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World Editors Forum 11, Session After Wikileaks N Ram

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  • 1. 18th WORLD EDITORS FORUM Session: After WikiLeaks: the next step for newspapers Title: Cablegate Speaker: Narasimhan Ram Mark your calendar64th WORLD NEWSPAPER CONGRESS19th WORLD EDITORS FORUM Vienna, Reed Messe Wien www.wan-ifra.org/kiev2012
  • 2. N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 1
  • 3. Cablegate: The India Cables• Starting March 15, 2011, The Hindu offered readers a broad spectrum of articles and reports based on a first selection from 5,100 India Cables, aggregating six million words, made available to it by WikiLeaks N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 2
  • 4. Cablegate: The India Cables• ‘15 March Over several weeks The Hindu reveals stories of bribery in the Indian parliament, the use by America of arms sales for political leverage, alleged links between the Pakistan intelligence services and the Taliban and many more.’-- ‘Afterword’ in Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Autobiography (Canongate, Edinburgh, 2011, page 256) N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 3
  • 5. Cablegate: The India Cables• These stories, often front-paged, and the relevant cables were published by the newspaper on 21 consecutive days in March- April 2011 and more followed later• In all, we did three redactions – to protect vulnerable people N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 4
  • 6. Cablegate: The India Cables We made it clear on Day 1 that•our arrangement with WikiLeaks ‘involves nofinancial transaction and no financial obligations oneither side’•that The Hindu had ‘a detailed understanding’ withWikiLeaks on ‘the terms and modus of publication,including redactions (where, and only where,necessary) and compliance with a security protocolfor protecting and handling the sensitive material’ N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 5
  • 7. Cablegate: The India Cables• The newspaper was able to offer a series of insights into India’s foreign policy and domestic affairs, diplomatic, political, economic, social, cultural, and intellectual N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 6
  • 8. Cablegate: The India Cables Our experience with WikiLeaks & Julian Assange was•clear-sighted, with key things specified•professional•rule-based but flexible•based on mutual trust•smooth & friendly•is ongoing N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 7
  • 9. Cablegate: The India Cables• Focus on Indo-US strategic relationship & everything that helps or hinders it• Range over India’s relations with neighbours, with Russia, the EU, East Asia, Israel, Palestine, Iran, and the rest of West Asia, Africa, Cuba, the UN N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 8
  • 10. Cablegate: The India Cables• Cover issues and actions relating to defence cooperation, nuclear policy, arms control, terrorism, intelligence sharing, export control, human rights, Indian bureacracy, environment, AfPak• Special focus on 26/11, Kashmir, India’s policy and dealings with Pakistan & Sri Lanka, and where the Indian polity is headed N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 9
  • 11. Cablegate: The India CablesWho figure in WikiLeaks’ India Cache?•Politicians of all shades, diplomats andother officials, sleuths, business persons,journalists, busybodies, bigwigs andsmallwigs N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 10
  • 12. Cablegate: The India Cables• One of the bribery (‘cash-for- parliamentary-votes’) stories triggered a new round of prosecution and the arrest of some politicians under the watch of the Supreme Court of India N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 11
  • 13. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 12
  • 14. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 13
  • 15. US Embassy Cable 162458, July 17, 2008• 162458 7/17/2008 13:23 08 NEWDELHI 1972 Embassy New Delhi SECRET 08 KOLKATA 209 "VZCZCXRO9793OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHLH RUEHPWDE RUEHNE #1972/01 1991323ZNY SSSSS ZZHO 171323Z JUL 08FM AMEMBASSY NEW DELHITO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2668INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVERUCNNSG/NUCLEAR SUPPLIERS GROUP COLLECTIVERUEAIIA/CIA WASHDCRHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DCRUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDCRHEHNSC/NSC WASHDCRUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDCRUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 1566RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 6661" "S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 NEW DELHI 001972• SIPDIS• E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/17/2018 TAGS: PREL, PARM, TSPL, KNNP, ETTC, ENRG, TRGY, IN SUBJECT: POLITICAL BARGAINING CONTINUES PRIOR TO KEY VOTE IN PARLIAMENT• REF: KOLKATA 209• Classified By: Charge DAffaires Steven White for Reasons 1.4 (B and D)• 1. (C) SUMMARY. Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and his delegation departed for Vienna on July 17 to brief the 35 Board members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and another 19 members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on the U.S.- India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Initiative. In Delhi, government officials responded positively to suggestions about how to address concerns emerging from Vienna, particularly the need to begin negotiating an IAEA Additional Protocol and for the IAEA to circulate Indias (INFCIRC) already-public separation plan as an official IAEA document. Political horse-trading continued in anticipation of the special session of parliament to consider the confidence vote on July 21 followed by the vote itself on July 22. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani each plan to host a dinner for supporters on July 20; the parties will presumably have to chose one or the other. An estranged Congress Party MP and three Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MPs publicly stated their intention to vote against the UPA, leaving the government still clinging to a slim majority. Small parties representing collectively about 20 votes find themselves with generous suitors; one party chief has reportedly succeeded in having the Lucknow airport renamed after his father. The unrequited Left continued its anti-government rant, but showed signs of internal strain. Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee refused to resign despite pressure from within the Communist party to do so and has made it clear that he was not in favor of the Left voting with the opposition BJP against the government, a position that seems to have resonance among comrades disinclined to face early elections.• END SUMMARY. N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 14
