US embassy cable - 00HANOI2047

MEETING WITH THICH THAI HOA

Identifier: 00HANOI2047
Wikileaks: View 00HANOI2047 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Hanoi
Created: 2000-09-14 10:18:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: PHUM KIRF KPAO PREL PGOV VM UNGA HUMANR RELFREE
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

141018Z Sep 00

2000HANOI02047 - UNCLASSIFIED
 
 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ5015

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ACTION EAP-00   

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    
      FBIE-00  UTED-00  VC-00    TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    VCE-00   
      NSAE-00  OIC-02   SSO-00   SS-00    USIE-00  DSCC-00  DRL-02   
      NFAT-00  SAS-00     /004W
                  ------------------8BDD5F  292135Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0844
INFO ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USMISSION GENEVA 
RUEHBJAMEMBASSY BEIJING 3853
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 
AMCONSUL HONG KONG 
SECDEF WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
JOINT STAFF WASHDC
SECDEF WASHDC
DIA WASHDC
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//J5/FPA/JTF-FA//
UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 04 HANOI 002047 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
C O R R E C T E D  C O P Y (TEXT) 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HANOI  02047  02 OF 04  292134Z 
DEPT FOR EAP/BCLTV, DRL, DRL/IRF, INR/B AND IO 
STATE ALSO FOR EAP/PD/DKIRCHOFFER 
GENEVA FOR HRC 
NSC FOR RAVIC HUSO 
USCINCPAC FOR FPA 
SECDEF ALSO FOR ISA/EA/LSTERN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM, KIRF, KPAO, PREL, PGOV, VM, UNGA, HUMANR, RELFREE 
SUBJECT: MEETING WITH THICH THAI HOA 
 
 
RECEIVED INVITATIONS ABOUT ONE MONTH BEFORE THE SUMMIT 
FROM VIETNAM'S UN MISSION.  THEY THEN WENT THROUGH 
FORMAL GVN APPLICATION PROCEDURES FOR APPROVAL OF 
TRAVEL FOR RELIGIOUS FIGURES.  END NOTE). 
 
7.  (SBU) COMMENT: GIVEN THE DATE HOA RECEIVED THE 
INVITATION (AUGUST 14) AND THE DATE HE FILED HIS 
APPLICATION (AUGUST 21), IT IS DIFFICULT TO EXPECT HE 
COULD HAVE RECEIVED A PASSPORT AND STILL BEEN ABLE TO 
MAKE THE AUGUST 28-31 SESSION EVEN WERE HIS CASE NOT 
CONTROVERSIAL BECAUSE OF HIS RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION. GVN 
RELIGIOUS AUTHORITIES IN HANOI ARE FAMILIAR WITH HOA. 
A FEW DAYS BEFORE POLOFF'S VISIT, EMBASSY SPOKE WITH 
NGUYEN THE DOANH, DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT FOR 
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF THE VIETNAM GOVERNMENT 
COMMITTEE FOR RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS.  DOANH DENIED THAT HOA 
HAD BEEN REFUSED A PASSPORT, WHICH IS TECHNICALLY TRUE, 
SINCE NO FORMAL REFUSAL WAS EVER ISSUED.  END COMMENT. 
 
8.  (SBU) THE PROVINCIAL COMMITTEE ASKED HOA TO STATE 
WHETHER HE IS A MEMBER OF THE VIETNAM BUDDHIST SANGHA 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  02047  02 OF 04  292134Z 
(VBS). (NOTE: NO RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION IS LEGAL IN 
VIETNAM UNLESS IT IS REGISTERED WITH THE GOVERNMENT. 
THE VBS, "OFFICIAL" UMBRELLA ORGANIZATION FOR 
VIETNAMESE BUDDHISTS, IS THE ONLY ONE WHICH THE 
GOVERNMENT HAS ALLOWED TO REGISTER.  END NOTE.) HOA 
SAID HE REPLIED THAT HE IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE VBS, HE 
IS A MEMBER OF THE UNIFIED BUDDHIST CHURCH OF VIETNAM 
(UBCV), AN ORGANIZATION WHICH THE GVN DOES NOT ALLOW TO 
REGISTER.  SINCE THAT TIME, HOA SAID, HE HAS HEARD 
NOTHING FROM THE PROVINCIAL AUTHORITY OR ANY OTHER GVN 
OFFICE ABOUT HIS REQUEST FOR A PASSPORT. 
 
9.  (SBU) ON AUGUST 25, HOA SAID, HE SENT AN E-MAIL TO 
SIR BAWA JAIN, CHAIRMAN OF THE MILLENNIUM SUMMIT, 
EXPLAINING THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAD NOT YET ISSUED A 
PASSPORT AND ASKING JAIN TO INTERVENE.  HE ALSO SENT 
JAIN A COPY OF THE SPEECH HE INTENDED TO DELIVER TO THE 
SUMMIT.  (HOA PROVIDED POLOFF WITH COPIES OF BOTH 
DOCUMENTS.  WE DO NOT KNOW, AND HOA DID NOT STATE, 
WHETHER JAIN RECEIVED HIS E-MAIL, OR REPLIED). ON 
SEPTEMBER 2, HOA SENT A LETTER OF PROTEST TO NINE HIGH- 
RANKING VIETNAMESE GOVERNMENT AND PARTY OFFICIALS, 
INCLUDING GENERAL SECRETARY LE KHA PHIEU, PRESIDENT 
TRAN DUC LUONG, PRIME MINISTER PHAN VAN KHAI, AND 
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SPEAKER NONG DUC MANH.  COPIES WERE 
SENT TO NUMEROUS PROVINCIAL AND GOVERNMENT RELIGIOUS 
AFFAIRS OFFICIALS.  THERE HAS BEEN NO RESPONSE OF ANY 
KIND TO THIS LETTER, SAID HOA. 
 
ON AND OFF PHONE AND FAX CONNECTIONS 
------------------------------------ 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        HANOI  02047  02 OF 04  292134Z 
 
10.  (SBU) HOA SAID HE HAD BEEN INTERVIEWED IN RECENT 
DAYS ABOUT THE CASE BY PHONE BY THE VOICE OF AMERICA 
AND RADIO FREE ASIA.  HE SAID AN INTERVIEWER FROM THE 
VOA'S ASIA DIVISION ALSO TRIED TO INTERVIEW HIM 
SEPTEMBER 7, BUT THE CALL WAS INTERRUPTED AND THE 
INTERVIEW NEVER TOOK PLACE.  HOA BELIEVES GOVERNMENT 
SECURITY FORCES OBSTRUCTED THE CALL.  HE BELIEVES 
SECURITY FORCES HAVE ALSO SOMETIMES JAMMED HIS FAX 
MACHINE.  (NOTE: IN VIETNAM, THE VAGARIES OF 
INTERNATIONAL PHONE AND FAX SERVICE FREQUENTLY HINDER 
COMMUNICATION.  END NOTE). 
NOT THE FIRST TIME HOA PREVENTED FROM TRAVEL 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
11.  (SBU) POLOFF ASKED WHETHER THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME 
HOA HAD BEEN PREVENTED FROM TRAVELING.  "NO, IT HAS 
HAPPENED MANY TIMES," HE REPLIED.  FOR EXAMPLE, HOA WAS 
INVITED TO A BUDDHIST EVENT IN LAOS OVER ONE YEAR AGO, 
HE SAID.  HOA CLAIMED THE HUE RELIGIOUS AUTHORITIES 
WOULD NOT ALLOW THE VISIT.  LAST YEAR, HE SAID, HE WAS 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
 


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