259. Telegram 86460 From the Department of State to the Embassy in India1 2


  • Sikkim


  • New Delhi 5049 (Notal)
Summary: We have completed review of Sikkim situation and have decided to continue our basic hands-off policy. End summary.
FYI: We believe essential no comment approach we have followed since Sikkim trouble started last year has been correct and intend to continue this approach. We see no gain in getting into a name-calling exercise with the Indians nor any way in which we can play useful role vis a vis Sikkimese. Although USG criticism of India or our support for a Sikkimese request to have the United Nations look into the problem might be welcomed in Nepal, Pakistan, or China, this would not be productive approach. The only result would be to create new and serious bilateral problems with India, and it would run the risk of creating heightened tension in the Himalayas. End FYI.
Hence, we propose to limit public comment on Sikkim situation to following: As we have previously stated, Sikkim is not a problem in which the U.S. is involved. India and Sikkim have had a long and intimate relationship and we believe the question of Sikkim’s status is something they should work out.
Embassies may draw on para 3 in discussions with host government officials but should not raise Sikkim issue themselves.
For Kathmandu: Should the question arise, you may assure GON officials that we continue to support Nepal’s independence and development. We regard Nepal’s situation, as a UN member and independent sovereign state with which we have very good relations, as different from that of Sikkim.


  1. 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 Katmandu, Calcutta, Islamabad, Dhaka, Kabul, Tehran, London, USLO Beijing, USUN, and Hong Kong.
  2. 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.