Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan


242. Telegram 4127 From the Embassy in India to the Department of State, April 10, 1973, 1326Z.

The Embassy discussed the restoration of an Indian administrator in Sikkim after a period of popular unrest. The Embassy anticipated that the administrative situation in Sikkim would revert to the pre-1972 pattern.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Immediate. It was repeated to Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Hong Kong, Katmandu, and Islamabad.


243. Telegram 1829 From the Embassy in Nepal to the Department of State, April 30, 1973, 1155Z.

The Embassy reported on the visit of Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs Joseph Sisco and Deputy Secretary of State Kenneth Rush to Katmandu. Rush met with KING BIRENDRA, among others, and discussed Nepalese foreign relations and U.S. interests in Nepal.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 2-3 Nepal. Confidential. It was repeated to Calcutta, Colombo, Dhaka, Islamabad, Kabul, New Delhi, and Tehran.


244. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, October 6, 1973.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Richard Sneider discussed the Non-Aligned Movement and the issue of Korean admission to the UN with Nepalese Minister of Foreign Affairs Gyanendra Karki and the South Korean Ambassador.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 8. Confidential. It was drafted by Sneider.


245. Telegram 72 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Sri Lanka, January 2, 1973, 1716Z.

Assistant Secretary Sisco met with Ambassador Neville Kanakaratne on December 21, 1972. The Ambassador asked the United States for help in negotiations with the World Bank and with the problem of a shortfall in PL-480 credits because inflation had eroded Sri Lanka's ability to purchase the expected 115,000 tons. Sisco agreed to do whatever he could to solve both problems.

Source: National Archives, RG 84, Colombo Embassy Files: Lot 77 F 54, Aid 1973. Confidential.


246. Telegram 1751 From the Embassy in Nepal to the Department of State and the Mission to the United Nations, April 30, 1974, 1050Z.

The Embassy updated relevant officers on the state of anti-narcotics activities in Nepal, given increasing evidence of widespread cannabis cultivation and the attendant export of hashish and hashish oil.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Limited Official Use; Priority. It was repeated to Geneva. In May, the Embassy transmitted a policy statement containing a similarly pessimistic warning that the Nepalese Panchayat (royal legislature) was reluctant to pass legislation on hashish production. (Telegram 1948 from Katmandu, May 8; ibid., Central Files 1970-73, SOC 11-5 Nepal)


247. Telegram 8298 From the Embassy in India to the Department of State, June 21, 1974, 1445Z.

The Embassy reported that over the Chogyal's objections the Sikkim Assembly had passed a constitution amid civil unrest.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential. It was repeated to Katmandu, Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras.


248. Telegram 133273 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Nepal, June 21, 1974, 1526Z.

The Department alerted the Embassy to the suspected use of the Nepalese pouch as a hashish smuggling route and instructed Ambassador Cargo to alert the Nepalese so that such an “abuse of diplomatic privilege is not repeated.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret; Exdis. It was drafted by Lorton, NEA/INS; cleared by NEA/RA, INR/RNA/SOA, S/NM, and NEA/INS; and approved by Laingen. Family members of at least one Nepali Government official were allegedly involved in the smuggling ring broken by arrests in Tokyo. (Telegrams 1731, April 29, and 2016, May 14, from KatmandAND WASHINGTON.


249. Telegram 2549 From the Embassy in Nepal to the Department of State, June 24, 1974, 0301Z.

In response to a request from the Secretary for posts “to monitor reactions to [the sixth] special session [of the UNGA], assess attitudes of delegations as they return, and analyze effect on host governments [of] actions toward or within NACG (Non-Aligned Conference Group),” the Embassy provided a strategy for influencing Nepal, a “moderate” non-aligned state.

Source: National Archives, RG 84, Katmandu Embassy Files: Lot 77 F 31, POL 8, Neutralism/Non-Alignment. Confidential. It was drafted by Francis Tatu, POL, and DCM Quainton; cleared by ECON; and approved by Cargo. The relevant request from the Department was telegram 99106, to all diplomatic posts, May 13, 1974. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files) Nepal was one of four members of the Non-Aligned Conference Group, which also included Sri Lanka, Liberia, and Guyana. The group represented the views of NAM states to oil producing countries, among its other duties.


250. Telegram 2692 From the Embassy in Nepal to the Department of State, July 3, 1974, 0840Z.

[3 pages not declassified in time for publication]

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret;Exdis.


