambodian official told the Ambassador that the RGC is

seeking a face-to-face meeting early next week. A senior

armed forces (RCAF) official text messaged the acting Defense

Attache late in the day to say that Cambodia was responding

to news of another 100 Thai military being deployed by

sending \”ten trucks of Cambodian gendarmes in full battle

gear\” to the area. In the early evening, the Council of

Ministers shared with diplomatic missions a copy of the text

of a letter from PM Hun Sen to PM Samak Sundaravej (text

produced below.) Embassy has urged minimizing the number of

troops sent to the area, noting that packing more people into

an already tense atmosphere is likely to augment tensions;

called on the RCAF to respond with professionalism and calm;

and highlighted the importance of both countries finding a

neighborly way out of this situation. Embassies Phnom Penh

and Bangkok have shared information during the course of the

day.

 

2. (SBU) BEGIN TEXT OF HUN SEN TO SAMAK LETTER

 

DEAR EXCELLENCY,

 

FIRST. I WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS MY SINCERE THANKS TO YOUR

EXCELLENCY AND I WAS VERY PLEASED TO TALK WITH YOU ON THE

TELEPHONE ON THE NIGHT OF 16 JULY 2008. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT

WE, REPRESENTATIVES OF OUR TWO STATES, HAVE STILL REAFFIRMED

THE ONGOING AND GOOD NEIGHBORLY RELATIONS AND LONG-LASTING

COOPERATION SO THAT WE COULD RESOLVE THE PROBLEM THROUGH

NEGOTIATIONS AS WELL AS SETTING THE MEETING SCHEDULE BETWEEN

YOUR EXCELLENCY AND HIS EXCELLENCY TEA BANH (NOTE: CAMBODIAN

MINISTER OF DEFENSE) ON 21 JULY 2008.

 

DURING OUR TELEPHONE CONVERSATION, I ASKED YOUR EXCELLENCY TO

ORDER THE WITHDRAWAL OF THAI TROOPS FROM THE AREA OF KEO

SIKHA KIRI SVARA PAGODA (CALLED PREAH VIHEAR PAGODA) NEAR THE

TEMPLE OF PREAH VIHEAR, SO THAT THE SITUATION COULD RETURN TO

THE STATUS PRIOR TO 15 JULY 2008.

 

UNFORTUNATELY, AS OF 17 JULY 2008 THE SITUATION IS WORSENING

DUE TO A CONTINUING INCREASE IN THE NUMBERS OF THAI MILITARY

INSIDE AND AROUND THE AREA OF KEO SIKHA KIRI SVARA PAGODA

(CALLED PREAH VIHEAR PAGODA) AND THE PRESENCE OF THAI

PROTESTERS.

 

THE DETERIORATING SITUATION IS VERY BAD FOR THE RELATIONS

BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES, AND, THEREFORE, I WOULD LIKE TO

ASK YOUR EXCELLENCY TO TAKE MEASURES TO EASE THE TENSIONS AND

ORDER THE THAI TROOPS TO WITHDRAW FROM THE AREA OF KEO SIKHA

KIRI SVARA PAGODA (CALLED PREAH VIHEAR PAGODA) NEAR PREAH

VIHEAR TEMPLE. THESE TROOPS HAVE ENCROACHED ON OUR TERRITORY

ON 15 JULY 2008, AND HAVE SINCE INCREASED IN NUMBERS RATHER

THAN WITHDRAWING.

 

PLEASE ACCEPT, YOUR EXCELLENCY, THE ASSURANCES OF MY HIGHEST

CONSIDERATIONS.

 

SIGNED AND STAMPED

 

HUN SEN

PRIME MINISTER

KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA

 

17 JULY

 

END TEXT.

 

MUSSOMELI

Written by thaicables

July 16, 2011 at 6:28 am

08BANGKOK2137 THAI GOVERNMENT’S FOES CALL FOR CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST CABINET

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THAI GOVERNMENT’S FOES CALL FOR CRIMINAL CHARGES

AGAINST CABINET

“161919”,”7/14/2008 10:19″,”08BANGKOK2137″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,

“08BANGKOK1879|08BANGKOK2091|08BANGKOK2111″,”VZCZCXRO6216

OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM

DE RUEHBK #2137/01 1961019

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 141019Z JUL 08

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3685

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 8897

RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0922

RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 6168

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1696

RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI PRIORITY 5455

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

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RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY”,”C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 002137

SIPDIS

NSC FOR PHU

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/14/2018

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, KDEM, KJUS, TH

SUBJECT: THAI GOVERNMENT\’S FOES CALL FOR CRIMINAL CHARGES

AGAINST CABINET

REF: A. BANGKOK 2111 (FM RESIGNS)

B. BANGKOK 2091 (CLOUDED FUTURE)

C. BANGKOK 1879 (MINISTER CHARGED WITH LESE MAJESTE)

BANGKOK 00002137 001.2 OF 002

Classified By: Ambassador Eric G. John, reason: 1.4 (b) and (d).

