- The Washington Times - Friday, June 5, 2009

SRI LANKA

Navy seizes relief supply ship

COLOMBO | Sri Lanka’s navy Thursday seized a foreign-owned ship loaded with medical, food and other supplies for war-hit civilians, saying the vessel had entered its territorial waters illegally.

The supplies, arranged by supporters of the Tamil rebel cause, were loaded onto a ship in the English port of Ipswich in April - just weeks before the government declared victory in the ethnic conflict, a navy spokesman said.

The ship, the Captain Ali, was carrying hundreds of tons of food, medicine and other supplies for Tamil civilians caught up in the decades-long conflict, he said.

Government troops said they had crushed the Tigers after killing the rebel leadership on May 18. Nearly 300,000 Tamil civilians crossed over to government-held areas during the final stages of fighting.

INDONESIA

Elephants poisoned near palm oil farm

PEKANBARU | Four rare Sumatran elephants were found dead in northwestern Indonesia near an oil palm plantation and are thought to have been poisoned by villagers, a conservationist said Thursday.

The carcasses of the protected giant animals were in a forest 560 miles from the capital, Jakarta, said Eddy Santoso, head of the local Conservation and Natural Resources Agency. The forest land has been rented by the government to farmers for commercial use.

Just 3,000 Sumatran elephants remain, some of them in the forest in Riau province.

Mr. Santoso said he suspects the elephants were poisoned by villagers running a plantation for oil palms in an adjoining forest.

CAMBODIA

Documents missing in war crimes case

PHNOM PENH | A Khmer Rouge leader’s defense lawyer at Cambodia’s U.N.-backed war crimes trial said Thursday that confidential documents on an official’s Leninist beliefs appeared to have been stolen from his office.

Michiel Pestman, the Dutch defense lawyer for the former regime’s ideologue Nuon Chea, said he became aware of the “security incident” Wednesday when he found four confidential papers from his office floating in a pond at the court.

The troubled tribunal, which is currently trying former Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch, also faces accusations of political interference by the government and claims that Cambodian staff were forced to pay kickbacks for their jobs.

THAILAND

Actor Carradine found dead

BANGKOK | Actor David Carradine, star of the 1970s TV series “Kung Fu” who also had a wide-ranging career in the movies, has been found dead in the Thai capital, Bangkok. A news report said he was found hanged in his hotel room and was thought to have committed suicide.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy, Michael Turner, confirmed the death of the 72-year-old actor. He said the embassy was informed by Thai authorities that Mr. Carradine died either late Wednesday or early Thursday.

The Web site of the Thai newspaper Nation cited police sources as saying Mr. Carradine was found Thursday hanged in his luxury hotel room. It said Mr. Carradine was in Bangkok to shoot a movie and had been staying at the hotel since Tuesday.

Mr. Carradine was a member of a venerable Hollywood acting family that included his father, character actor John Carradine, and brother Keith.

In all, he appeared in more than 100 films. He was best known for his role as Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin priest traveling the 1800s American frontier West in the TV series “Kung Fu,” which aired in 1972 to ‘75. He returned to the top in recent years as the title character in Quentin Tarantino’s two-part saga “Kill Bill.”

AUSTRALIA

China joins India to protest attacks

CANBERRA | China joined India on Thursday in demanding Australia provide better protection for foreign students after a series of violent assaults on Indian students that victims have called racist.

“There are over 130,000 Chinese students in Australia. They have on the whole had good study and living environment in Australia, but attacks on Chinese students also occurred in recent years,” the Chinese Embassy said.

Australia’s government said earlier this week that racism was not behind violent attacks that Indian media have called “curry bashings,” including the latest slashing with a box-cutter knife of a man in Melbourne by a group of five youths.

The attack redoubled fears that beatings and robberies of Indian students could damage Australia’s third-biggest export earner, the $12.38 billion market for overseas students.

An Australian Web site run by white supremacists Thursday urged racial holy war against Indian students, but police said they did not think the site was behind recent attacks.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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