US embassy cable - 01HOCHIMINHCITY632

PROMINENT BUDDHIST MONK SETS DEADLINE IN SHOWDOWN WITH AUTHORITIES

Identifier: 01HOCHIMINHCITY632
Wikileaks: View 01HOCHIMINHCITY632 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Ho Chi Minh City
Created: 2001-05-25 02:05:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: PHUM VM RELFREE HUMANR
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.

250205Z May 01

2001HOCHI00632 - UNCLASSIFIED
 
 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ5446

PAGE 01        HO CHI  00632  01 OF 02  250207Z 
ACTION EAP-00   

INFO  LOG-00   AID-00   AMAD-00  CIAE-00  COME-00  SRPP-00  EB-00    
      UTED-00  H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    L-00     NSAE-00  
      OIC-02   OPIC-01  PRS-00   P-00     SP-00    SS-00    STR-00   
      TEST-00  TRSE-00  USIE-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  
      SAS-00     /007W
                  ------------------F08428  250208Z /38    
FM AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5100
INFO AMEMBASSY HANOI PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY TOKYO 
AMEMBASSY BEIJING 
AMCONSUL HONG KONG 
USMISSION GENEVA 
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
JICPAC HONOLULU HI
SECDEF WASHDC
DIA WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HO CHI MINH CITY 000632 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV AND EAP/PD/JMARTIN 
STATE ALSO FOR DRL/IRF 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HO CHI  00632  01 OF 02  250207Z 
CINCPAC FOR FPA 
SECDEF FOR ISA/EA/LSTERN 
DEPTTREAS FOR AJEWELL 
USDOC FOR 4431/MAC/AP/OKSA/HPPHO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM, VM, RELFREE, HUMANR 
SUBJECT: PROMINENT BUDDHIST MONK SETS DEADLINE IN SHOWDOWN WITH AUTHORITIES 
 
REF: A. HCMC 0603  B. HANOI 1208  C. HCMC 0456 
 
1. (U) SUMMARY: ON MAY 21, THICH QUANG DO SENT A LETTER TO 
GOVERNMENT LEADERS IN HANOI URGING THEM TO ISSUE A 
DOCUMENT ALLOWING UBCV PATRIARCH THICH HUYEN QUANG TO 
RETURN TO HCMC.  IN THE LETTER, DO SAID THAT IF THE 
DOCUMENT WAS NOT ISSUED BY JUNE 7, HE WOULD GO TO QUANG 
NGAI PROVINCE (WHERE QUANG IS BEING HELD UNDER CONDITIONS 
RESEMBLING HOUSE ARREST) AT THE HEAD OF AN UNAUTHORIZED 
UBCV DELEGATION TO BRING QUANG BACK TO HCMC.  ALSO ON MAY 
21, DO REFUSED TO COMPLY WITH A SUMMONS TO APPEAR BEFORE A 
DISTRICT PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE.  HE HAD RESPONDED TO AN 
EARLIER SUMMONS ON MAY 18.  AT THAT MEETING, THE PEOPLE'S 
COMMITTEE HAD WARNED HIM STRONGLY NOT TO CARRY THROUGH 
WITH HIS PLANS TO GO TO QUANG NGAI (REF A.)  END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (U) THICH QUANG DO SENT A LETTER TO GOVERNMENT LEADERS 
ON MARCH 29, URGING THAT THEY ISSUE AN OFFICIAL DOCUMENT 
THAT WOULD ALLOW THICH HUYEN QUANG TO RETURN TO HCMC. 
(QUANG HAS RESIDED AT A PAGODA IN QUANG NGAI PROVINCE 
SINCE 1982 AND IS RESTRICTED FROM TRAVELING ELSEWHERE.) 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HO CHI  00632  01 OF 02  250207Z 
IN HIS LETTER, DO NOTED THAT QUANG, WHO IS 83 YEARS OLD, 
IS IN DETERIORATING HEALTH.  HE ALSO NOTED THAT IN 1997, 
POLICE IN QUANG NGAI READ TO QUANG A DECISION THAT HIS 
OFFICIAL TERM OF ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION HAD CONCLUDED. 
(NOTE: THE POLICE WOULD NOT, HOWEVER, GIVE HIM A COPY OF 
THAT DOCUMENT, AND SEVERAL DAYS LATER THEY RETURNED WITH 
FORMS FOR HIM TO REGISTER HIS RESIDENCE IN QUANG NGAI AS 
HIS OFFICIAL PERMANENT RESIDENCE.  QUANG REFUSED TO SIGN 
THOSE FORMS.  END NOTE.)  BECAUSE OF THAT, ACCORDING TO 
DO, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR QUANG'S CONTINUED 
DETENTION IN QUANG NGAI.  DO SAID THAT IF HE RECEIVED NO 
REPLY TO HIS LETTER BY JUNE, HE WOULD GO HIMSELF TO QUANG 
NGAI TO BRING QUANG BACK TO HO CHI MINH CITY. 
 