SUMMARY

——-

1. (C) A group of leading critics of the Samak administration

on July 14 filed a complaint alleging that the cabinet,

former Prime Minister Thaksin, and other RTG officials

committed serious violations of the Thai Penal Code in

initially supporting the inscription of the Preah Vihear

temple on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The National

Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) will review this

complaint; if a majority of the NCCC Commissioners vote to

forward the complaint to the Supreme Court, this would

require all targeted officials to stop performing their

government duties; such a determination could be made within

a few months. Although the basis for the complaint appears

questionable, this process will likely cause further

headaches for the embattled Samak administration. End

Summary.

SUPPORTING TEMPLE INSCRIPTION TANTAMOUNT TO TREASON

——————————————— ——

2. (U) Leading figures from the People\’s Alliance for

Democracy (a group vehemently opposed to former Prime

Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and the current government) on

July 14 filed a request with the National Counter Corruption

Commission (NCCC) for the investigation of alleged criminal

acts committed by the cabinet and six other RTG officials.

The allegations stem from the inscription of Preah Vihear

temple on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

3. (U) The PAD alleges that Prime Minister Samak, his

cabinet, and other officials violated sections 119 and 157 of

the Penal Code. According to the Embassy\’s unofficial

translations, these sections provide as follows:

– Article 119: \”Whoever does any act with intent to cause the

country or any part thereof to descend under the sovereignty

of any foreign state, or to undermine the independence of the

state, shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life.\”

– Article 157: \”Whoever, being an official, wrongfully

exercises or does not exercise any of his functions to the

injury of any person, or dishonestly exercises or omits to

exercise any of his functions, shall be punished with

imprisonment of one to ten years or fine of two thousand to

twenty thousand Baht, or both.\”

4. (U) PAD\’s complaint targets the following officials, in

addition to the Prime Minister and his cabinet members:

– MFA Permanent Secretary Virasakdi Futrakul;

– National Security Council Secretary General LTG Surapol

Puanaiyaka;

– RTAF Survey Department Director General LTG Dan Meechooarth;

– MFA Director General of the Treaties and Legal Affairs

Department Krit Kraichitti;

– MFA Deputy Director General of the East Asian Department

Pisanu Suvanajata; and

– MFA Minister for Treaties and Legal Affairs Chirdchu

Raktabutr, assigned to the Thai Embassy in Paris.

5. (U) PAD\’s complaint also alleges that, in the Preah Vihear

matter, former Prime Minister Thaksin violated Article 120 of

the Penal Code, which provides for no less than ten years\’

imprisonment for anyone who \”does an act for the benefit of a

foreign state with intent to cause the waging of battle

BANGKOK 00002137 002.2 OF 002

against the state or hostility in another way against the

state…\”

NCCC PROCEDURES

—————

6. (U) The NCCC is the proper body to screen complaints of

this nature; Article 250 of the constitution provides that

the NCCC is charged with investigating criminal cases

involving persons holding political positions. The

constitution provides that such cases are to be referred by

the NCCC to the Supreme Court\’s Criminal Division for

Political Office Holders. If the NCCC determines that a

prima facie case exists against some of the officials in

question, those officials will be required immediately to

suspend their duties, according to Articles 272 and 275 of

the constitution.

7. (C) An NCCC commissioner, aware of the upcoming filing,

told us on July 13 that he anticipated that it would take

approximately one week to determine whether the NCCC should

formally accept PAD\’s complaint. Assessing the merits and

determining whether a prima facie case exists should take

three to four months, he said. According to the

constitution, a simple majority vote by the NCCC suffices to

determine whether a prima facie case exists, and to trigger

the suspension of officials\’ duties. It is unclear how long

a Supreme Court trial in this matter might take.

8. (C) The Ambassador spoke on July 13 with MFA Permanent

Secretary Virasakdi, one of the officials targeted by the

PAD. Virasakdi expressed serious concern about the PAD

complaint.

COMMENT

——-

9. (C) We are not fully familiar with the technical details

of the 1962 International Court of Justice ruling that the

Preah Vihear temple belongs to Cambodia, nor with all aspects

of Thai-Cambodian territorial disputes in the vicinity of the

temple, nor with all implications of the temple\’s

inscription. We are skeptical, however, that the inscription

process provides reasonable grounds for the allegations of

crimes tantamount to treason; we are confident that the

Ministry of Foreign Affairs\’ lawyers carefully considered how

to proceed prior to the Foreign Minister\’s mid-June signing

of the Thai-Cambodian Joint Communique. Nevertheless, this

issue has been heavily politicized, and the PAD appears

willing to use any tool at its disposal to keep the

government off-balance, or even bring it down. And given

that the NCCC consists of figures selected by the 2006 coup

leaders, we do not rule out that a meaningful number of the

Commissioners will be sympathetically inclined toward the

PAD\’s complaint.

