Friday, November 9, 2001

Haz offers amnesty to Aceh separatists
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia Vice President Hamzah Haz held out an olive branch yesterday to separatist rebels in Aceh, promising an amnesty if they halted a campaign of violence.
Mr. Haz, on his second day of a visit to Aceh, told a meeting with some 100 civic and religious leaders, students and activists at the residence of the governor that all sides should bury the hatchet.
“To our friends who are still in the mountains, let us enter a peace pact. Let us forget the past and jointly build a new Aceh,” he told the meeting. “The government is prepared to give an amnesty,” he added, without elaborating.

Two Koreas convene new round of talks
SEOUL A South Korean delegation arrived in North Korea yesterday for a new round of reconciliation talks aimed at rescheduling suspended exchanges between the two countries.
Traveling by cruise ship, the 29-member delegation headed by Unification Minister Hong Soon-young arrived at Diamond Mountain on the North’s east coast.
Four days of Cabinet-level talks were to begin today. The agenda included rescheduling exchanges North Korea suspended last month after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Cambodian militia said ‘eliminated’
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia A militia group that mounted a failed coup attempt last year has been largely dismantled after a two-month crackdown, the national police chief announced yesterday.
“We can brief you that the [Cambodian Freedom Fighters, led by U.S.-based Chhun Yasith] has been eliminated,” Gen. Hok Lundy told reporters.
Cambodian police and military forces began a crackdown in early September to wipe out the CFF, which had vowed to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Chinese police find skins of 100 elephants
BEIJING Police in southern China’s Guangdong province have discovered 10 tons of elephant skins belonging to 100 elephants.
The skins were discovered at the Guangdong Huihuang Medicinal Co. in Qingfeng village after more than a week of police surveillance, the Southern Daily newspaper reported yesterday.

Weekly notes
South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung resigned yesterday as head of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party, seeking to stave off a deepening political crisis over the MDP’s humiliating loss in last month’s parliamentary by-elections. He said the debacle at the polls had fueled factional feuds within the party, causing public concern. Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian has given up attempts to travel to Europe to accept a human rights award from Liberal International next week, and will send his wife instead. “The president really wanted to go to Denmark or France for this prize, but that wasn’t possible because of the pressures placed by the People’s Republic of China,” lawmaker Parris Chang told Denmark’s Ritzau news agency in Taipei.

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