- The Washington Times - Friday, November 2, 2001

Militant Muslims seek Sharia law in Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia Up to 500 members of militant Islamic groups protested outside parliament yesterday, demanding that the constitution be revised to impose Sharia law on Muslims.
The protesters rallied in front of the closed gates of the parliament where the People's Consultative Assembly, the nation's highest legislative body, was holding its annual session.
They demanded that the 1945 constitution be amended to require Muslims to follow Sharia law. Protesters also urged the government to cut diplomatic relations with Australia, Britain and the United States over the U.S.-led attacks on Afghanistan.

Koizumi faces lawsuits over war-shrine visit
TOKYO Hundreds of people, including relatives of war dead, filed lawsuits yesterday against Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, contending his August visit to Yasukuni Shrine was unconstitutional, officials said.
A lawsuit filed in Osaka asked the court to ban Mr. Koizumi from the Shinto shrine in Tokyo dedicated to the spirits of all Japan's war dead since 1868, and sought damages for "psychological suffering" of the plaintiffs.
Similar lawsuits were filed elsewhere in Japan.
Jiji Press said the Osaka lawsuit was filed by 639 persons, including Korean residents of Japan and relatives of Imperial Japanese soldiers killed in World War II who live in South Korea.

E-mail link opened to North Korea
SEOUL A Web site is offering the first commercial e-mail link to communist North Korea, which has virtually shut out the world of the Internet.
Silibank.com a company based in Shenyang in northeast China, and supported by the North Korean government said it installed server computers in the city and in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

Weekly notes
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed warned the United States yesterday that resistance to the bombing of Afghanistan was growing and said it would not stamp out terrorism. "We do not believe that bombing Afghanistan is going to help," he told BBC Radio in an interview. … The Philippine army said yesterday it had received a letter purportedly sent by Abu Sayyaf Muslim rebels in which kidnapped American couple Martin and Gracia Burnham pleaded for food and other items. Lt. Gen. Roy Cimatu confirmed the letter was delivered to a marine brigade on the southern island of Basilan where the Burnhams and nine Filipinos were being held. Former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said yesterday he does not expect Taiwan's relations with Washington to suffer as the United States strengthens ties with Beijing after Chinese President Jiang Zemin met President Bush at a summit in Shanghai last month and offered support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism. "We hope we will have a good relationship with China, but that would not come at the expense of Taiwan," Mr. Cohen told reporters at the end of a three-day visit.


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