JOHN

Written by thaicables

July 16, 2011 at 6:25 am

08BANGKOK2091 COURT RULINGS CLOUD FUTURE OF SAMAK ADMINISTRATION

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“161279”,”7/9/2008 8:57″,”08BANGKOK2091″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,

“08BANGKOK1878|08BANGKOK1951|08BANGKOK598|08BANGKOK608”,

“VZCZCXRO2586

OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM

DE RUEHBK #2091/01 1910857

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 090857Z JUL 08

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3635

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 8879

RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0904

RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 6148

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1690

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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

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RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY”,

“C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 002091

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR PHU

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/09/2018

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, KDEM, KJUS, TH

SUBJECT: COURT RULINGS CLOUD FUTURE OF SAMAK ADMINISTRATION

 

REF: A. BANGKOK 1951 (DEBATE BEGINS)

B. BANGKOK 1878 (TEMPLE MAP APPROVED)

C. BANGKOK 608 (CASE REFERRED TO COURT)

D. BANGKOK 598 (FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS)

 

BANGKOK 00002091 001.2 OF 002

 

Classified By: Ambassador Eric G. John, reason: 1.4 (b) and (d).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) The Supreme Court delivered a ruling on July 8 that

may enable the Constitutional Court to dissolve the People\’s

Power Party (PPP) and render Prime Minister Samak and other

PPP executives unable to hold government office. If PPP were

to be dissolved, this would prompt a change of

administrations but not necessarily a new legislative

election; any such action by the Constitutional Court is

likely months away. Separately, the Constitutional Court

reviewed a Thai-Cambodian Joint Communique supporting the

inscription of Preah Vihear temple on the UNESCO World

Heritage List and determined that the Communique required

parliamentary approval. The Court\’s determination that the

Samak administration acted contrary to the Constitution\’s

provisions in this matter has sparked talk of impeachment

proceedings. End Summary.

 

YONGYUTH DISQUALIFIED, PPP SURVIVAL AT STAKE

——————————————–

 

2. (U) The Supreme Court on July 8 issued its ruling in the

electoral fraud case against former House Speaker Yongyuth

Tiyapairat. (Refs C and D provide further detail on

Yongyuth\’s infractions and the process through which the case

was filed with the Court.) The Court upheld the Election

Commission\’s finding that Yongyuth had violated the election

law, determining that he is ineligible to hold public office.

 

3. (U) Because Yongyuth held a position on the People\’s Power

Party (PPP) Executive Board at the time of the infraction,

the door is now open for the Constitutional Court to consider

dissolution of PPP. Article 237 of the 2007 Constitution

provides that such violations, if committed or even tolerated

by party executives, trigger a presumption that the party

sought to acquire state power by unconstitutional means and,

therefore, the party can be dissolved by the Constitutional

Court, with all its executives subject to a five-year ban on

political activity.

 

4. (C) Two other parties — Chart Thai and Matchima — are

already undergoing procedures consistent with Article 237

that risk their parties\’ dissolution. Their fate rests with

a joint Election Commission (EC) and Office of the Attorney

General (OAG) committee, which has been considering for

months whether to file a request for the Constitutional Court

to dissolve the parties, following disqualification of party

executives for election law violations. Based on their

experiences, we believe it will be at least two months before

the EC and OAG might decide to file a request with the

Constitutional Court for PPP\’s dissolution. Constitutional

Court deliberations would then likely take months more,

although it is possible that the Court would find a way to

accelerate its procedures in this case. (Supporters of

former Prime Minister Thaksin, who provides behind-the-scenes

leadership for PPP, often allege that the Court is

ill-disposed toward Thaksin and PPP; see septel on Thaksin\’s

legal cases.)

 

TEMPLE RULING INCREASES PRESSURE ON GOVERNMENT

——————————————— –

 

5. (U) Separately, the Constitutional Court ruled on July 8

that the Samak administration acted in violation of

constitutional procedures when Foreign Minister Noppadon

Pattama and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An signed a

June 18 Joint Communique supporting the inscription of the

Preah Vihear temple on the UNESCO World Heritage List. (Refs

A and B provide more background on the controversy in

Thailand surrounding inscription.) The Court determined that

this Communique met the definition of a treaty found in the

 

BANGKOK 00002091 002.2 OF 002

 

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: \”an international

agreement concluded between States in written form and

governed by international law…\”

 

6. (U) The Court further found that the Communique fell into

a certain category of treaties covered by Article 190 of the

2007 Constitution; it \”provides for a change in the Thai

territories, the extraterritorial areas in which the Kingdom

has a sovereign right, or any jurisdictional area the Kingdom

has acquired through treaty or through international law, or

requires the enactment of an Act for its implementation, or

has extensive impacts on the country\’s economic and social

stability, or has significant bindings on trade, investment,

or national budget…\” Therefore, the Constitution required

that the government subject the Communique/Treaty to certain

parliamentary procedures (specified in Article 190) both

prior to its conclusion and after its signing; those

procedures were not followed in this case.

