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Cablegate: Thailand Nomination for 2008 International Women Of

VZCZCXRO3683
OO RUEHCHI
DE RUEHBK #5486 2920408
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 190408Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0260
INFO RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 4287

UNCLAS BANGKOK 005486

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR G/IWI AND EAP/MLS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWMN PREL KPAO PHUM TH
SUBJECT: THAILAND NOMINATION FOR 2008 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN OF
COURAGE

REF: STATE 126072

1. Post nominates Dr. Pechdau Tohmeena for the 2008 Secretary's
Award for International Women of Courage.

2. Requested information follows:

-Full name: Dr. Pechdau Tohmeena
-Job title: Director of the 15th Mental Health Center for the three
southern border provinces, Department of Mental Health, Ministry of
Public Health
-Date of birth: May 7, 1965
-Country of birth: Thailand
-Citizenship: Thai
-Address: 27 Ram Komut Road, Tambon Anoh-ru, Amphoe Muang, Pattani
94000, Thailand
-Telephone: (66-7)334-9113 and (66-8)1815-7202
-Email: pechdau@yahoo.com
-Passport number: F396230

3. Justification: The far south of Thailand has been experiencing
almost daily incidents of criminally and politically motivated
violence, mostly attributed to armed local separatist groups, that
has lead to the deaths of thousands of individuals. Since January
2004, incidents in the far southern provinces have included arson
attacks directed at schools and other buildings associated with the
government; the placement of bombs in public areas including near
schools and local government offices; killings of police and other
officials; and the theft of weapons and explosives. Separatists
have targeted schools and teachers, some of whom have been beheaded
in front of their students. The government often does not have
sufficient resources to properly care for the psychological trauma
that is caused by these attacks.

4. Dr. Phetdao Tohmeena is a trailblazer in efforts to treat women
and children victims who have suffered physical and psychological
trauma resulting from the violence. She is the Director of Mental
Health Center for the southern region and a secretary of the
official committees studying and assisting people affected by the
southern unrest. Dr. Phetdao has been named an expert to the Thai
Senate's Standing Committee on Public Health, is a former member of
the National Reconciliation Committee which advocated policies to
address the southern violence, and was the Secretary of a Senate
sub-committee that analyzed the impact of southern unrest toward the
public health services. As a grass-roots mental health worker in
the extreme south, and as separatists have targeted individuals
working with the government, she faces considerable personal risk in
carrying out her work. Her nomination will shed light on the
devastating psychological impact of the southern violence on women
and children, and will promote the work of those laboring to support
national reconciliation in the troubled South.

5. Dr. Tohmeena was notified of her nomination and is willing to
accept the award if selected. She is able to travel to Washington,
DC in March 2008.

6. The point of contact for this nomination is Political Officer
Guy Margalith, MargalithG@state.gov.

BOYCE

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