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Cablegate: Bangladesh Media Congratulate President Obama for Winning

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PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHGI RUEHJS RUEHKUK RUEHLH
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKA #0974/01 2872359
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 142359Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9551
INFO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1037
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 0038
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 8798
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2168
RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
RUCNISL/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 DHAKA 000974

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/INSB
STATE FOR SCA/PPD, PA/RRU
STATE FOR INR/OPN/MR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL KISL BG
SUBJECT: BANGLADESH MEDIA CONGRATULATE PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR WINNING
THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

REFTEL: DHAKA 848

1. Summary and comment: President Obama's selection for this year's
Nobel Peace Prize received extensive and positive coverage in the
local media. Newspaper editorials across the political spectrum
generally applauded the President's selection. Most mainstream
commentary agreed with the Nobel committee that the President's
efforts to use diplomacy and dialogue to solve global conflicts
warranted the prize. As with commentary from across the world,
editorials emphasized the added burden the President now has to turn
his words in action. President Obama continues to be rock-star
popular in this moderate, Muslim-majority nation of 150 million
people favorably disposed to the United States. (reftel) We will
continue to leverage the President's popularity in Bangladesh to
advance key bilateral and multilateral goals. End summary and
comment.

Media Reaction
--------------------

2. A selection of media reaction follows:

A. "PRESIDENT OBAMA AND THE NOBEL PRIZE; THE AWARD IS A CHALLENGE TO
AMERICA'S LEADER," editorial on October 10 in the generally neutral
English newspaper THE DAILY STAR:

"... It is quite proper to think that President Obama has richly
deserved the Nobel. His efforts to build a new construct of
diplomacy with Russia; his attempts to prod Palestinians and
Israelis into new negotiations for peace; his forceful oratory
outlining the programs he has of engaging with the Muslim world
(note his address in Cairo), et cetera, have in these past nine
months gone a long way towards creating a new image abroad for his
country.... The Nobel is thus a proper celebration of new leadership
and new idealism in America. And yet the prize will be seen as a
challenge for President Obama. That is because so far he has not
made much headway, in practical terms, with his vision of a newer
and better world. The Middle East remains intractable. Iraq still
cannot do without America's military presence and Afghanistan shows
no sign of being able to stand up for itself. North Korea has defied
Obama while Iran remains adamant about the nuclear program it means
to pursue. Guantanamo and, with that, terrorism remain big question
marks for the President. It is on how Mr. Obama deals with these
issues that the justifiability of the Nobel Peace Prize will be
measured. For now, though, the man who has promised change deserves
our congratulations. We give them to him freely."

B. "NOBEL FOR OBAMA," editorial on October 11 in the pro-U.S.
English newspaper THE INDEPENDENT:

"President of the United States Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize win
comes as a pleasant surprise not only to the president himself but
also to all who dream of a better world in future.... His emphasis
on partnership rather than confrontation in such matters as
universal nuclear disarmament has been well appreciated. In that
task the U.S. President has sought to strengthen the international
institutions instead of establishing the monopoly rights of the
powerful.... By awarding Obama the prize, the Nobel peace committee
has rewarded vision, hopes and aspiration of millions of people
across the globe that shares with the first black U.S. President the
common values, moral dignity and respect for human quality. Few
world leaders have been able to inspire common people to the extent
as Obama has done to hope for a better future. This is true despite
the fact that the U.S. remains at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the
U.S. Congress is yet to make a law reducing carbon emissions and no
significant reduction in global nuclear stockpiles has been achieved
since his taking over the presidency nine months ago. Clearly, it
is his message, his unassuming humility and intent that make his
position count."

C. "PRESIDENT OBAMA WINS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE," an editorial on October
11 in the generally anti-West Bangla vernacular daily INQILAB:

"U.S. President Barack Obama was crowned with this year's Nobel
Peace Prize for his efforts for imbuing the present conflict and
violence stricken world with hope of peace and building a better
future for humanity, shunning mistrust and hostility. Despite
opposition to Obama at home, the Nobel Committee has rightly chosen
the U.S. President for the award for his endeavors to ensure world
peace and a change for development. Obama has been given the award
in recognition of the achievements he accomplished in the last year,

DHAKA 00000974 002 OF 004


not considering what he would do in future. We also think Obama's
welfare-oriented policy has brought the hawkish United States back
to the negotiation table and the Nobel Committee did not commit
anything wrong in recognizing that. Peace-loving people of the
world believe that those who oppose President Obama on certain
issues in the United States now would extend their hands to help
implement his international agenda."

