Cablegate: Visa Clearance Needed for Noted Indonesian Scholar
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #1612 2681017
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251017Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3410
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS JAKARTA 001612
DEPT FOR CA, EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP, EAP/PD,
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CVIS KISL KPAO ID
SUBJECT: VISA CLEARANCE NEEDED FOR NOTED INDONESIAN SCHOLAR
1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified; Please
see Action Request in para 5.
2. (SBU) SUMMARY: Mission requests the Department's urgent
assistance in resolving visa clearance for a distinguished
Indonesian scholar who hopes to travel to Northern Illinois
University to receive an award for distinguished alumni.
Indonesian President Yudhoyono has also asked Dr. Baswedan to
join the President's meeting with U.S. scholars in Boston
this weekend. Dr. Baswedan, a friend of the U.S. and
personally known by the Ambassador, is a well-known moderate
Muslim who may be named Indonesia's next Minister of
Education. "Foreign Policy" recently named him as one of the
top 100 public intellectuals in the world. If his visa
clearance continues to be held up, it will prove a serious
embarrassment for the U.S. END SUMMARY.
URGENT ASSISTANCE NEEDED
3. (SBU) Mission requests the Department's urgent assistance
in securing interagency SOA resolution for Dr. Baswedan,
Anies Rasyid (Indonesian passport number B461837, DOB
07-May-1969) to travel to Dekalb, Illinois, in order to
receive a distinguished alumni award from Northern Illinois
University. Indonesian President Yudhoyono has also asked
Dr. Baswedan to join the President's meeting with U.S.
scholars in Boston this weekend. With plans to depart
Jakarta on September 26, Dr. Baswedan intends to stay in the
United States for four days. Mission understands that his
namecheck resulted in a 00 hit and therefore a SAO Donkey was
submitted for him.
INDONESIA'S MOST PROMINENT MODERATE MUSLIM
4. (SBU) As one of Indonesia's best and brightest
intellectuals, Mr. Baswedan was the main speaker at a recent
Iftar (breaking fast) event hosted by the Ambassador at the
EMR. He is rector of the prestigious Paramadina University
in Jakarta. He has traveled repeatedly to the United
States, most recently in 2007 on a J-1 visa. He is a
Fulbright alumnus and serves on the Fulbright Commission here
in Jakarta. In April 2008, he was named by "Foreign Policy"
magazine as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the
world. He has also been mentioned as being the next Minster
of Education. Baswedan is friendly to the U.S., both in
private and in public remarks.
NEED FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION
5. (SBU) Jakarta/CONS has already requested expedited
clearance by email to CA/VO/L/C which further explained the
importance of Dr. Baswedan in furthering U.S. foreign policy
objectives in Indonesia. Mission seeks a response to this
request as quickly as possible. Without immediate action
that results in Dr. Baswedan's visa clearance, this is a
crisis foretold, and will prove to be a serious embarrassment
for the U.S. and damaging to our interests.