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Cablegate: United Buddhist Church of Vietnam: General Secretary

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

UNCLAS HO CHI MINH CITY 001000

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/BCLTV, DRL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM SOCI PGOV PREL KIRF VM HUMANR RELFREE
SUBJECT: UNITED BUDDHIST CHURCH OF VIETNAM: GENERAL SECRETARY
CONFIRMS ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION

REF: A) HCMC 0942 B) HCMC 0993 C) HCMC 0978

1. (SBU) Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) General
Secretary Thich Tue Sy told ConGen today that he has been placed

SIPDIS
under a two-year administrative detention, effective October 11.
He confirmed that Thich Nguyen Ly and Thich Thanh Huyen -- two
other UBCV monks riding in the van with the three top-ranking UBCV
leaders when they were returning to HCMC on October 8, after an
"illegal" UBCV meeting in Binh Dinh Province (ref A) -- had been
placed under similar restrictions. The administrative order was
signed by Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Vice Chairman Nguyen
Thanh Tai, who holds the portfolio for social welfare, religion,
culture, and education. Thich Tue Sy said he did not understand
the exact conditions of his detention or whether he would be
permitted to leave the Gia Lam Pagoda grounds.

2. (SBU) Updating ConGen from his conversations with other monks
today over what he presumed to be monitored lines, Thich Tue Sy
said that security officials had prevented several UBCV monks from
entering Thanh Minh Zen pagoda to ascertain the welfare and
whereabouts of UBCV Deputy Thich Quang Do (ref B). He confirmed
that Patriarch Thich Huyen Quang was back at Nguyen Thieu Pagoda
in Binh Dinh Province. He said security officials were preventing
people from entering or leaving the pagoda -- while the monks were
refusing to allow the police inside the grounds. The authorities
have apparently spared Thich Vien Dinh (on whose behalf the ConGen
and Embassy have received inquiries from individuals who claim to
be family members in the U.S.) formal administrative detention,
but have told him orally that he must request permission to leave
his pagoda.

3. (SBU) Thich Tue Sy recounted how the van containing the UBCV
leadership had been stopped in Khanh Hoa Province on the morning
of October 9, before he was transported to Go Vap District police
station in HCMC later that evening (ref C). On the afternoon of
October 11, after nearly two days of questioning, he said that he
and Thich Thanh Huyen (also in the van on the trip from Binh Dinh
Province) were brought to a school near Gia Lam Pagoda to meet
with approximately 20 district officials, including the chairmen
of the People's Committee, the Committee for Religious Affairs,
and the Fatherland Front, respectively. The district People's
Committee Chairman read the administrative detention order, which
accused the two monks of organizing a UBCV assembly in the U.S. in
1999, corresponding with EU ambassadors in Hanoi regarding the
UBCV, meeting with EU ambassadors while in Hanoi to visit Thich
Huyen Quang in April 2003, and organizing the "illegal" meeting at
Nguyen Thieu Pagoda this past September (para. 1). Thich Tue Sy
and Thich Thanh Huyen were "sentenced" to administrative detention
under the now-familiar security grounds of "abusing democracy to
cause harm to the State."

4. (SBU) Post notes that when Thich Quang Do's administrative
detention order was lifted this past June, the order was signed by
the district People's Committee. We are unsure if there is any
significance to the fact that Thich Tue Sy's detention order was
signed by the HCMC People's Committee, though even Thich Tue Sy --
who has much longer experience with this sort of situation than
Post does -- cannot understand how HCMC can accuse him of crimes
he allegedly committed that would have taken place outside its
local jurisdiction.
YAMAUCHI

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