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Cablegate: Country Clearance for Ms. Diane Perone's Visit

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

190439Z Jul 05

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DHAKA 003412

SIPDIS

FOR MARY ALICE KLEINJAN, ASST. GC FOR ANE

E.O.: 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA BG
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR MS. DIANE PERONE'S VISIT


1. Embassy Dhaka welcomes MS. Diane Perone on her o/a July 25 to
Aug 13, 2005 visit and grants country clearance, contingent
repeat contingent on obtaining a Bangladeshi visa in her passport
prior to arrival in Bangladesh (see Paragraph 3.D. and 3.E.
below). Control Officer will be Bobbie Myers. Contact
information: Phone (Office) (88-02)885-5500 Ext. 2303, (Home)
(88-02) 885-5595, (FAX) (88-02)882-3648, E-mail address:
bmyers@usaid.gov. Ms. Perone's level of security is Top Secret.
The purpose of her visit is to provide legal support.

2. The Mission's workweek is Sunday-Thursday 0800 hours to 1630
hours.

3. Comments:

A. The traveler is advised to carry a copy of this cable with
her for reference.

B. Hotel accommodation has been made at the Royal Park
Residence, House No. 85, Rod No. 25A, Block-A, Banani, Dhaka.
Phone numbers are: (8802) 881-5945-6, Fax (8802)881-5299.

C. Embassy expediter will meet and assist upon arrival at the
airport. Arrival o/a July 25 on BA 145 and departure BA 144 o/a
Aug 13, 2005. Travelers making more than one connecting flight
should consider rechecking their baggage, especially if
transferring within the region. Embassy also advises carrying a
change of clothes and all important documents in your carry-on
bags.

D. IMPORTANT - PLEASE NOTE: Personnel entering Bangladesh are
required to possess a valid passport, with a minimum validity of
six months. A valid visa is required prior to arrival. There
are no exceptions. Any traveler arriving without a valid visa
will be returned to the United States or their county of origin
upon the next available flight. Visas are no longer issued upon
arrival. Please ensure that your visa is valid for at least six
months after your scheduled departure date from Dhaka.

E. In special circumstances, Post will arrange for an airport
visa upon arrival for persons originating travel to Bangladesh
from countries where there is no Bangladesh visa-issuing mission.
For an airport visa we require (1) a faxed photocopy of the
traveler's passport bio-data page, sent to 880-2-882-4449 at
least 7 calendar days in advance; and (2) a statement from the
losing post that there is no Bangladesh mission in country. The
Embassy will not, repeat, not provide this service to persons
originating travel in countries that have a Bangladesh visa-
issuing mission. However, we urge all travelers to attempt to
obtain a visa prior to traveling to Post.

4. Departure and onward travel: All departing personnel
(including holders of diplomatic and official passports) are
urged to reconfirm onward travel and to verify if the departure
tax, approximately Taka 300 (approximately USD 5.17) and the
travel tax (approximately Taka 2500) have been included in the
cost of the ticket. If not included, each traveler will be
required to pay the taxes, in Taka only, at the airport.

5. Currency: The local use of U.S. Dollars (USD) is prohibited
by law, except for the payment of a hotel bill. The local
currency, the Taka, must be used for all other local
transactions. Accommodation exchange is available at the
Chancery through the Citibank cashier. The exchange rate
fluctuates and is currently approximately Taka 63 to USD 1.00.
Reverse accommodation exchange is available only at the original
place of exchange with original documents and receipts as proof.
Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are limited and dispense Taka
only. Traveler's checks cannot be used in most establishments
except international hotels. However, the Citibank at the
Chancery will cash traveler checks for Taka only. Most major
credit cards are accepted at international hotels.