 

7. (U) Following the Court\’s ruling, Democrat Party Leader

Abhisit Vejjajiva said publicly he would move for FM

Noppadon\’s impeachment. Senator Khamnoon Sithisaman — a

reasonably prominent figure associated with People\’s Alliance

for Democracy (PAD) leader Sondhi Limthongkul (an ardent

Thaksin opponent) — called publicly for the cabinet\’s

resignation and talked of pursuing criminal charges against

the Samak administration.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (C) A Constitutional Court ruling in the PPP dissolution

case is likely many months away. Nevertheless, this looming

prospect, combined with the near-term impact of the Preah

Vihear decision, imparts a greater sense that both the party

and Samak\’s administration are living on borrowed time.

PPP\’s dissolution would necessarily result in the formation

of a new government, although it would not necessitate new

elections; PPP legislators who do not hold executive

positions in the party would be free to retain their seats in

the House, so long as they join other parties. The

pro-Thaksin camp has likely begun contingency planning to

form a new political vehicle. Recalling that PPP only gained

significance once it became the de facto principal successor

party to Thai Rak Thai (TRT), after TRT\’s May 2007

dissolution, we note that PPP\’s dissolution, by itself, would

mark a setback for — but not necessarily the end of —

Thaksin\’s political influence.

 

9. (C) Although we have not seen the text of the Preah Vihear

ruling, we find the Court\’s analysis questionable, and we

note that the RTG will likely become hesitant to document any

bilateral or multilateral agreements, for fear of similar

charges arising in the future. This ruling will likely

reinforce the impression of Thaksin supporters that the Court

is ill-disposed toward Thaksin and his allies.

JOHN

 

Written by thaicables

July 16, 2011 at 6:22 am

08BANGKOK1995 SAMAK ADMINISTRATION EASILY SURVIVES NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE

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“159909”,”6/27/2008 10:36″,”08BANGKOK1995″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,

“08BANGKOK1951″,”VZCZCXRO4819

OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM

DE RUEHBK #1995 1791036

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 271036Z JUN 08

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3551

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY

RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0881

RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 6122

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 8854

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1687

RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 4754

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RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY”,

“C O N F I D E N T I A L BANGKOK 001995

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR PHU

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/27/2018

TAGS: PGOV, KDEM, TH

SUBJECT: SAMAK ADMINISTRATION EASILY SURVIVES NO-CONFIDENCE

VOTE

 

REF: BANGKOK 1951 (DEBATE BEGINS)

 

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

 

1. (U) On the morning of June 27, following three days of

debate, House legislators voted almost entirely along

partisan lines on the Democrat Party\’s no-confidence motion

that targeted Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and seven other

cabinet members. There were up to 445 votes in play. Samak

received 280 votes in his favor, 162 against, with one

abstention. Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama, who came

under harsh attack for his agreement with Cambodia on the

Preah Vihear temple\’s disposition (reftel), received slightly

less support — 278 in favor, 162 against, with two

abstentions. The other targeted cabinet members received

comparable support. (Of the 480 House seats, 10 are vacant

because of real or alleged election irregularities. The

targeted cabinet members are constitutionally prohibited from

voting on the resolution, and all other People\’s Power Party

cabinet members, as well as the formal House leaders, agreed

in a show of sportsmanship not to vote.)

 

2. (C) Comment: The result was as expected (reftel); the

debate nevertheless appeared to serve both sides\’ interests.

The Democrats were able to air criticism of the government

and demonstrate their commitment to serving as a credible

opposition party. The government, meanwhile, showed its

willingness to accommodate the opposition\’s legitimate

parliamentary efforts and to provide an outlet for the

expression of criticism; the government also shifted media

attention away from the agenda of the People\’s Alliance for

Democracy (PAD), which had recently captured headlines for

its march on Government House.

JOHN

Written by thaicables

July 16, 2011 at 6:18 am

08BANGKOK2977 AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES WITH FORMER PM SAMAK HIS DOWNFALL, WITH DPM CHAVALIT NEW GOVERNMENT’S PROSPECTS

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“172121”,”10/1/2008 10:48″,”08BANGKOK2977″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,

 

“08BANGKOK2778″,”VZCZCXRO5919

OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM

DE RUEHBK #2977/01 2751048

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 011048Z OCT 08

FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4536

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 9057

RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 2440

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1741

RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 6372

RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 4922

RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 1065

RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI PRIORITY 5675

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY

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RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY”,”C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 002977

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/01/2018

TAGS: PGOV, KDEM, KJUS, PINR, TH

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES WITH FORMER PM SAMAK HIS

DOWNFALL, WITH DPM CHAVALIT NEW GOVERNMENT\’S PROSPECTS

 

REF: BANGKOK 2778 (SAMAK UNDERCUT)

 

BANGKOK 00002977 001.2 OF 002

 

Classified By: Ambassador Eric G. John, reason: 1.4 (b, d)

 

1. (C) Summary: Former Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej

resigned from his position as Party Leader of the People\’s

Power Party (PPP) September 30. He remains free on bail as

he continues to appeal a years-old defamation conviction.

Samak told the Ambassador September 26 that he believed Queen

Sirikit, working through Privy Council President Prem

Tinsulanonda, supported the People\’s Alliance for Democracy

(PAD) protest movement. Samak viewed himself as loyal to the

King, but implied that the Queen\’s political agenda

differened from her husband\’s. Separately, new Deputy PM

Chavalit Yongchaiyudh confirmed to the Ambassador October 1

that he had begun direct negotiations with the PAD and

suggested that he and the current Somchai administration had

90 days to produce results.

