This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available. C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 RANGOON 001215
STATE ALSO FOR EAP/BCLTV; TREASURY FOR OASIA JEFF NEIL;
USPACOM FOR FPA
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/24/2013
SUBJECT: ALATAS VISIT TO BURMA: "I DON'T WANT TO IMPOSE"
REF: A. RANGOON 1159
B. RANGOON 1187
C. JAKARTA 9435
Classified By: COM Carmen Martinez for Reasons 1.5 (B,D)
1. (C) Summary: He came, he saw, he left. Indonesian
special envoy Ali Alitas made a four-day visit September
21-24 to deliver personal messages to the SPDC from President
Megawati. In his own words, he did not want to "impose" on
the regime with regard to ASSK and accepted at face value the
SPDC's claim that the democracy leader was not medically
cleared to receive visitors (a claim contradicted by ASSK's
personal physician, ref b). According to the Indonesian
Ambassador here, Indonesia does not want "extraneous issues"
(referring to the detention of ASSK) to affect the agenda at
the upcoming ASEAN summit in Bali, which will focus on less
controversial themes. By all accounts, the Alatas visit may
lead the SPDC to believe that they will not be called to task
in Bali for their recent misdeeds. End summary.
Alatas Visit: His Own Take
2. (C) On September 24, Indonesian special envoy Ali Alatas
gave a press briefing on his four-day visit to Burma, just
prior to his return to Jakarta. According to the British DCM
here, who was allowed to attend the briefing, Alatas insisted
that he came to Burma as a special envoy of President
Megawati, not as a representative of ASEAN (note: his point
was foreshadowed by the GOB, per ref A. end note.) Alatas
downplayed his visit and offered that the SPDC is "carefully
and positively" considering ASSK's detention, which the
regime described as "temporary and for her own protection."
Alatas concluded he was "satisfied" with his visit, but said
that it would be for others to judge the success of his brief
stay. After Alatas told the press that he did not see ASSK
because the GOB had informed him she did not have "medical
clearance" for a personal visit, our British colleague took
the envoy aside and told him that ASSK's physician had
declared her medically fit to receive guests. Alatas replied
that he didn't want to "impose" on the authorities with
regard to with ASSK.
The Indonesian Embassy Version
3. (C) On September 25, Indonesian Ambassador-designate Wyoso
Prodjowarsito gave a one-hour briefing to the diplomatic
corps on the Alatas visit. (Note: The Indonesian Ambassador
has been in Rangoon for only one month and has not yet
presented credentials. End note). Joining the COM were
Ambassadors and/or Charges from the UK, Italy, Korea,
Germany, France, Australia, and Japan. A junior diplomat
from China and Leon de Reidmatten, local liaison for U.N.
Special Envoy Razali, also attended.
4. (C) According to Prodjowarsito, Alatas met on Monday
September 22 for one hour with Prime Minister General Khin
Nyunt and on Tuesday September 22 for 45 minutes with SPDC
Chairman Senior General Than Shwe. Participants in the
latter session included Khin Nyunt, SPDC Vice Chairman
General Maung Aye, SPDC Secretary 1, Secretary 2, and "many
other officials." Alatas' only other official meeting was
dinner with the Deputy Foreign Minister after his arrival on
Sunday. The "spirit" of Alatas' meetings with the PM and
with Than Shwe was very cordial, and Alatas was impressed
that the SPDC Chairman conducted his entire meeting in
5. (C) On the basis of Indonesia and Burma's "long-standing
friendship, dating back to their struggles for independence,"
Alatas delivered a personal letter from Megawati to Senior
General Than Shwe and an invitation to PM Khin Nyunt to
attend the ASEAN Bali Conference in October (the PM
apparently accepted the invitation). Prodjowarsito said that
Megawati's letter to Than Shwe "did not mention ASSK."
Alatas believes that the seven-point "Burma Roadmap to
Democracy" will be implemented faithfully with the
"participation of all parties," including the NLD and ethnic
groups. Alatas did not pressure either the PM or Than Shwe
on a timeframe for the implementation of the roadmap, but
believes that "it will be implemented faithfully." His
meetings focused on "big picture issues" outlined in the
roadmap and especially the prospect of transition to a
6. (C) Prodjowarsito said that President Megawati had no
intention to pressure the GOB and "the special envoy had no
intention to pressure for the release of ASSK." Although
Alitas had planned to see ASSK, PM Khin Nyunt advised him
that "her condition was good, but her doctor advised against
visitors." In any case, Prodjowarsito said, seeing ASSK was
not Alatas' priority. However, Alatas did tell PM Khin Nyunt
that Indonesia did not want ASSK's continued detention to be
"counterproductive," either to the ASEAN agenda in Bali or to
overall progress on the SPDC's roadmap. Alatas did raise the
"tragedy" of May 30 with the PM, who responded that ASSK's
detention is temporary and that "she will be released from
the guest house," but offered no timeframe.
7. (C) Ambassador Prodjowarsito emphasized that Indonesia
does not want "extraneous issues" (referring to the detention
of ASSK) to affect the Bali agenda, which will focus on more
cooperative themes such as a "Bali declaration." He said
that there is currently no specific agenda item dedicated to
a Burma discussion, but explained that Burma issues can be
raised under an agenda item titled "Current Developments."
And On To The Next Visitor
8. (C) Leon De Reidmatten told the group that U.N. Special
Envoy Razali will arrive in Rangoon the morning of September
30 and depart on October 2. However, de Riedmatten did not
indicate that the SPDC has confirmed a meeting with either
ASSK or Than Shwe. De Riedmatten said this 11th visit will
be different from previous visits, as Razali will have to
evolve from "being a facilitator into being a negotiator."
Razali will need to negotiate the composition of a reconvened
National Convention, from which the regime has to date
excluded the democratic opposition. De Riedmatten said that
Razali will also need at least two meetings each with the PM,
Than Shwe, and ASSK in order to "negotiate a compromise
between the regime and the lady."
Comment: Off the Hook in Bali?
9. (C) We are not privy to the contents of the
correspondence delivered by Alatas to the SPDC. However, his
public diplomacy here in Rangoon was disappointing. He
missed a rare opportunity to visit with ASSK, seek her views
on the situation prior to the ASEAN summit, and offer her
regional support in the aftermath of the SPDC's premeditated
and violent attack of May 30. This "soft" approach may
encourage the regime to not return ASSK to detention after
her pending hospital discharge. However, it is likely that
Alatas' "friendly" visit leaves the generals with the
impression that they will not have to account for their many
misdeeds when they meet with their regional counterparts in
Bali. End comment.
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