On August 8, Ambassador and Mrs. Davies visited Phang Nga province. The Ambassador used the opportunity to highlight Secretary Kerry’s #OurOcean movement, visiting Ao Phang Nga marine park. The Ambassador toured the park with an expert from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. During a courtesy call with the governor, the Ambassador reiterated the Department’s commitment to the four key #OurOcean issues: Marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and the climate-related impacts on the ocean. The Ambassador also met with local NGOs and the International Organization for Migration to discuss the plight of migrant workers from Burma, and their role in the region’s agriculture and fisheries industries.
When asked by local press about the results of the August 7 constitutional referendum, Ambassador Davies noted the Election Commission had announced preliminary results and it was clear that a majority of those who voted approved the draft constitution. He said, “Given this result and the official result that will come out soon, we, the United States of America, as a long-time friend and ally of Thailand, urge the government to return to civilian democratically elected government as soon as possible. As part of moving back to civilian elected government, we strongly urge the government to lift restrictions on civil liberties, including restrictions on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. And we urge these things for the same reason that we always have: we believe it is important and essential, as a friend and ally of Thailand, for Thailand to become strengthened and we believe the only way that happens ultimately is the Thai people engaging in an open and inclusive dialogue about their future. That is the way we believe will be most effective to build a strong and sustainable future for the Kingdom, which we, Americans, care very deeply about. We want the country to come together and to go forward together into the future, strong, and that is why we call for the government to allow for these freedoms and to go back to democratically elected government soon.”