251. Telegram 2731 From the Embassy in Nepal to the Department of State, July 6, 1974, 0545Z.

The Embassy informed the Department of Nepal's attempt to disarm and resettle the Khampas in Mustang province. It drew the department's attention toward the possibility of “claims and counterclaims, continued press speculation and rumors and allegations of current U. S. Government involvement,” and proposed a policy of “no comment.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret; Priority; Exdis. It was repeated to New Delhi. On July 12, the Department responded in telegram 151507 and agreed that “you should continue [to] avoid giving the Government of Nepal any suggestion that we have a particular interest in this subject.” (Ibid.) The Embassy asked for further guidance after Nepalese Home Minister Hom Shrestha stated that the Khampas had been supported by “powerful and rich countries with interests in the region,” which should pay for their resettlement. (Telegram 3155 from Katmandu, August 1; Ibid.) The U.S. declined to contribute. (Telegram 23112 to Katmandu, January 31, 1975; Ibid.)


252. Telegram 153341 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Nepal, July 16, 1974, 1900Z.

The Department concurred with the substance of telegram 2692 (Document 250) of July 3 and updated the Embassy on the ongoing investigation into hashish smuggling.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 623, Country Files Middle East, Nepal, Vol. 1, March 1969-July 1974. Secret; Exdis. It was drafted by Lorton, NEA/INS; cleared by NEA/RA, S/NM, DEA, INR/RNA/SOA, and NEA/INS; and approved by Laingen. It was repeated to New Delhi. Telegram 2923 from Katmandu, July 18 reported that the previous day, Cargo had confronted Foreign Minister Karki, who stated that U.S. concerns would be presented to the king. However, “Karki's prognosis on basic drug legislation was more optimistic than others we have been receiving.” (Ibid., RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files) Over Secretary Kissinger's name, the Department also forwarded to the Embassy a summary of DEA actions and hashish oil production techniques, noting that several large seizures in the last two years involved hashish oil smuggled from Katmandu. (Ibid., RG 84, Katmandu Embassy Files: Lot 77 F 31, SOC 11-5)


253. Briefing Memorandum From the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Sober) to Secretary of State Kissinger, September 7, 1974.

Assistant Secretary Sober presented Secretary of State Kissinger with a summary of developments in Sikkim along with Chinese reaction. The memorandum also discussed the very limited U.S. involvement in the issue.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, NEA/INS Files: Lot 78 D 7, Sikkim 1974. Confidential. It was drafted on September 6 by James Leader, NEA/INS; cleared by INR/RNA, L/NEA, and EA/PRCM.


254. Telegram 10183 From the Consulate General in Hong Kong to the Department of State, September 13, 1974, 0603Z.

The consulate reported on the condemnation of India's annexation of Sikkim by the People's Republic of China.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Limited Official Use. It was repeated to Dhaka, Islamabad, Katmandu, New Delhi, Tokyo, Moscow, Beijing, Taipai, and CINCPAC.


255. Memorandum of Conversation, New Delhi, November 8, 1974.

New Delhi Political Officer Peter Tomsen and a Bhutanese Embassy official discussed Secretary of State Kissinger's visit to India. The conversation also covered other topics; in particular, the official explained Bhutan's recent expulsion of most Indian police and development advisors and other Indo-Bhutanese disputes. He also updated Tomsen on Bhutan's attempt to deflect Chinese diplomatic interest in Bhutan.

Source: National Archives, RG 84, New Delhi Embassy Files: Lot 78 F 45, POL 4, Bhutan, 1974. Confidential. It was drafted by Tomsen on November 12; cleared by POL; and approved by POL. The meeting took place shortly after the Indian absorption of Sikkim, although Bhutan claimed no connection existed between the annexation and its termination of contracts with India, which dated to the 1949 Treaty of Friendship.


256. Telegram 5095 From the Embassy in Nepal to the Department of State, December 12, 1974, 0755Z.

The Embassy provided the details of its successful mission to persuade Nepal to abstain on the question of Korea at the 29th UN General Assembly.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Priority; Limdis. It was repeated to USUN. The Department received indications that Nepal would vote for the Algerian-sponsored resolution calling for the disbanding the UN forces along the Korean DMZ. (Telegram 268149 to Katmandu, December 6; ibid.) Ambassador Cargo then met with Foreign Minister Karki on December 8 and convinced him to instruct Nepal's UN delegate to abstain on the resolutions. (Telegram 5027 from Katmandu, December 6; ibid.)