3. (SBU) ON MAY 15, ANOTHER UBCV CONTACT TOLD POLOFF THAT 
QUANG'S HEALTH WAS INDEED DETERIORATING.  HE SAID THAT 
PERSONS IN GOVERNMENT BOTH IN HANOI AND HCMC ARE CONCERNED 
ABOUT POSSIBLE REPERCUSSIONS BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE 
VIETNAM SHOULD QUANG PASS AWAY WHILE IN DETENTION IN QUANG 
NGAI.  ACCORDING TO THIS CONTACT, SOME GOVERNMENT 
OFFICIALS WOULD BE HAPPY TO SEE QUANG RETURNED TO HCMC AS 
LONG AS HE RETURNED "QUIETLY."  THIS CONTACT SAID THE 
PROBLEM WAS THAT QUANG REFUSED TO GO TO HCMC WITHOUT AN 
OFFICIAL DOCUMENT ALLOWING HIM TO GO.  BUT THE GOVERNMENT 
IS HARD-PRESSED TO ISSUE AN OFFICIAL RELEASE DOCUMENT 
SINCE HE WAS NEVER OFFICIALLY CHARGED WITH OR TRIED FOR 
ANY CRIME. 
 
4. (U) A MAY 16 PRESS RELEASE BY THE PARIS-BASED UBCV 
INFORMATION SERVICE REPORTED THAT SECURITY POLICE IN QUANG 
NGAI ENTERED QUANG'S PAGODA IN APRIL AND TOLD HIM THAT 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        HO CHI  00632  01 OF 02  250207Z 
"THE CIA IS GOING TO ASSASSINATE YOU."  A FEW DAYS LATER 
ON APRIL 15, THE POLICE TOLD HIM THAT IF HE WISHED TO BE 
RELEASED TO GO BACK TO HCMC, HE MUST FILE AN APPLICATION 
TO THE HCMC POLICE WHO ARRESTED HIM IN 1982.  ACCORDING TO 
THE LETTER, QUANG RESPONDED IN A LETTER SAYING, "I REFUSE 
TO FILE A REQUEST TO THE SAIGON POLICE, FOR I HAVE 
COMMITTED NO CRIME AND WILL ASK NO FAVORS."  (THICH QUANG 
DO TOLD POLOFF IN A PHONE CONVERSATION MAY 18 THAT QUANG'S 
REFUSAL TO APPLY FOR OFFICIAL PERMISSION TO GO TO HCMC 
DOES NOT MEAN HE WOULD REFUSE TO RETURN TO HCMC WITHOUT 
PERMISSION.) 
 
5. (SBU) AS REPORTED IN REF A, THE DISTRICT PEOPLE'S 
COMMITTEE WHERE THICH QUANG DO RESIDES IN HCMC CALLED HIM 
IN ON MAY 18 AND ISSUED A STERN WARNING FOR HIM NOT TO GO 
TO QUANG NGAI.  AFTER TWO HOURS OF DISCUSSIONS, THEY 
ALLOWED HIM TO RETURN TO HIS PAGODA, BUT TOLD HIM THEY 
WOULD SUMMON HIM AGAIN TO CONTINUE THE DISCUSSIONS.  ON 
MAY 21, DO IGNORED A SUMMONS TO RETURN TO THE DISTRICT 
PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE.  HE THEN ISSUED ANOTHER LETTER 
PUBLICLY SETTING A DEADLINE, JUNE 7, FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO 
OFFICIALLY ALLOW QUANG'S RETURN TO HCMC. 
 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
6. (SBU) BASED ON THE UBCV CONTACT'S STATEMENTS IN 
PARAGRAPH 3 AND ON THE QUANG NGAI POLICE'S OWN STATEMENTS 
ON APRIL 15, IT APPEARS THAT THERE MIGHT BE THE SMALLEST 
GLIMMER OF AN OPPORTUNITY FOR QUANG TO RETURN TO HCMC 
"QUIETLY."  OTHER INDICATIONS, SUCH AS THE WARNING FROM 
THE DISTRICT PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE WHERE DO RESIDES, THE 
OUTRAGEOUS ASSERTION OF A CIA ASSASSINATION THREAT, AND 
PARTICULARLY DO'S PUBLICLY SETTING A DATE FOR A SHOWDOWN, 
MAKE CERTAIN THAT OPPORTUNITY IS TENUOUS AT BEST. 
 
RAY 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
 


Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04