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Cablegate: Hoa Hao Monk Comes Down From the Tree

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

090912Z Nov 01

2001HOCHI01266 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ5584

PAGE 01 HO CHI 01266 091009Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 SRPP-00 EB-00 UTED-00
H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00 NSAE-00 OIC-02
OPIC-01 PC-01 PRS-00 P-00 SP-00 SS-00 STR-00
TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00
SAS-00 /007W
------------------3C29DE 091009Z /38
FM AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5683
INFO AMEMBASSY HANOI PRIORITY
USMISSION GENEVA
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
SECDEF WASHDC
DIA WASHDC
NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS HO CHI MINH CITY 001266

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/BCLTV AND EAP/PD/MSPEER
DEPARTMENT ALSO FOR DRL/IRF
CINCPAC FOR FPA
SECDEF FOR ISA/EA/ABLAGG

E.O. 12958: N/A
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HO CHI 01266 091009Z
TAGS: PHUM KIRF VM RELFREE HUMANR
SUBJECT: HOA HAO MONK COMES DOWN FROM THE TREE

REF: HANOI 2924

1. (U) REFTEL REPORTED THAT ON NOVEMBER 6, HOA HAO
BUDDHIST MONK NAM LIEM, OF AN GIANG PROVINCE IN THE
MEKONG DELTA, HAD CLIMBED UP A TREE NEAR HIS PAGODA
CARRYING A KNIFE AND A CONTAINER OF GASOLINE. HE WAS
THREATENING TO IMMOLATE HIMSELF TO PROTEST LOCAL POLICE
ENTERING HIS PAGODA AND MAINTAINING A PRESENCE THERE
SINCE NOVEMBER 1. AS OF NOVEMBER 8, NAM LIEM WAS STILL
UP IN THE TREE. APPROXIMATELY 30 POLICE OFFICERS WERE
TRYING TO PERSUADE HIM TO COME DOWN. AN UNDETERMINED
NUMBER OF SUPPORTERS AND CURIOUS BYSTANDERS WERE ALSO
ON HAND.

2. (SBU) ON NOVEMBER 9, POLOFF SPOKE BY TELEPHONE TO LE
QUANG LIEM (LQL), A HOA HAO ELDER CURRENTLY UNDER HOUSE
ARREST IN HCMC, BUT WHO CONTINUES TO BE WELL INFORMED
OF EVENTS REGARDING HOA HAO ISSUES. LQL SAID THAT
DURING THE MORNING OF NOVEMBER 8, NAM LIEM CUT HIS
THIGH WITH THE KNIFE HE HAD CARRIED UP INTO THE TREE.
LQL SAID THAT EARLY IN THE EVENING OF NOVEMBER 8, NAM
LIEM CAME DOWN THE TREE. HE SAID WITNESSES TOLD HIM
NAM LIEM APPEARED WEAK WITH WHAT THEY SUGGESTED WAS A
LOSS OF BLOOD AND FATIGUE.

3. (SBU) AS OF NOVEMBER 9, ACCORDING TO LQL, NAM LIEM
REMAINED INSIDE HIS HOME AND PAGODA COMPLEX. LQL ADDED
THAT 30 POLICEMEN AND 50-70 LOCAL OFFICIALS WERE ALSO
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HO CHI 01266 091009Z
INSIDE THE COMPOUND. THE POLICE WERE ENCOURAGING THE
LOCAL TOWNSPEOPLE TO STAY AT HOME.

4. (U) POST HAS NO WORD YET ON THE STATUS OF NAM LIEM'S
HEALTH, OR WHETHER OR NOT LOCAL OFFICIALS WILL TAKE ANY
LEGAL/POLICE ACTION AGAINST HIM. WE WILL CONTINUE TO
MONITOR THE SITUATION CLOSELY AND REPORT ON
DEVELOPMENTS.

YAMAUCHI

UNCLASSIFIED

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