 

2. (C) Comment: Chavalit\’s expectation that his term in

office may be short-lived tracks with a widespread view among

Thais that the PPP will be fighting against the odds for its

survival in upcoming party dissolution proceedings. Although

Chavalit — who served as Prime Minister in 1996-97 and left

in disgrace after the Asian Financial Crisis — provides

proof that senior Thai politicians can often revive careers,

we believe Samak has lost virtually all of his influence and

has little prospect of staging a political comeback. PM

Somchai Wongsawat appears likely to succeed Samak as PPP

Party Leader. End Summary and Comment.

 

SAMAK QUITS PPP POST, HEADS TO DISNEY WORLD

——————————————-

 

3. (C) On September 30, a PPP official told the media that

former PM Samak Sundaravej had formally resigned from his

position of PPP Party Leader. This resignation followed an

Appeals Court\’s September 25 ruling upholding a previous

conviction of Samak on defamation charges, and affirming the

two-year prison sentence for Samak. In a September 26 lunch

with the Ambassador, Samak explained that he expected to

remain free on bail while continuing to appeal this case

through other channels; he predicted his legal battle could

continue for approximately two years before he might have to

face incarceration. Samak planned to join unnamed associates

for an extended North American vacation starting with Disney

World, criss-crossing the United States and parts of Canada

by car.

 

4. (C) Note: Once Samak lost face after PPP legislators

signaled their unwillingness to support his reelection as

Prime Minister (reftel), it would have been awkward for Samak

to retain the position of Party Leader. PPP immediately

named PM Somchai as acting party leader. Political parties

typically nominate their Party Leaders for the position of

Prime Minister; it would be logical to assume that Somchai

will formally take the top job in PPP. Samak\’s resignation

will not protect Samak from a five-year loss of political

rights in the event that PPP is dissolved. Party dissolution

by the Constitutional Court entails sanctions against the

executive board that was in place at the time of the

dissolution-warranting offense.

 

SAMAK DISCUSSES HIS DOWNFALL, CRITICIZES THE QUEEN

——————————————— —–

 

5. (C) Samak described to Ambassador the political pressure

against him during his seven months in office. He showed

disdain for Queen Sirikit, claiming that she had been

responsible for the 2006 coup d\’etat as well as the ongoing

turmoil generated by PAD protests. He alleged the Queen

operated through Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda

who, along with others presenting themselves as royalists,

worked with the PAD and other agitators. Citing his own

regular meetings with King Bhumibol, Samak claimed he —

rather than his opponents — was sincerely loyal to the King

and enjoyed the King\’s support. In his discussion of the

 

BANGKOK 00002977 002.2 OF 002

 

monarchy, Samak made no mention of the Crown Prince.

 

6. (C) Samak, a former journalist, lamented his opponents\’

success in manipulating media coverage of his administration.

Samak noted that jockeying for control over the media had

often caused rifts within Thai Rak Thai and, subsequently,

the People\’s Power Party.

 

7. (C) Samak\’s eyes became misty as he recalled that, when he

was contemplating returning to the premiership after eviction

from office by the Constitutional Court, his wife and one of

his daughters had pressed him to abandon this quest. \”I told

them to get out,\” he related. \”I didn\’t need to be betrayed

by them.\”

 

Out with the Old, Out with the New?

———————————–

 

8. (C) DPM Chavalit Yongchaiyudh indicated to Ambassador

October 1 that he expected the Somchai administration to be

short-lived, though he hoped it could be extended if it

proved successful in addressing the serious challenges facing

the country. Chavalit gave himself 90 days to complete his

self-assigned tasks (negotiate with the PAD, arrange a

solution to the southern insurgency, come to agreement with

Cambodia\’s leaders on border disputes). If Somchai\’s

administration were to prove effective, he hoped the

Constitutional Court might delay dissolution proceedings

against various coalition parties to allow the government

more time in office (note: the Attorney General announced

later on October 1 that he had referred the first case,

against Chat Thai, to the Constitution Court for review).

 

9. (C) On the ongoing PAD occupation of Government House,

Chavalit said he had twice spoken with PAD co-leader Chamlong

Srimuang, most recently on the night of September 30.

Chavalit described his approach toward the PAD as similar to

that which he had taken toward communist insurgents in the

1970s and 80s: he would initially stress commonalities while

deemphasizing differences, which would be sorted out later.

(Septel will report Chavalit\’s views on mediating the

southern insurgency.)

