- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 7, 2001

Imphal defies curfew, fearing larger Nagaland
GUWAHATI, India — Thousands of women protested in India's troubled Manipur state on Thursday, defying a shoot-on-sight curfew imposed to avert violence on the arrival of junior Interior Minister I.D. Swamy on a fact-finding mission from New Delhi.
About 30,000 women tried to ring the capital, Imphal, in the biggest rally so far against the truce with the tribal militants, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Police used batons to beat back crowds at several entry points to the capital.
Manipur was engulfed by violence last month when protesters set the state legislature, offices and other buildings on fire. Police opened fire and 17 persons were killed after the federal government extended a 4-year-old cease-fire June 14 with a faction of the separatist National Socialist Council of Nagaland.
The accord, which expanded the truce across India and not just in Nagaland province, triggered fears New Delhi might carve slices off Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur states — all of which have sizeable Naga populations — to create a Greater Nagaland.

Emergency law shifted to avoid Colombo vote
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The government ended this week 18 years of emergency rule that gave sweeping powers to security forces, but quickly invoked similarly tough anti-terrorism laws to combat Tamil rebels and anti-government groups.
President Chandrika Kumaratunga allowed the state of emergency to lapse Thursday rather than face a vote in parliament yesterday to seek the mandatory monthly ratification of the laws by the legislature.
However, the invoking of regulations under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Public Security Ordinance still requires ratification by parliament, but unlike the emergency laws, does not need monthly approval.
Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said on national television that the parliament will be informed of the new measures. "We were told that the opposition will not vote for the emergency in its previous form," he said. "That is why we resorted to this alternate measure."

Weekly notes …
Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has proposed a summit meeting in Turkmenistan in October to resolve the Caspian Sea's legal status despite deep divisions among the five states. "I have invited the heads of state of Caspian states from Oct. 26 to 27 to discuss a more definitive determination of the status of the Caspian," he said on a visit to Kazakhstan. … Still the internationally recognized head of state of Afghanistan, President Burhanuddin Rabbani has fallen on hard times since his government was ousted from Kabul by the Taliban in 1996. Holed up in the remote mountainous province of Badakhshan in the northeast corner of his country, he seemed sunk in pessimism during an interview with Agence France-Presse. "We are hoping for peace, not to re-establish our authority," he replied, when asked if he believed opposition forces led by Ahmad Shah Masood could ever dislodge the Taliban from Kabul.

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