  • 16. US Embassy Cable 162458, July 17, 2008• 9. (C) On July 16, PolCouns met with Captain Satish Sharma, a Congress Party MP in the Rajya Sabha, a former Indian Airlines Pilot, and a close associate of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi considered to be a very close family friend of Sonia Gandhi. Sharma mentioned that he, as well as others in the party, was working hard to ensure that the UPA government wins the confidence vote on July 22. He said that the Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi, and Rahul Gandhi were committed to the nuclear initiative and had conveyed this message clearly to the party. Sharma said that PM Singh and others were trying to work on the Akali Dal (8 votes) through financier Sant Chatwal and others, but unfortunately it did not work out. He mentioned that efforts to encourage Shiv Sena (12 votes) to abstain were on-going. While different Congress operatives were working on different groups of MPs, Sharma said that Rahul Gandhi was personally working Omar• NEW DELHI 00001972 003 OF 004• Abdullahs Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (J&KNC), whose two MPs are inclined to vote in favor of the UPA. Sharma mentioned that he was also exploring the possibility of trying to get former Prime Minister Vajpayees son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya to speak to BJP representatives to try to divide the BJP ranks. He mentioned that if the party wins the trust vote, they would then prefer to go for national elections in February or March 2009, which would give the UPA time to control prices and bring down inflation.• 10. (S) Sharmas political aide Nachiketa Kapur mentioned to an Embassy staff member in an aside on July 16 that Ajit Singhs RLD had been paid Rupees 10 crore (about $2.5 million) for each of their four MPs to support the government. Kapur mentioned that money was not an issue at all, but the crucial thing was to ensure that those who took the money would vote for the government. Kapur showed the Embassy employee two chests containing cash and said that around Rupees 50-60 crore (about $25 million) was lying around the house for use as pay-offs.• 11. (S) Another Congress Party insider told PolCouns that Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath is also helping to spread largesse. ""Formerly he could only offer small planes as bribes,"" according to this interlocutor, now he can pay for votes with jets."" N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 15
  • 17. • 10. (S) Sharmas political aide Nachiketa Kapur mentioned to an Embassy staff member in an aside on July 16 that Ajit Singhs RLD had been paid Rupees 10 crore (about $2.5 million) for each of their four MPs to support the government. Kapur mentioned that money was not an issue at all, but the crucial thing was to ensure that those who took the money would vote for the government. Kapur showed the Embassy employee two chests containing cash and said that around Rupees 50-60 crore (about $25 million) was lying around the house for use as pay-offs. N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 16
  • 18. US Embassy Cable 162458, July 17, 2008• 11. (S) Another Congress Party insider told PolCouns that Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath is also helping to spread largesse. ""Formerly he could only offer small planes as bribes,"" according to this interlocutor, now he can pay for votes with jets."" N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 17
  • 19. N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 18
  • 20. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 19
  • 21. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 20
  • 22. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 21
  • 23. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 22
  • 24. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 23
  • 25. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 24
  • 26. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 25
  • 27. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 26
  • 28. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 27
  • 29. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 28
  • 30. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 29
  • 31. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 30
  • 32. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 31
  • 33. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 32
  • 34. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 33
  • 35. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 34
  • 36. Cablegate: The India Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 35
  • 37. Cablegate: The Pakistan CablesIn May 2011, The Hindu partnered with Dawn ofPakistanhttp://www.dawn.com/tag/wikileaks-pakistan)and India’s NDTV 24x7 news television channelhttp://www.ndtv.com/article/world/wikileaks-pakistani-airmen-sabotaging-f-16s-107093)in doing a large number of articles and reports basedon the Pakistan Cables, also made available byWikiLeaks. N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 36
  • 38. Cablegate: The Pakistan Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 37
  • 39. Cablegate: The Pakistan Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 38
  • 40. Cablegate: The Pakistan Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 39
  • 41. Cablegate: The Pakistan Cables N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu 40