JOHN

Written by thaicables

June 23, 2011 at 3:00 am

08BANGKOK2977 ท่านทูตสนทนากับอดีตนายกสมัคร เรื่อง การลงจากอำนาจของเข

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เอกสารปกปิด ส่วนที่ 01 จาก 02 กรุงเทพ 002977

SIPDIS

EO 12958 DECL: 10/01/2018
TAGS PGOV, KDEM, KJUS, PINR, TH
เรื่อง: ท่านทูตสนทนากับอดีตนายกสมัคร เรื่อง การลงจากอำนาจของเขา,
อ้างอิง: กรุงเทพ 2778 (ลดอำนาจสมัคร)
กรุงเทพ 00002977 001.2 OF 002

จัดประเภทโดย: ทูต Eric G. John, เหตุผล: 1.4 (b, d)

¶1. (C) สรุปเนื้อหา: อดีตนายก สมัคร สุนทรเวช ลาออกจากตำแหน่งหัวหน้าพรรคพลังประชาชน เมื่อวันที่ 30 กันยายน เขายังอยู่ในช่วงของการประกันตัว และขออุธรณ์ในการสู้คดีหมิ่นประมาท สมัครบอกกับท่านทูตเมื่อวันที่ 26 กันยา โดยเขาเชื่อว่า ราชินิสิริกิตสนับสนุนการเคลื่อนไหวของพันธมิตรผ่านทางประธานรัฐบุรุษเปรม ติลสูลานนท์ สมัครพิจารณาว่า ตนเองภัคดีต่อในหลวง และกล่าวเป็นนัยว่า มุมมองทางการเมืองของราชินี แตกต่างจากของในหลวง นอกจากนั้น XXXXXXX ยืนยันกับท่านทูตเมื่อวันที่ 1 ตุลาคม ว่า เขาเริ่มเจรจาโดยตรงกับทางพันธมิตร โดย เขาและรัฐบาลของสมชาย มีเวลา 90 วัน เพื่อสร้างผลงาน

¶2. (C) ความคิดเห็น: XXXXXXX คาดว่า เขาและรัฐบาลนี้ คงจะบริหารงานได้อีกไม่นาน นอกจากนั้น คนไทยส่วนใหญ่ยังมองว่า พลังประชาชนจะต้องต่อสู้กับฝ่ายตรงช้ามเพื่อเอาตัวรอดในกระบวนการยุบพรรค ถึงแม้ XXXXXXXX จะให้ข้อพิสูจน์ว่า เหล่านักการเมืองอาวุโสจะกลับเข้าสู่อาชีพนักการเมืองได้อีก แต่เราเชื่อว่า สมัครได้เสียแรงจูงใจ และยังไม่อยากกลับเข้าสู่การเมืองอีกครั้ง นายกสมชาย วงสวัสดิ์ คงจะเป็นคนที่เข้ามาแทนสมัคร ในตำแหน่งหัวหน้าพรรคพลังประชาชน จบสรุปเนื้อหาและความคิดเห็น

สมัครลงจากเก้าอี้ในพรรคพลังประชาชน มุ่งหน้าสู่ดีสนีย์ เวิร์ล
——————————————-

¶3. (C) เมื่อวันที่ 30 กันยายน พรรคพลังประชาชนแถลงผ่านสื่ออย่างเป็นทางการ ว่าอดีตนายกสมัคร สุนทรเวช ได้ลาออกจากการเป็นหัวหน้าพรรคแล้ว โดยการลาออกในครั้งนี้ สืบเนื่องมาจากการยื่นอุธรณ์ ในคำตัดสินของศาลเมื่อวันที่ 25 กันยายน ในข้อหาหมิ่นประมาท และตัดสินให้สมัครจำคุกสองปี ในการสนทนากันระหว่างอาหารเที่ยง เมื่อวันที่ 26 กันยายน สมัครบอกว่า เขาหวังว่า เขาจะได้ประกันตัวในระหว่างการยื่นอุธรณ์ผ่านช่องทางอื่น โดยเขาคาดว่า การต่อสู้คดีคงจะใช้เวลาประมาณ 2 ปี ก่อนที่อาจถูกตัดสินจำคุก สมัครวางแผนที่จะร่วมเดินทางไปเที่ยวกับคนรู้จักในอเมริกาเหนือโดยเริ่มจากดีสนีย์ เวิร์ล และขับรถเที่ยวผ่านสหรัฐอเมริกา และบางส่วนของแคนาดา

¶4. (C) หมายเหตุ: สมัครต้องเสียหน้าเมื่อครั้งเมื่อสมาชิกของพลังประชาชนส่งสัญญาณว่าไม่ต้องการให้สมัครได้รับเลือกมาเป็นนายกอีกครั้ง (reftel) และคงดูไม่ดี ถ้าสมัครจะดำรงตำแหน่งหัวหน้าพรรคต่อไป พรรคพลังประชานเสนอชื่อของนายกสมชายให้ดำรงตำแหน่งหัวหน้าพรรคในทันที ซึ่งโดยส่วนใหญ่หัวหน้าพรรคก็จะได้ดำรงตำแหน่งนายกรัฐมนตรีด้วย และคงพอจะเห็นได้ว่า สมชายคงเจองานหนักในพรรคพลังประชาชนแน่นอน การลาออกของสมัครไม่มีผลต่อการถูกตัดสิทธิทางการเมือง 5 ปี ในกรณีที่พรรคถูกยุบ เนื่องจากเมื่อพรรคถูกยุบโดยศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ กรรมการบริหารพรรคในขณะนั้น จะต้องโทษด้วย