257. Telegram 273340 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Nepal, December 13, 1974, 0101Z.

The Department congratulated Ambassador Cargo regarding Nepal's vote on Korea, and presented talking points regarding the issue of Khmer UN credentials.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Immediate. It was drafted by Lorton, NEA/INS and Charles Schaller, IO/UNP; cleared by NEA/INS, EA/K, EA/LC, and NEA; and approved by Buffum. It was repeated priority to USUN.


258. Briefing Memorandum From Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Saunders) to the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (Sisco), April 10, 1975.

Undersecretary Saunders reported on recent events leading up to the Sikkim Assembly's attempt to abolish the office of Chogyal and integrate the territory into the Indian Union. Saunders reiterated that the United States was not involved in the political fate of Sikkim. In an addendum Assistant Secretary Atherton reported on India's accelerating drive to annex the territory.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, NEA/INS Files: Lot 78 D 7, Sikkim. Confidential. It was drafted by Lorton, NEA/INS. Attached is Atherton's April 10 addendum.


259. Telegram 86460 From the Department of State to the Embassy in India, April 16, 1975, 0019Z.

The Department confirmed a policy of non-intervention regarding Indian policy in Sikkim, except that the Embassy in Katmandu was permitted to reassure Nepal of U.S. support for its independence.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Priority. It was drafted by Lorton, NEA/INS; cleared by L/NEA, EA/PRCM, H, NEA/P, and IO/UNP; and approved by Dubs. It was repeated priority to KatmanNDEPENDENT SOVEREIGN STATE WITH WHICH WE HAVE VERY GOOD RELATIONS, AS DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF SIKKIM.


260. Minutes of the Secretary of State's Staff Regional Staff Meeting, Washington, April 16, 1975, 8 a.m.

Secretary of State Kissinger and Assistant Secretary Atherton discussed the fate of the Chogyal.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Transcripts of Secretary of State Kissinger's Staff Meetings, 1973-77, Entry 5177, Box 3, Secretary's Analytical Staff Meetings. Secret.


261. Telegram 6554 From the Embassy in India to the Department of State, May 16, 1975, 1100Z.

The Embassy reported that Sikkim officially became the twenty-second state of India on May 16.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential. It was repeated to Colombo, Dhaka, Islamabad, Kabul, Katmandu, London, Moscow, Beijing, USUN, and CINCPAC. The Chogyal was exiled to the United States, where he died in 1982.


262. Telegram 196149 From the Department of State to the Embassy in India, August 18, 1975, 2336Z.

Undersecretary Sisco and the Permanent Representative of Bhutan to the United Nations Dago Tshering met on August 15. They discussed Bhutan's votes on Korean and Middle Eastern questions.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential. It was drafted by Lorton, NEA/INS; cleared by NEA and IO/UNP; and approved by McAdams DeFord, P. It was repeated to USUN, Katmandu, Islamabad, Calcutta, and Beijing.


263. Telegram 4416 From the Embassy in Nepal to the Department of State, September 3, 1975, 1040Z.

Ambassador Cargo updated the Department on his continuing attempts to persuade Nepal to support the U.S. position on Korea in the UN General Assembly.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential. It was repeated to New Delhi, Seoul, and USUN. The Department instructed certain posts to lobby for support in the 30th General Assembly in circular telegram 225930, September 22. (Ibid.)


264. Telegram 212 From the Embassy in Nepal to the Department of State, January 15, 1976, 0855Z.

The Embassy responded to the Department's request for information on human rights in Nepal.

Source: National Archives, RG 84, Katmandu Embassy Files: Lot 78 F 115, SOC 1976. Limited Official Use. It was drafted by David Fischer, POL; cleared by USAID; and approved by ADCM James Falzone. In telegram 985, March 3, the Embassy reported further on constitutional protections and legal strictures on individual freedoms in Nepal. (Ibid.)


265. Telegram 2896 From the Embassy in Nepal to the Department of State, July 6, 1976, 1040Z.

UNFDAC sent a delegation to Nepal in the summer of 1976. The Embassy reported on their visit, particularly on efforts to encourage the rapid passage of narcotics control legislation and provide UN help in combating illicit marijuana trafficking.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential. It was repeated to Ankara, Geneva, and New Delhi.