Cablegate: Gvn Warns of Christmas Unrest in the Central
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS HANOI 003392
STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PREF KIRF VM CB CTERR ETMIN HUMANR RELFREE
SUBJECT: GVN Warns of Christmas Unrest in the Central
1. (SBU) Summary: Assistant Foreign Minister and Americas
Department Director General Nguyen Duc Hung called in the
Charge December 24 to warn of a "plot" to cause unrest in
the Central Highlands -- specifically the provinces of Dak
Lak, Kon Tum and Gia Lai -- and encourage ethnic minorities
to cross the border into Cambodia en masse on or around the
Christmas holiday. The plotters are the Montagnard
Foundation (headquartered in North Carolina), remaining
FULRO elements and UNHCR officials. The GVN wants religious
adherents to be able to celebrate Christmas in peace and is
attempting to stop the unrest before it starts, promising
leniency to those involved who turn themselves in.
Otherwise, the GVN will deal "severely" with those involved.
The GVN would consider USG cooperation to stop these
activities to be "counterterrorism cooperation" in Vietnam.
2. (SBU) Assistant Foreign Minister and Americas Department
Director General Nguyen Duc Hung called in the Charge
December 24 to warn of a "situation of concern" in the
Central Highlands. A/DCM accompanied. According to
information the GVN has received, the Montagnard Foundation
(based in North Carolina), together with remnants of FULRO
and "UNHCR staff in Cambodia," are conspiring to "disturb
the peace" and interfere with peaceful religious activities
on and around the Christmas holiday. Most seriously, these
elements will attempt to "deceive" ethnic minorities in the
Central Highlands -- specifically those living in the border
areas of Dak Lak, Kon Tum and Gia Lai Provinces -- and
"incite them" to cross the border en masse into Cambodia,
AFM Hung said
3. (SBU) GVN law enforcement agencies had learned of this
plot from communications by telephone and radio among
plotters in the United States, Vietnam and Cambodia. This
is truly "terrorism" and a "disruption of the peace," AFM
Hung stressed, and the plotters seek to "encroach" on the
life and property of religious adherents -- specifically
Protestant believers -- in the Central Highlands.
4. (SBU) Local authorities and law enforcement officials
have been in touch with religious groups and the people of
these provinces to warn them of this plot and to encourage
them to remain calm and not to believe or follow the
"scheme" of the plotters. The GVN has also announced that
those who have been involved in these "conspiracies" will be
treated leniently if they turn themselves in; otherwise,
those who remain "stubborn" will be dealt with "severely,"
AFM Hung said. The intention of the central Government and
local authorities is to maintain "peaceful and happy"
conditions for believers to celebrate Christmas, AFM Hung
5. (SBU) While the GVN understands that the USG does not
support the Dega or other "separatist movements," Vietnam
nonetheless urges the USG not to "involve itself" with the
activities of the Montagnard Foundation and others and to
cooperate with the GVN to stop "bad elements" from "causing
trouble." The GVN considers cooperation with the USG in
this regard to be "counterterrorism cooperation" in Vietnam.
6. (SBU) The Charge noted that the UNHCR's alleged
involvement in these activities seemed highly irregular; the
USG respects and works closely with the UNHCR. AFM Hung
responded that the GVN is certain that both "high-level"
officials and local staff are involved. In response to the
Charge's urging that local authorities and law enforcement
officials deal with violators of the law in a manner
respectful of human rights, AFM Hung said that those who are
caught will be "dealt with within the framework of the law."
The GVN is attempting to have a "dialogue" with those who
are or might be involved. There has not yet been a movement
of people towards the border, AFM Hung concluded.