A Great Deception

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Telegram from US embassy in Tokyo - 1 April 1965

Dalai Lama History Japan

The Dalai Lama Cables: An Instrument of US Foreign Policy

In the previous release from the Dalai Lama Cables, we revealed that the US government had considered deploying the Dalai Lama in Vietnam as a means to split the Buddhist community there and further the US anti-communist agenda. It is clear from those discussions that the US viewed the Dalai Lama as an asset, an instrument to be used to further their foreign policy objectives. Given that he had accepted CIA funding for himself (to the tune of $180,000 annually) and his activities (some years well in excess of $1 million annually), it is quite understandable that they'd want to get their money's worth.

Although the Dalai Lama didn't visit Vietnam, he did visit Thailand and Japan in 1967 - two countries supposedly directly affected by the Vietnam war according to Domino theory.

We trawled through the cables to see what information we could find on these trips.

A telegram from the US Embassy in Tokyo dated 1 April 1965 describes an early stage in the planning of the Dalai Lama's trip to Japan.

What is immediately clear from the telegram is that, behind the scenes, it is the US Secretary of State who is organising this trip.

The Ambassador in Tokyo explains that there are a number of hurdles involved:

- The 'Japanese themselves feel no particular affinity for Tibetans and Japanese Buddhists regard Tibetan Buddhists as only distantly related.'

- Although the Government of Japan will not prevent the visit they are 'unlikely to regard such trip with much enthusiasm'.

- 'It may be difficult to find significant japanese Buddhist group which would wish to involve itself sufficiently to sponsor Dalai visit.'

Essentially it seems no one in japan particularly wants the Dalai Lama to come. Even the Buddhist clergy would only be 'willing to meet with upon his request.'

However, the first and most important point of the telegram reads:

'The Dalai Lama's visit to Japan would be advantageous from our point of view in reminding Japanese of ChiCom attitudes'.

So, because the Dalai Lama's visit serves a US foreign policy interest the Ambassador thinks 'possibly we could stir up some support'.

Nonetheless, the ambassador assumes 'if visit takes place US will not be overtly involved.'

The visit did take place, the US pulled the strings to make it happen. The US used the Dalai Lama and his teachings as an instrument of US foreign policy. A pattern that appears to have been repeated again and again. 

There is something overwhelming sad about the precious teachings of Lord Buddha being used as a weapon of psychological warfare, a mere tool in cold war squabbles. By mixing religion and politics, the Dalai Lama allowed this sad situation to develop. Now is the time to completely free Buddhism from political pollution.

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