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Cablegate: Country Clearance for Contractor

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

190317Z Dec 05

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 DHAKA 006218

SIPDIS

DIRECT RELAY

INFO FOR ANE/SA, DESK OFFICER

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: OTRA BG
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR CONTRACTOR


TO: Douglas S. Franklin
- 11248 Enid Wilson Lane
- El Paso, TX 79936
- Phone: 915-629-7736
- Fax: 915-598-7350
- email: Foggydoug@aol.com

Ref.: As per conversation with Andre and Anne Burkey dated
- December 18, 2005

Action Required: See Paragraphs 2, #4-D and 9.

1. Embassy Dhaka welcomes Mr. Douglas S. Franklin on his o/a
January 13 or 14, 2005 to o/a April 30, 2006 visit and grants
country clearance, contingent repeat contingent on obtaining a
Bangladeshi visa in his passport prior to arrival in Bangladesh
(see Paragraph 3.D. and 3.E. below). Control Officer will be Ms.
Beth Paige, Deputy Mission Director from January 13 to April 30,
2006. Contact information: Phone (Office) 880-2-885-5500 Ext.
2303, (Home) 880-2-885-5569;(FAX) 880-2-9888-350, E-mail address:
BPaige@usaid.gov. The purpose of his visit is to provide winter
coverage for controller. Level of Security is Secret.

2. As of January 1, 2005 direct hire and PSC, (non-State
Department), USG TDY personnel who will be in Bangladesh for 30
days or more, are required to take and pass the SAFE course.
SAFE, Safety Abroad for Families and Employees, is a four day
security training course offered by FSI, Department of State.
Please contact the Office of the Registrar, Room F-2210, SA-42.
Fax: 703-302-7152. The Department strongly recommends that
commercial contract employees and others also take the SAFE
course. (For further information, please contact the Assistant
Director for Training, Diplomatic security, Mr. William Armor at
armorwd@state.gov or Phone: 703-205-2816.) See STATE cable 93760
dated 27 April 2004 and STATE cable 066580 dated 25 March 2004,
for details.


3. The Mission's workweek is Sunday-Thursday 0800 hours to 1630
hours. There will be two local holidays no February 21 and March
26, 2006 and two American holidays on January 15 and February 19
during the visit period.

4. Comments:

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

B. Hotel reservations have not been made as schedule still TBD.

C. Embassy expediter and control officer will meet and assist at
the airport (arriving and departure scheduled still unknown).
Please advise if there is any change in flight information.
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 that 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.

5. Departure and onward travel: All departing personnel
(including holders of diplomatic and official passports) are urged
to use the services of the U.S. Mission's travel agent for
reconfirming 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.
6. Action Request: Fiscal Data. Each visitor, regardless of
length of stay, must bring/forward fiscal data to pay for direct
costs of the visit. Each agency, organization or visiting
delegation will be charged for the actual costs attributed to its
visit. Direct charge costs include, but are not limited to:
American and LES overtime (for such services as airport
expediting, cashier accommodation exchange, control room staffing,
representational event support), travel and per diem costs
incurred by post personnel in support of visitor's field travel,
rental of vehicles and other equipment, long distance telephone
calls, office supplies, gasoline and other vehicle maintenance
costs, departure tax and other airport fees as appropriate. For
TDYers remaining at post over 30 days, there is a charge for ICASS
support services. This charge is for the following ICASS
services: Basic Package, CLO and Health Services. Agencies will
not be billed until the accumulated invoice cost for TDY support
exceeds $2,500 for the fiscal year. If your sponsoring agency is
not signed up for ICASS services at post, please be prepared to
sign a Memorandum of Understanding for ICASS support services upon
arrival. The agency should provide post with a written
communication, generated by the traveler's headquarters, that
confirms the agency will pay ICASS charges for the TDYer, provides
the agency ICASS billing code the TDY support charges should be
applied to, and authorizes the traveler to sign the ICASS invoice
generated by the TDY module. Where travel is urgent, the TDYer
should bring this documentation with him/her to ensure there are
no interruptions in the provision of service. Post will not
provide any service to a TDYer staying in excess of thirty days
without provision of this documentation before day 31 of the TDY.

7. 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
Citi bank cashier. The exchange rate fluctuates and is currently
approximately Taka 67 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. Travelers checks cannot be
used in most establishments except international hotels. However,
the Citi bank at the Chancery will cash traveler checks for Taka
only. Most major credit cards are accepted at international
hotels.

8. 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.

9. 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 inject able.)

There are a multitude of potential threats to health in
Bangladesh, and medical resources and facilities are often sub-
standard. All visitors are advised to carefully review their
medical conditions and vaccination status to be sure they are
optimal. Although many medications are available in Bangladesh,
their purity and quality may be poor; visitors should bring their
own supply.

Certain conditions prevalent in Bangladesh deserve special
consideration. Malaria is found in most parts of the country and
malaria prophylaxis is recommended by the Centers for Disease
Control outside of Dhaka. Malaria is not generally a problem in
Dhaka. Rabies is relatively common in Bangladesh and most dogs
are not vaccinated; vaccination against rabies is recommended.
Protection against mosquitoes is important, as they carry dengue
fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria. Personal protection
against mosquitoes, including such efforts as mosquito nets,
application of DEET repellents, and avoidance of areas where
mosquitoes are known to be prevalent is recommended.

Access to the American Embassy Health Unit in Dhaka is limited to
medically cleared U.S.G. employees and their eligible family
members. All visitors who desire to access the Health Unit (HU)
must bring copies of their current country-specific health
clearance for Dhaka (Form DS-823) or transmit their clearance
status by cable. U.S.G. employees on official TDY status for less
than 60 days (cumulative, per year) are allowed access to the HU
without a current clearance for Dhaka. Some short-term
contractors with official MED sanction are also allowed access.
All other visitors must obtain their health care from other
sources and are not allowed American Embassy HU access. The HU
maintains a list of health resources and can help with referrals.
Medevac insurance is recommended for persons not covered under the
Department of State system.

10. 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.

11. Post policy authorizes travelers visiting post to hand carry
an unclassified laptop into the Controlled Access Area providing
that the laptop is transported under the immediate personal
control of the traveler, or is transported via diplomatic pouch,
with prior approval of the RSO. All travelers must also maintain
continuous, immediate custody of a laptop while in the CAA.
Further instructions will be given during the security brief upon
arrival.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. We look forward to your visit.

15. Chammas

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