6. Club and Commissary:

A. The American Recreation Association (known as ARA or "The
Club") facility is available to U.S. citizen official visitors
for a temporary membership fee of USD 10.00 per week. This can
not be pro-rated for a shorter visit. In addition to the
membership fee, you will be required to purchase a cash card, USD
10.00 per card or Taka 600.00. A copy of your passport data page
or a passport-sized photograph is necessary to obtain a cash
card. This card will enable you to have meals and use club
facilities (which include tennis court, squash court, swimming
pool, exercise room, and restaurant/bar.)

B. The U.S. Commissary facility is available to U.S. citizen
official visitors who are USG employees. However, payment is
permitted only by USD personal check or traveler checks. Cash
dollars and local currency payments cannot be accepted. Change
will not be provided for transactions using traveler checks.
Therefore, smaller denomination traveler checks would be more
useful.

7. NOTE: Health - Post cannot emphasize strongly enough that
all travelers must have health insurance that will cover medical
evacuations by air ambulance. Travelers should carry with them
the 24/7 contact information for their insurer. Medical care in
Bangladesh is very basic and Post does not recommend that anyone
remain hospitalized here.

Intestinal problems are common in Dhaka. Visitors must exercise
care in what they eat and drink; food-borne diseases are common.
Presume that all tap water is contaminated, even in hotels.
Travelers are advised to drink bottled/boiled water and eat only
fruits and vegetables that have been cooked and peeled.
Undercooked meat should be avoided. Travelers should also avoid
eating uncooked dairy products and food sold on the streets.
Visitors who take medication on a regular basis should bring
enough for the duration of their visit. It is not always
possible to find equivalents for American prescriptions on the
local market. In general, local medical facilities are
substandard. The U.S. Mission has a Medical Unit staffed by a
U.S. Physician and registered nurses. Travelers venturing
outside Dhaka are advised to use standard anti-malaria
prophylaxis, including taking appropriate anti-malarial
medication, using mosquito protection and the use of bed netting.
It is strongly recommended that all visitors bring a supply of
mosquito repellent to Dhaka. There have been cases of mosquito-
borne illnesses, including malaria and dengue fever, which is
transmitted by a day-biting mosquito. The only effective
repellant we are aware of contains DEET (20% DEET is the maximum
that is considered safe for children). Supplies are usually
available in the commissary; however it is a good idea to have
your own supply should you arrive in Dhaka when the commissary is
not open. We also recommend that travelers have updated
immunizations, especially an up-to-date typhoid immunization
(either oral or injectable.)

8. Security: Bangladesh continues to experience some anti-
American sentiment as the result of U.S. military and other
actions in the war against terrorism, and events in the Middle
East. Anti-American demonstrations throughout Bangladesh, which
generally occur on Friday afternoons, have the potential to take
place any time and to be unruly. In addition, the longstanding
confrontation between the two leading political parties has
prompted general strikes (hartals), public demonstrations and
marches. They can be called on very short notice and can turn
violent. Normal vehicular traffic is discouraged during hartals.
Visitors should strictly avoid all political protests,
demonstrations and marches. They should consider possible
security risks in deciding whether to attend other gatherings.

9. The Embassy advises Americans to be aware of their
surroundings at all times, to avoid predictable behavior, and not
to accept packages from unknown individuals. Sensitive or
personal matters should not be discussed over local telephone
lines.

10. The State Department has classified the crime threat in
Dhaka as high. Foreigners are not generally the target of
violent crime. However, pick-pocketing, purse-snatching and
other forms of street crime occur frequently, especially in areas
frequented by foreigners. Visitors should avoid walking alone
after dark, carrying large sums of money, or wearing expensive
jewelry. Valuables should be stored in the hotel safety deposit
box and should not be left unattended in hotel rooms. Visitors
should use the Embassy Motor Pool as the Chief of Mission has
declared public transportation to be unsafe. The Regional
Security Officer strongly discourages the use of rickshaws, baby
taxis, and other public transport. In addition, you should keep
the Embassy's 24-hour emergency telephone number available at all
times (880-02-885-5500); receptionists are on duty 24 hours a
day.

11. Agency specific general information. N/A

12. We look forward to your visit.

Chammas

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