D. "CONGRATULATIONS, BARACK OBAMA," an editorial on October 11 in
the pro-U.S. vernacular daily ITTEFAQ:

"It is undeniable that Barack Obama has not gone astray from his
determination for change, the slogan with which he had evoked a new
hope in the minds of the U.S. people before the presidential
elections. He is working continuously to pave a way for peace and
conformity.... He is also very keen on developing relations with the
Muslim world. The Muslim world was motivated by his Cairo speech.
Though, it has not been possible to undertake any effective
initiatives to solve the Middle-East problems, many believe that his
two-nation theory has opened a new doorway to reach a solution."

E. "OBAMA RIGHTLY DESERVED THE AWARD FOR INSPIRING HOPE FOR A
PEACEFUL WORLD," editorial on October 11 in the BNP-leaning English
daily NEW NATION:

"U.S. President Barack Hossain Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for
2009 for giving the world 'hope for a better future....' It is the
leadership, vision and earnest efforts that is what makes one
deserve the Nobel Award for Peace.... Obama has proved that he has
the vision and courage to take risks for a peaceful world through
mutual respect among all nations. He moved ahead seeking peace and
security without nuclear weapons. He visualized a better and
peaceful world resolving longstanding conflicts. Obama helped the
adoption of a Security Council resolution calling on nuclear weapon
states to scrap their arsenals. He is working for a breakthrough on
the stalled Middle East peace process. Obama has enthused greater
aspiration for a better and peaceful future world. He has still a
long way to go. Ending the Afghanistan war, bringing peace in Middle
East and climate change mitigation are on the agenda. The
recognition of his bold leadership and tenacious efforts at building
a peaceful world together with others will be greatly helped by
awarding the Nobel Prize."

F. "BARACK OBAMA'S NOBEL: INVESTMENT OF HOPE IN A SURPRISE WIN," an
editorial on October11 in the generally neutral and pro-U.S.
highest-circulated vernacular daily PROTHOM ALO:

"There is no doubt about the suitability of the person who has been
awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize 2009. But it has been questioned
in the world media that whether this recognition is appropriate his
presidency is only nine months old. Obama is a person who is
respected by his enemies as well. Therefore, imparting this award
has been hailed, even if it was unprecedented.... The first black
president of the U.S. has made history as a prince of peace. This
is an achievement of his humbleness, tolerance and respect for
others. These virtues are very scarce in the present world."

G. "NOBEL LAUREATE OBAMA: INCREASED RESPONSIBILITY TO FULFILL
COMMITMENT," an editorial on October 11 in the Jamaat-and
BNP-leaning vernacular daily NAYA DIGANTA:

"This is the third time that a sitting U.S. President has won this
prize .... It may be that Obama's endeavors for a peaceful world
may not be enough; but he did not abolish the light of hope. Thus,
he should be praised more than criticized for his winning the prize.
The Nobel Committee has added to his responsibilities. It is his
responsibility to fulfill these commitments. We hope that Obama
will completely dedicate himself to fulfill the expectations of the
Nobel Committee."

H. "OBAMA WINS NOBEL PRIZE: CHALLENGES VERSUS RESPONSIBILITIES," an
editorial on October 11 in the Awami League-leaning and pro-West
vernacular daily SAMAKAL:

"Immediate after winning the presidential election, Obama became
active to end the conflict and distrust that germinated after 9/11
between the Muslim world and the U.S. Furthermore, he unequivocally
expressed his interest to reach out to the Muslim world. Obama, who
had come to power by creating immense world expectations with the
slogan of 'Change,' in his nine months in power, has come to know
that there are vast differences between reality and expectations.

