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Cablegate: Embassy Bangkok Welcomes Staffdel Steigleder

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DE RUEHBK #0048/01 0080304
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 080304Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9506
INFO RUEHPF/AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH 3032
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7854
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 0233
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2219

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BANGKOK 000048

SIPDIS

PASS TO DEPT H (DPARKS)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OREP AMGT ASEC AFIN CB CH JA TH
SUBJECT: Embassy Bangkok Welcomes Staffdel Steigleder

REF: State 1077

1. Post welcomes Staffdel Steigleder with regards to site visits to
projects managed by the Department of Labor's International Labor
Affairs Bureau that aim to improve worker rights and eliminate child
labor. Control officer will be Lawrence Petroni (information below)
who has been in touch with local partners to ensure a productive
visit.

2. CONTROL OFFICER:

Primary: Lawrence Petroni, Deputy Economic Counselor
and Labor Officer
Embassy Number: 02-205-4000 x4639
Direct: 02-205-4639
Cell: 02-254-3783
E-Mail: PetroniLJ@State.Gov
Fax: 02-205-2839

Alternate: Chris Burney, OMS
Embassy Number: 02-205-4000 x4726
Direct: 02-205-4726
Cell: 02-173-1723
E-Mail: BurneyC@State.Gov
Fax: 02-205-2839


3. HOTEL ACCOMDATIONS:
Conrad Hilton, All Season Place, 87/3 Wireless Road,
Bangkok, 10330, Thailand
Phone: (662) 690-9999, Fax: (662) 690-9000
Website: www.conrad.hilton.com/Bangkok
Check-In: January 13, 2010
Check-Out: January 16, 2010
Room Type: Single Room
Confirmation Number: 496895
Single room rate: USD 146, tax and breakfast included

Cancellation Policy: PLEASE NOTE: Rooms are guaranteed
and Post will be billed if 24-hour notice to hotel is
not given for cancellations.

4. PER DIEM AMOUNTS:
Lodging: $146 x 3 nights = $438
M&IE: $72 + $50(USDE) = $122 x 3 nights = $366
Total: $804

5. TRANSPORTATION:
Due to limited resources and easy availability of
airport transportation, post policy does not allow for
airport meet and assist. Thai Airways Limousine
Service and American Express Airport Taxi are
recommended for persons unfamiliar with Bangkok; these
services are located on the 2nd floor of Suvarnabhumi
Airport (http://www.bangkokairportonline.com) for
arriving passengers. The cost of a one-way trip varies
from 700 to 1500 Baht, depending on the type of
vehicle, with an additional 65 Baht for highway tolls.
Regular taxis are also available and cost approximately
225 Baht, not including tolls, and an airport taxi
surcharge of 50 Baht. Currently, the Thai Baht is
approximately 33 baht/dollar.


6. SECURITY INFORMATION:

A. CRIME:
Crime is generally non-confrontational in nature.
Criminal acts are usually crimes of opportunity
such as purse-snatchings, thefts of unattended
property, and pick pocketing. Visitors should be
especially alert in crowded buses, streets, and
markets or while on "tuk-tuks." Visitors should
lock valuables in hotel safe deposit boxes not in
their hotel rooms.

Be aware of common scams and frauds (including
credit cards, in particular). Visitors should
only use credit cards at well-established and
reputable businesses. Visitors should be careful
when purchasing branded or copyrighted goods.
There are many pirated counterfeit products in the
marketplace; their purchase is against post
regulations and it is illegal to import these
products into the U.S. Be wary of common scams
for jewelry, suits, silks, gems, or antiquities.
There are no Thai government-owned or sponsored
gem stores. If victimized, seek assistance from

BANGKOK 00000048 002 OF 003


Tourist Police by dialing 1155.

Visitors are cautioned from visiting bars involved
in the sex trade. Many of these operate illegally
and clients can be subject to RTG law; they often
charge exorbitant drink prices and cover charges.
There are also many incidents of crime against
patrons in these establishments. Drugging and
robbing of unwary individuals is not uncommon.
There are sporadic reports of victims being
drugged and robbed or beaten when visiting these
bars. The drugs used can cause serious temporary
memory impairment, unconsciousness, and if
overdosed, death.

B. TRAFFIC:
The traffic situation in Bangkok can be difficult
and dangerous for both pedestrians and vehicle
occupants. All visitors should be a1ert to
traffic patterns and unexpected motorcycle
drivers. Traffic drives on the left-hand side,
opposite from the U.S., although there may be a
bus lane that flows in the opposite direction.
Pedestrians should use the overhead walkways for
crossing busy streets.

C. TERRORISM:
The threat from transnational terrorist groups to
the U.S. Mission in Bangkok is currently ranked
medium. Despite stepped up RTG efforts to monitor
its borders, they remain relatively porous and
allow easy illegal access. Transnational
terrorist groups, including Al-Qa'ida and Jemaah
Islamiyah (JI), have utilized Thailand as a
transit point.

The threat from indigenous terrorist groups is
currently rated as low. There is no evidence to
indicate that indigenous terrorist groups are
planning acts against U.S. personnel or
facilities. The far south of Thailand has
experienced incidents of criminally and
politically motivated violence, including
incidents attributed to armed local Muslim
separatist groups. Although Americans have not
been specifically targeted in the past, the
indiscriminate nature of past attacks by these
groups - including bombings of public places -
indicates a potential threat to American citizens.

The State Department is concerned that there is an
increased risk of terrorism in Southeast Asia,
including Thailand. Travelers to Thailand should
therefore exercise caution, especially in
locations where Westerners congregate, such as
clubs, discos, bars, restaurants, hotels, tourist
areas, and other places frequented by foreigners.

D. OTHER SECURITY TIPS:
Visitors should avoid making any pejorative
comments about any members of the Thai Royal
Family or engaging in disrespectful conduct within
temples or toward religious objects. Such
behavior can result in arrest and/or expulsion
from Thailand.

Precautions should also be taken not to discuss
sensitive or classified matters outside secure
environments or over unsecured and/or cellular
telephones, and to securely safeguard classified
or sensitive materials at the Chancery and not at
hotels or residences.

Visitors should also review the State Department's
Consular Information Sheet for Thailand and the
most recent Worldwide Caution Public
Announcements, which are available via the
Internet at http://travel.state.gov. DOD
personnel must review the PACOM Force Protection
Levels for Thailand found at
http://131.84.1.218/staff/at/athome.shtml.

In essence, visitors to Bangkok must exercise
appropriate caution and be alert to their
surroundings with regard to their personal
security. Suspicious incidents/activities should

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be reported to RSO Bangkok (tel. 02-205-4000, 24
hrs/day).


John

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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