- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 8, 2003

SRI LANKA
Rebels blow up boat with anti-aircraft gun
COLOMBO Three Tamil Tiger rebels blew up their boat, killing themselves, after they were found trying to smuggle an anti-aircraft gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition into Sri Lanka yesterday, defense officials said.
Two European peace monitors who had boarded the boat to inspect it were unharmed. Rebels asked the monitors to jump overboard before the rebels killed themselves, a military spokesman said.
The monitors had earlier said the find was a "clear violation" of a cease-fire agreement the rebels signed with the government in February 2002.

TURKMENISTAN
Government to track foreigners' movements
ASHKHABAD The government will set up an organization to keep track of foreigners after an assassination attempt against President Saparmurat Niyazov, says a newspaper report.
The agency will be established by March 1 to "inventory foreigners arriving and departing" from this former Soviet republic, according to Neutralny Turkmenistan. Mr. Niyazov also ordered that a nationwide computer network be set up to collect information about each person crossing the borders, reports said.
Authorities stepped up border security after Mr. Niyazov's motorcade was raked by gunfire in November. At least 16 foreigners were reported by the prosecutor general to be among the 61 persons arrested after the attack, which Mr. Niyazov survived unhurt.
The prosecutor's office said former Foreign Minister Boris Shikhmuradov, accused by Mr. Niyazov of organizing the attack, illegally crossed the Uzbek-Turkmen border before the incident.

INDIA
U.S. eliminates nuclear-test sanctions
NEW DELHI The United States has agreed with India on a plan to boost high-technology trade, completing a reversal from sanctions imposed after India carried out nuclear tests in 1998, U.S. officials announced two days ago.
The accord will make it easier for U.S. firms to sell to India "dual- use" technology with both military and civilian applications, and comes as Washington is battling to prevent the proliferation of weapons technology elsewhere.
India has avoided buying from U.S. firms, fearing supplies could dry up if sanctions were re-imposed.

Weekly notes …
The Nepal Communist Party-United Marxist and Leninist (NCP-UML), the main opposition in the parliament dissolved by the king last year, unanimously re-elected its leader, General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, this week. The 1,000-plus delegates to the seventh NCP-UML convention also welcomed a cease-fire between the government and Maoist rebels. … More than 200 Bengali-speaking Muslims who India says are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh have been sent back, ending a weeklong standoff at the border. The semi-official Press Trust of India said the incident ended Thursday after New Delhi exerted pressure on Dhaka to take back the 213 persons stranded at the frontier.

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