- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 20, 2002

Tamil Tigers see peace talks in June
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka The first round of Norwegian-brokered peace talks between Tamil Tiger rebels and the Sri Lankan government could be held in mid-June in Thailand, according to a Tiger Web site.
But the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) want the terms of a cease-fire fully implemented before going to Thailand, the Tamilnet.com site said Thursday. LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran had a two-hour meeting Wednesday with Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen on arrangements.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Marxists vowed Thursday to step up street protests against the Norwegian-brokered peace bid, saying it puts the country on a collision course with India, which banned the LTTE after the group was accused in the 1991 assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Burma blames rebels for border bombing
RANGOON, Burma The military government this week blamed an ethnic minority guerrilla group for a bomb blast on Monday near a bridge on the border with Thailand that killed five civilians.
Lt. Col. San Pwint, a senior military intelligence officer, accused the Karen National Union on Thursday of plotting the attack in league with Muslim traders unhappy with a government crackdown.
The bomb, left in a bicycle rickshaw, exploded near a bridge between the bustling border towns of Myawaddy, Burma, and Mae Sot, Thailand, busy with cross-border traffic during Burma's New Year "Thingyan" water festival.

Muslim students skip Gujarat school exams
AHMEDABAD, India About 5,000 Muslim students boycotted school examinations this week in India's riot-hit western state of Gujarat, where sectarian riots have claimed more than 850 lives, principals said.
School leaders and relief workers said the students boycotted to protest the government's decision to set up their exam centers in Hindu-dominated neighborhoods where they felt vulnerable to mob attacks. School exams in Ahmedabad have been postponed twice since Hindu-Muslim killings began in February. Principals said fewer than 50 percent of Muslim students showed up at most testing sites.

Weekly notes
An Indian reporter was injured when an unidentified man threw a grenade in the compound of an Indian newspaper office in Jammu and Kashmir state on Thursday. Ehsan Fazili was injured when a metal splinter lodged in his back, but doctors at the hospital where he was taken said he was out of danger. One of India's most powerful armed separatist groups says it is willing to hold peace talks with the government but only under the supervision of the United Nations. "We cannot go for talks without U.N. representatives present," the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) said in a statement carried in its publication "Freedom." ULFA, with an estimated 3,000 fighters, has been fighting for an independent homeland in northeast India for over 20 years.

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