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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05NEWDELHI9754 2005-12-28 05:23:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy New Delhi
Cable title:  

TIBETANS IN INDIA BRIEF VISITING STAFFDEL SZYMANSKI

Tags:   PREL PHUM KDEM PREF IN CH 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NEW DELHI 009754 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KDEM PREF IN CH
SUBJECT: TIBETANS IN INDIA BRIEF VISITING STAFFDEL SZYMANSKI



1. (U) Summary: Members of the Tibetan government-in-exile
in Dharamsala, including the chief executive of the Central
Tibetan Authority and the Dalai Lama, told visiting
professional staff of the House Small Business Committee
during a December 11-12 visit that although human rights
conditions in Tibet remained poor, most Tibetans supported
the Dalai Lama's "middle way" advocating constitutional
autonomy for greater Tibet within China. The Tibetan
representatives expressed appreciation for continued American
and USG support of Tibetans and human rights in China. End
Summary.

Dalai Lama Emphasizes Chinese Democracy and Liberalization


--------------------------



--------------------------





2. (U) The Dalai Lama used an audience with the visiting
staff to reiterate his view of Chinese development and
progress, as he conveyed to the President during his November
visit to the US. Most of China's difficulties within China
and abroad, including the Tibet question, would be resolved
as China "opens up more" including liberalizing restrictions
on religion and expression, he predicted. He emphasized that
since the Tibetan community seeks only certain autonomy and
guaranteed rights within China, liberalization and progress
to democracy and respect for human rights in Beijing should
satisfy the Tibetans' requests.

CTA Focused on US Resettlement Proposal


--------------------------





3. (U) Samdhong Rinpoche, the elected chief executive (Kalon
Tripa) of the Central Tibetan Authority (CTA, the Tibetan
Government-in-Exile), reviewed Tibetan exile concerns about
Chinese violations of human rights and recapped the history
of dialogue with the PRC since he took office in 2002. The
Tibetan exile community's strategy in dialogue was to
convince Beijing that the Chinese constitution accords
autonomy to minority areas such as Tibet. True autonomy,
however, must be granted in all the historical area of Tibet,
currently divided among five provinces in China.



4. (SBU) Rinpoche highlighted CTA interest in the proposed
resettlement of approximately 5,000 of the most vulnerable
Tibetan refugees in Nepal, along with 600-700 Tibetans
associated with the 1960s-era Mustang program, to the United
States. Tibetans in Nepal are most vulnerable because they
have no legal status, he explained, and can be returned to
China. However, India continues to issue a limited number of
travel documents, and the flow of refugees through Nepal to
India has not stopped despite the unrest in Nepal. Rinpoche
reiterated the appreciation among Tibetans for the efforts of
the USG and American people on behalf of Tibetans, saying
that the Tibetan cause is "dependent" on US support.

Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile


--------------------------





5. (U) Members of the Standing Committee of the Assembly of
Tibetan People's Deputies, led by Vice-chair Dolma Gyari,
told the staffdel that while some conditions in Tibet are
improving, the people still are denied freedom of expression,
movement, and religion. They emphasized that although the
Dalai Lama and the CTA have accepted the "middle way"
approach of seeking only autonomy within China, Beijing
ignores the Tibetans' actual demands and brands them
"separatists." Monks and nuns in Tibet continue to be
arrested and coerced into denying loyalty to the Dalai Lama,
they insisted. Although some Tibetans may admit to visitors
that life is not unbearable, they continued, if Tibetans were
not being repressed, the PRC would not need to station so
many security and intelligence forces in Tibet. When asked
by Staffdel for the source of the information on conditions
in Tibet, most admitted that they had not visited Tibet
recently or obtained the information from first hand accounts.

Situation Much Better in India


--------------------------





6. (U) These interlocutors and other representatives of
Tibetan NGOs and agencies agreed that the greatest challenges
facing Tibetans in India were the continued difficulty of
owning land or business under Indian law, the poor economic
prospects facing recent arrivals from Tibet, and the
difficulty of access to higher education. Nevertheless, they
pointed out, educational opportunities in India were better
and freer than in Tibet, and most refugees come to India for
unrestricted education before returning to their homes in
Tibet. Authorities at the Refugee Reception Center confirmed
that in addition to education, many refugees come only to
meet the Dalai Lama, before attempting the difficult
Himalayan journey again to return home. However, Tibetan
interlocutors cautioned, those who attempt to return to Tibet
face punishment and imprisonment if Chinese authorities learn
that they have tasted the religious and intellectual freedom
of India.



7. (U) Delegation List:

-- Matthew Szymanski, Chief of Staff, House Small Business
Committee and US-China Interparliamentary Exchange
-- Christopher Szymanski, Professional Staff, House Small
Business Committee
-- Dawn Petchell, Senior Policy Adviser, H Bureau
-- LTC James Garrison, USA, Military Escort
-- Jai Nair, Poloff



8. (U) Staffdel Szymanski cleared this message.



9. (U) Visit New Delhi's Classified Website:
(http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/sa/newdelhi/)
BLAKE