DHAKA 00000974 003 OF 004


Moreover, removing these differences is very difficult. He has kept
his word by withdrawing troops from Iraq; however, peace is still
elusive there. The U.S. is at war in Afghanistan and the U.S.
policy makers themselves think that the result of this war will be
similar to Vietnam... If he can be successful in performing these
great responsibilities, only then the he would be able to fulfill
the high expectations of the world to establish peace."

I. "OBAMA'S NOBEL ACHIEVEMENT," an editorial on October 11 in the
Awami League-leaning and generally pro-West vernacular daily
JANAKANTHA:

"Obama's predecessor President George Bush declared war on the
entire world in the name of war against terrorism. Immediately
after the elections, Obama became active to develop relations with
the Muslim world.... The U.S. directed the world towards war in the
name of war against terrorism. Obama has brought the world back
from that path. Obama is also determined to establish democracy and
good governance. No one can deny Obama's significance in inducing
mutual respect and co-existence among the world's many different
races and peoples. Peace loving people have seen a new light of
hope under the leadership of Obama. Obama's perspective to solve
the Iraq and Afghanistan issues is appreciated worldwide. However,
there is no doubt about the matter that by bestowing the Nobel Peace
Prize to Obama, extra responsibilities have been put on his
shoulders. Now, there is no way for him to revert from his path of
establishing world peace."

J. " OBAMA WINS THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMITMENT
EXPECTED," an editorial on October 11 in the BNP-leaning vernacular
daily AMAR DESH:

"Claiming that Obama, in his nine months of power, has done a lot in
order to establish world peace is not realistic. Bloodshed has not
stopped in Afghanistan, Iraq or Pakistan. The dreaded Guantanamo
Bay prison has not been shut down. However, as the U.S. President,
his message for a positive change bears a great significance. The
U.S. is the only super power of the world. As a result, new
endeavors towards humanity in that country make the world more
enthusiastic about establishing world peace. Barack Obama has been
able to establish himself as an undaunted fighter for world peace
even before he won the election.... Obama's speech in Cairo,
admitting that to some extent the U.S. was responsible for the cold
relationship between the U.S. and the Muslim world is the most heard
and discussed speech of recent times. However, it is true that
Obama Administration's policies are not in complete accord with his
Cairo speech. Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that the U.S.
activities under the Obama Administration have taken a different
path from the severe and strict activities under the Bush
Administration."

K. " OBAMA WINNING THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: RESPONSIBILITIES INCREASED
TO ESTABLISH WORLD PEACE," an editorial on October 11 in the
government-leaning vernacular daily JAI JAI DIN:

"At present, South Asia is the most unstable region in the world.
The Taliban are conducting suicide attacks in Afghanistan every
other day. Pakistan has to fight within its own borders to stop the
Taliban. India and Pakistan, two nuclear powers, have a distrustful
relation with each other. There are possibilities that this
disappointing relationship may, at any moment, turn into conflict.
Thus, Obama has to take realistic steps in order to establish peace
in South Asia."

L. "HOPE, OBAMA WILL EARN THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE," an editorial on
October 11 in the anti-U.S. English daily NEW AGE:

"The Nobel committee's selection of Barack Hossain Obama as the
recipient of this year's peace prize took many by surprise... There
is no doubt, however, that Barack Obama has made positive advances
concerning many issues. There are still high hopes across the world
that this man will bring about some change in the manner that his
country deals with the rest of the world. He must be appreciated
for declaring his intentions for undertaking noble initiatives.
However, they are still overtures, and far from beginning any such
initiative, let alone success. But such overtures or aspirations
should hardly pose as sufficient qualifications for the Nobel
committee to award him the peace prize.... Clearly, Obama has not
yet achieved anything substantive towards peace.... If he - the
President of the United States of America - the state responsible
for conflicts in many parts of the planet sincerely continues the

DHAKA 00000974 004 OF 004


efforts braving the financial objectives of the country's war
industry, the world may witness peace in many of its conflict ridden
regions. We hope, as did the famous American filmmaker Michael
Moore, Obama will eventually earn the Nobel peace prize which has
been given to him prematurely."

DEAN

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