สมัครเล่าถึงการลงจากตำแหน่ง และวิจารณ์ราชินี
——————————————— —–

¶5. (C) สมัครอธิบายให้กับทางทูตฟังถึง แรงผลักดันที่มีต่อตัวเขาในระหวางเจ็ดเดือนที่ดำรงตำแหน่ง เขาแสดงอาการไม่พอใจราชินีสิริกิต โดยเล่าว่า พระองค์มีส่วนสนับสนุนในการรัฐประหารเมื่อปี 2549 และความวุ่นวายที่เกิดขึ้น โดยกลุ่มพันธมิตร เขากล่าวหาว่า พระองค์ดำเนินการผ่านผู้ภักดี อย่างประธานองคมนตรีเปรม ติลสูลานนท์ ไปยังกลุ่มพันธมิตร และกลุ่มที่สร้างความวุ่นวายอื่นๆ และอ้างถึงการเข้าเฝ้าในหลวงภูมิพล ว่าเขาจงรักภักดีต่อในหลวง และปลื้มปิติกับการสนับสนุนของพระองค์ ซึ่งต่างจากฝ่ายตรงข้าม (จากการสนทนาของเขา กรุงเทพ 00002977 002.2 OF 002 ราชวงศ์ สมัครไม่ได้กล่าวถึงสมเด็จพระโอรสาธิราช)

¶6. (C) สมัคร ซึ่งเคยเป็นนักหนังสือพิมพ์ รู้สึกเสียใจในความสำเร็จของฝ่ายตรงข้าม ที่สามารถบิดเบือนสื่อในระหว่างที่เขาดำรงตำแหน่ง สมัครกล่าวว่า การควบคุมสื่อเป็นสาเหตุของความแตกแยกในพรรคไทยรักไทยเสมอ และยังส่งผลมาถึงพรรคพลังประชาชนด้วย

¶7. (C) สายตาของสมัครคงจะพร่ามัว เพราะเขาจำได้ว่า ตอนที่พยายามกลับสู่ตำแหน่งนายกหลักจากถูกศาลตัดสินให้พ้นจากตำแหน่ง ภรรยาและลูกสาวคนหนึ่งของเขาพยายามกดดันให้เขาเลิกล้มความคิดนี้ “ผมบอกพวกเขาว่าอย่ามายุ่ง” เขาเล่า “ผมไม่ฟังคำชักชวนของพวกเขา”

ออกเพราะเรื่องเก่า หรือออกเพราะเรื่องใหม่?
———————————–

¶8. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX แจงให้ทูตฟังเมื่อวันที่ 1 ตุลาคม ว่า เขาคิดว่า สมชายคงจะบริหารงานได้ในช่วงสั้นๆ เท่านั้น เขาหวังว่า อาจจะยืดเวลาออกไปได้ ถ้ารัฐบาลของสมชายสามารถแก้ปัญหาที่ท้าทายของประเทศได้ XXXXXXXXXXX ถ้าการบริหารงานของสมชายมีประสิทธิภาพ เขาหวังว่า ศาลรัฐธรรมนูญคงจะยืดเวลาดำเนินคดียุบพรรคร่วมทั้งหลายออกไป เพื่อให้รัฐบาลได้บริหารงานต่อ (หมายเหต: เลขาศาลประกาศภายหลังในวันที่ 1 ว่า เขาส่งคดีแรกของพรรคชาติไทย ให้ศาลรัฐธรรมนูญพิจารณาแล้ว)

¶9. (C) ในกรณีการยืดรัฐสภาของกลุ่มพันธมิตร XXXXXXXXXXX กล่าวว่า เขาได้คุยกับกลุ่มพันธมิตรแล้วสองครั้ง ล่าสุดเมื่อคืนวันที่ 30 กันยายน XXXXXXXXXX อธิบาย วิธีการจัดการของเขาต่อกลุ่มพันธมิตร ว่า จะใช้วิธีเดียวกับที่จัดการกลุ่มกบฎคอมมิวนิสต์ในช่วงทศวรรษที่ 2510 และ 2520 โดยเริ่มจากให้ความสำคัญกับคนทั่วไป และไม่สนใจความแตกต่าง และจะหาทางออกทีหลัง (Septel จะรายงานมุมมองของ XXXXXXXXXXXX ที่มีต่อกบฎในภาคใต้) JOHN

Written by thaicables

April 12, 2011 at 6:06 am

Posted in Samak Sundaravej

08BANGKOK2977 AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES W. FORMER PM SAMAK

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VZCZCXRO5919
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DE RUEHBK #2977/01 2751048
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 011048Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4536
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 9057
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 2440
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1741
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 6372
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 4922
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 1065
RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI PRIORITY 5675
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 002977 

SIPDIS 

EO 12958 DECL: 10/01/2018
TAGS PGOV, KDEM, KJUS, PINR, TH
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES WITH FORMER PM SAMAK HIS
DOWNFALL,
REF: BANGKOK 2778 (SAMAK UNDERCUT)
BANGKOK 00002977 001.2 OF 002

