Oct 112014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/09/07BANGKOK5107.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07BANGKOK5107
2007-09-26 10:43
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Bangkok

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FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9820
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4885
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 7707
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1423
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0295
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3656
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 1869
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 4748
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1421
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 0111
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0753
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0885
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 9813
RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 4136
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 5179
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHFJSCC/COMMARFORPAC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 005107

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

NSC FOR PHU

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/26/2017
TAGS: PREL PGOV PREF PHUM KDEM TH BM RP SN IN CH
SUBJECT: ENGAGING ASEAN AND OTHERS ON BURMA

REF: A. SINGAPORE 1751 (AMB RAISES BURMA)

¶B. RANGOON 910 (PROTESTS GATHER MOMENTUM)
¶C. JAKARTA 2693 (PRESSING FOR ACTION ON BURMA)
¶D. BANGKOK 5036 (THAI FM ON BURMA AND MORE)
¶E. BEIJING 6075 (BEIJING READY FOR MORE TALKS)

BANGKOK 00005107 001.2 OF 002

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

¶1. (C) Embassy Bangkok stands ready to continue to urge the
Thai government to press the Burmese authorities to release
political prisoners and engage in genuine dialogue to pave
the way for a transition to a civilian, democratic
government. Septel will report the Ambassador’s latest
conversation with the RTG on Burma, but we note (as reported
in ref D) that Foreign Minister Nitya does not appear eager
to mobilize the RTG to support our policy on Burma. Given
this reluctance, we believe that the Thais would be more
responsive if we launch a high-level initiative to encourage
a focused diplomatic effort by ASEAN that could take place in
conjunction with the formation of a larger “Friends of Burma”
group.

¶2. (C) We would support a Department decision to lobby ASEAN
to revive its Troika (consisting of the past, present and
future ASEAN Chairs — in this case, the Philippines,
Singapore, and Thailand) to play a leading role in this
matter. We believe that ASEAN has much to lose if it is seen
as standing by idly while Burma appears poised for a violent
crackdown. We noted Embassy Singapore’s cable (ref A)
indicating that the Singaporean government may have lukewarm
feelings about focusing critical attention on Burma, in part
because of Singapore’s efforts to ensure the signing of the
ASEAN Charter. However, we fail to see how ASEAN can hope
this Charter, which lauds democratic principles and human
rights, will be credible if the Burmese government signs in
the current environment.

¶3. (C) We believe ASEAN may be encouraged to mobilize its
Troika if it is understood that the Troika would play a
meaningful role in a larger diplomatic endeavor.
Specifically, we would suggest consideration of the
establishment of a “Friends of Burma” group, similar to the
“Friends of Cambodia” group formed after the 1997 crisis in
Cambodia. We envision a gathering by the U.S., China, India,
Japan, the ASEAN Troika, the E.U., Russia, the U.N.,
Australia, and possibly others to show concern over
conditions in Burma and the way forward.

¶4. (C) We note China’s strong leverage vis-a-vis Burma, and
China’s willingness (ref E) to host a second round of
U.S.-Burma talks. While we defer fully to the Department’s
view on the desirability (or lack thereof) of another round
of such talks in the current environment, we hope that
China’s interest in the matter might also make it more
willing to play a productive role in multilateral dialogue.
Chinese Embassy officials in Bangkok have raised with us
their interest in hosting further bilateral U.S.-Burma talks.

¶5. (C) While we understand the importance of engaging India
on Burma, our own recent experience gave little cause for
optimism. On September 14, during a visit to Thailand by
Indian Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee, the
Ambassador attended a speech Mukherjee delivered at
Chulalongkorn University. During the question and answer
period, the Ambassador and several others in the diplomatic
corps urged Mukherjee to use India’s leverage to improve
conditions in Burma. Mukherjee responded that India would

BANGKOK 00005107 002.2 OF 002

uphold its “cardinal principle” of non-interference in other
countries’ domestic affairs.

¶6. (C) We understand that a “Friends of Burma” group may not
be able to meet in the very near future, given the need to
build consensus among a diverse range of actors so that the
meeting could generate an acceptable communique. Even the
mere creation of the group, however, might help energize
ASEAN and its Troika. We also would welcome Embassy
Rangoon’s assessment of whether the formation of a
multilateral group in which its key neighbors would
participate would by itself usefully increase diplomatic
pressure on the regime.

¶7. (SBU) We took note of Embassy Rangoon’s cable (ref B)
encouraging other posts’ consideration of ways to increase
awareness of conditions in Burma. We would encourage public
diplomacy officers in Rangoon or Washington to locate or
produce short video presentations (three to six minutes in
length) that provide accurate, emotionally compelling —
perhaps even graphic — accounts of conditions in Burma.
Public diplomacy personnel here in Bangkok could then add
subtitles in Thai and assist in the posting of these clips
online and distribution to contacts by e-mail or DVD. We
believe this would be the most effective way for us to get
our message out to a broader audience.
BOYCE

   

 

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