Join our Mailing List

"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

US embassy cables: Dalai Lama made desperate plea to US for help during 2008 unrest

December 19, 2010

www.guardian.co.uk, Thursday 16 December 2010 21.30 GMT

Thursday, 10 April 2008, 11:51

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NEW DELHI 001035

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR TIBET COORDINATOR DOBRIANSKY

NSC FOR HADLEY/ABRAMS

H PASS TO SPEAKER PELOSI, REPRESENTATIVES MARKEY,

MCDERMOTT, MILLER, SENSENBRENNER, INSLEE, HOLMES-NORTON,

SOLIS, ESHOO AND HOLT

EO 12958 DECL: 04/10/2018

TAGS PREL, PHUM, IN, CH

SUBJECT: DALAI LAMA PLEADS FOR U.S. TO PERSUADE CHINESE TO

TALK

REF: NEW DELHI 906

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires George Deikun for Reasons 1.4 (b and d )

Summary

1. As Chinese authorities cracked down after unrest and rioting in
Tibet, the Dalai Lama literally embraced US diplomats telling them
"Tibet is a dying nation. We need America's help." The embassy forwarded
his request for aid to the president and others. Key passages
highlighted in yellow.

2. Read related article

1. Action request in para. 7.

2. (C/REL UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA) Summary: Hours before his April 9
departure for the U.S., the Dalai Lama summoned PolCouns to convey a
message: please use all effective means to persuade the PRC to engage in
dialogue with him. He said recent events had left him increasingly
concerned about the future of the Tibetan people. Reaffirming his
commitment to the "Middle Way", i.e. not to seek independence as long as
the Chinese government respects the distinctive character of the Tibetan
people and permits them to enjoy genuine regional autonomy, the Dalai
Lama stated that he sought a breakthrough with Beijing. The Dalai Lama
recalled his conversation with Ambassador Mulford (reftel), where he had
explained that the PRC only respects strength, and he exhorted the U.S.
to take action that will "make an impact" in Beijing.At the end of the
thirty-minute meeting, the Dalai Lama embraced PolCouns and made a final
plea: "Tibet is a dying nation. We need America's help." End Summary.

3. (C/REL UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA) The Dalai Lama related an earlier
conversation with a Chinese scholar that convinced him the "positive
scenario" he outlined on March 28 -- where the PRC agrees to dialogue
and permits a degree of Tibetan autonomy -- was a possibility. The Dalai
Lama described this unnamed scholar as interpreting the regular use of
the Dalai Lama's name by Chinese leaders and references to 'the Dalai
clique' as signs they were prepared to engage with him. If PRC leaders
ignored the Dalai Lama and focused instead on the Tibetan Youth Congress
and Tibet-based leaders of the uprising, that would indicate the PRC
planned to bypass him, according to this scholar.

4. (C/REL UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA) Immediately prior to meeting with
PolCouns, the Dalai Lama met with XXXXXXXXXXXX. The Dalai Lama said
XXXXXXXXXXXX had been in touch with Chinese interlocutors who convinced
XXXXXXXXXXXX that a deal could be made: if the Dalai Lama supported
peaceful transit of the Olympic torch through Tibet, then the PRC would
simultaneously release Tibetans who had been detained since March 10.
Comment: XXXXXXXXXXXX. End comment.

5. (C/REL UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA) The Indian media continues to headline
plans for the April 17 Olympic torch transit through New Delhi, with
much speculation about which celebrities and leaders will choose to
carry the torch, thereby pleasing the Chinese. India's first female
director-general of police, Kiran Bedi, has declined the honor, stating
that protection of the torch by China's Special Police Force guards has
robbed it of its desired symbolism. Indian football captain Bhaichung
Bhatia has also pulled out, expressing solidarity with Tibetan
activists. China's defense attache in New Delhi informed the Indian
Army's director of foreign liaison that planned Army-to-Army exercises
will be cancelled if New Delhi fails to protect the torch during its
2.5-kilometer sprint through the capital.

6. (C/REL UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA) Comment: While Indian observers believe
that pressure on the PRC to engage with the Dalai Lama is growing, his
candid comment that "Tibet is a dying nation" indicates increasing
desperation as a result of his ability to affect events in his homeland.
The President's comments that dialogue provides the only way forward
have resonated here, and Tibet Coordinator Dobriansky's April 24 visit
to New Delhi gives the U.S. an opportunity to reinforce the President's
message. The Dalai Lama, who has studied China for most of his 73 years,
appears

NEW DELHI 00001035 002 OF 002

to be persuaded that a united show of strength will nudge Beijing in his
direction, and that by vilifying him, China's leaders may have laid the
ground work for engagement. End comment.

7. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST: Post emailed and pouched letters from the Dalai
Lama to President George Bush, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice,
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid requesting that
the USG appeal to China to end the current crackdown on Tibetans
immediately; release all Tibetans arrested and ensure they receive
proper medical attention; and, asked for assistance in facilitating a
group of international observers and media to affected areas in the TAR
to ensure compliance. Post requests guidance/reply on who should assume
the lead coordination in the reply to the Dalai Lama. DEIKUN
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
Developed by plank