Classified By: Ambassador Eric G. John, reason: 1.4 (b, d)

1. (C) Summary: Former Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej resigned from his 
position as Party Leader of the People’s Power Party (PPP) September 30. 
He remains free on bail as he continues to appeal a years-old defamation 
conviction. Samak told the Ambassador September 26 that he believed Queen 
Sirikit, working through Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda, 
supported the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protest movement. 
Samak viewed himself as loyal to the King, but implied that the Queen’s 
political agenda differened from her husband’s. Separately,  
XXXXXXXXXXXX confirmed to the Ambassador October 1 that he had begun 
direct negotiations with the PAD and suggested that he and the current 
Somchai administration had 90 days to produce results.


2. (C) Comment: XXXXXXXXXXXX’s expectation that his term in office may 
be short-lived tracks with a widespread view among Thais that the PPP 
will be fighting against the odds for its survival in upcoming party 
dissolution proceedings. Although XXXXXXXXXXXX provides proof that 
senior Thai politicians can often revive careers, we believe Samak 
has lost virtually all of his influence and has little prospect of 
staging a political comeback. PM Somchai Wongsawat appears likely to 
succeed Samak as PPP Party Leader. End Summary and Comment.
SAMAK QUITS PPP POST, HEADS TO DISNEY WORLD
------------------------------------------- 

3. (C) On September 30, a PPP official told the media that former 
PM Samak Sundaravej had formally resigned from his position of PPP 
Party Leader. This resignation followed an Appeals Court’s September 25 
ruling upholding a previous conviction of Samak on defamation charges, 
and affirming the two-year prison sentence for Samak. In a September 26 
lunch with the Ambassador, Samak explained that he expected to remain 
free on bail while continuing to appeal this case through other channels; 
he predicted his legal battle could continue for approximately two years 
before he might have to face incarceration. Samak planned to join unnamed 
associates for an extended North American vacation starting with Disney 
World, criss-crossing the United States and parts of Canada by car.

4. (C) Note: Once Samak lost face after PPP legislators signaled their 
unwillingness to support his reelection as Prime Minister (reftel), it 
would have been awkward for Samak to retain the position of Party Leader. 
PPP immediately named PM Somchai as acting party leader. Political 
parties typically nominate their Party Leaders for the position of Prime 
Minister; it would be logical to assume that Somchai will formally take 
the top job in PPP. Samak’s resignation will not protect Samak from a 
five-year loss of political rights in the event that PPP is dissolved. 
Party dissolution by the Constitutional Court entails sanctions against 
the executive board that was in place at the time of the 
dissolution-warranting offense.

SAMAK DISCUSSES HIS DOWNFALL, CRITICIZES THE QUEEN
--------------------------------------------- ----- 

5. (C) Samak described to Ambassador the political pressure against him 
during his seven months in office. He showed disdain for Queen Sirikit, 
claiming that she had been responsible for the 2006 coup d’etat as well 
as the ongoing turmoil generated by PAD protests. He alleged the Queen 
operated through Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda who, along 
with others presenting themselves as royalists, worked with the PAD 
and other agitators. Citing his own regular meetings with King Bhumibol, 
Samak claimed he -- rather than his opponents -- was sincerely loyal to 
the King and enjoyed the King’s support. In his discussion of the

monarchy, Samak made no mention of the Crown Prince.

6. (C) Samak, a former journalist, lamented his opponents’ success in 
manipulating media coverage of his administration.  Samak noted that 
jockeying for control over the media had often caused rifts within Thai 
Rak Thai and, subsequently, the People’s Power Party.

7. (C) Samak’s eyes became misty as he recalled that, when he was 
contemplating returning to the premiership after eviction from office 
by the Constitutional Court, his wife and one of his daughters had 
pressed him to abandon this quest. “I told them to get out,” he 
related. “I didn’t need to be betrayed by them.”

Out with the Old, Out with the New?
----------------------------------- 

8. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX indicated to Ambassador October 1 that he expected 
the Somchai administration to be short-lived, though he hoped it could 
be extended if it proved successful in addressing the serious challenges 
facing the country. XXXXXXXXXXXX  If Somchai’s administration were to 
prove effective, he hoped the Constitutional Court might delay 
dissolution proceedings against various coalition parties to allow the 
government more time in office (note: the Attorney General announced 
later on October 1 that he had referred the first case, against Chat 
Thai, to the Constitution Court for review).

9. (C) On the ongoing PAD occupation of Government House, XXXXXXXXXXXX 
said he had twice spoken with PAD XXXXXXXXXXXX, most recently on the 
night of September 30.  XXXXXXXXXXXX described his approach toward the 
PAD as similar to that which he had taken toward communist insurgents 
in the 1970s and 80s: he would initially stress commonalities while 
deemphasizing differences, which would be sorted out later. 
(Septel will report XXXXXXXXXXXX’s views on mediating the southern 
insurgency.) JOHN

Written by thaicables

December 15, 2010 at 5:54 pm