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Cablegate: Dalai Lama Pleads for U.S. To Persuade Chinese To

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O 101151Z APR 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1291
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Thursday, 10 April 2008, 11:51
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NEW DELHI 001035
SIPDIS
SIPDIS
STATE FOR TIBET COORDINATOR DOBRIANSKY
NSC FOR HADLEY/ABRAMS
H PASS TO SPEAKER PELOSI, REPRESENTATIVES MARKEY,
MCDERMOTT, MILLER, SENSENBRENNER, INSLEE, HOLMES-NORTON,
SOLIS, ESHOO AND HOLT
EO 12958 DECL: 04/10/2018
TAGS PREL, PHUM, IN, CH
SUBJECT: DALAI LAMA PLEADS FOR U.S. TO PERSUADE CHINESE TO
TALK
REF: NEW DELHI 906
Classified By: Charge d’Affaires George Deikun for Reasons 1.4 (b and d )
1. Action request in para. 7.
2. (C/REL UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA) Summary: Hours before his April 9 departure for the U.S., the Dalai Lama summoned PolCouns to convey a message: please use all effective means to persuade the PRC to engage in dialogue with him. He said recent events had left him increasingly concerned about the future of the Tibetan people. Reaffirming his commitment to the “Middle Way”, i.e. not to seek independence as long as the Chinese government respects the distinctive character of the Tibetan people and permits them to enjoy genuine regional autonomy, the Dalai Lama stated that he sought a breakthrough with Beijing. The Dalai Lama recalled his conversation with Ambassador Mulford (reftel), where he had explained that the PRC only respects strength, and he exhorted the U.S. to take action that will “make an impact” in Beijing. At the end of the thirty-minute meeting, the Dalai Lama embraced PolCouns and made a final plea: “Tibet is a dying nation. We need America’s help.” End Summary.
3. (C/REL UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA) The Dalai Lama related an earlier conversation with a Chinese scholar that convinced him the “positive scenario” he outlined on March 28 -- where the PRC agrees to dialogue and permits a degree of Tibetan autonomy -- was a possibility. The Dalai Lama described this unnamed scholar as interpreting the regular use of the Dalai Lama’s name by Chinese leaders and references to ‘the Dalai clique’ as signs they were prepared to engage with him. If PRC leaders ignored the Dalai Lama and focused instead on the Tibetan Youth Congress and Tibet-based leaders of the uprising, that would indicate the PRC planned to bypass him, according to this scholar.
4. (C/REL UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA) Immediately prior to meeting with PolCouns, the Dalai Lama met with XXXXXXXXXXXX. The Dalai Lama said XXXXXXXXXXXX had been in touch with Chinese interlocutors who convinced XXXXXXXXXXXX that a deal could be made: if the Dalai Lama supported peaceful transit of the Olympic torch through Tibet, then the PRC would simultaneously release Tibetans who had been detained since March 10. Comment: XXXXXXXXXXXX. End comment.
5. (C/REL UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA) The Indian media continues to headline plans for the April 17 Olympic torch transit through New Delhi, with much speculation about which celebrities and leaders will choose to carry the torch, thereby pleasing the Chinese. India’s first female director-general of police, Kiran Bedi, has declined the honor, stating that protection of the torch by China’s Special Police Force guards has robbed it of its desired symbolism. Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhatia has also pulled out, expressing solidarity with Tibetan activists. China’s defense attache in New Delhi informed the Indian Army’s director of foreign liaison that planned Army-to-Army exercises will be cancelled if New Delhi fails to protect the torch during its 2.5-kilometer sprint through the capital.
6. (C/REL UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA) Comment: While Indian observers believe that pressure on the PRC to engage with the Dalai Lama is growing, his candid comment that “Tibet is a dying nation” indicates increasing desperation as a result of his ability to affect events in his homeland. The President’s comments that dialogue provides the only way forward have resonated here, and Tibet Coordinator Dobriansky’s April 24 visit to New Delhi gives the U.S. an opportunity to reinforce the President’s message. The Dalai Lama, who has studied China for most of his 73 years, appears
NEW DELHI 00001035 002 OF 002
to be persuaded that a united show of strength will nudge Beijing in his direction, and that by vilifying him, China’s leaders may have laid the ground work for engagement. End comment.
7. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST: Post emailed and pouched letters from the Dalai Lama to President George Bush, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid requesting that the USG appeal to China to end the current crackdown on Tibetans immediately; release all Tibetans arrested and ensure they receive proper medical attention; and, asked for assistance in facilitating a group of international observers and media to affected areas in the TAR to ensure compliance. Post requests guidance/reply on who should assume the lead coordination in the reply to the Dalai Lama. DEIKUN

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