- The Washington Times - Friday, December 6, 2002

SRI LANKA
Government, rebels reach accord
OSLO Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers agreed yesterday to develop a government that would give the rebels regional autonomy, a breakthrough decision capping months of efforts to end 19 years of fighting.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have been fighting for independence since 1983, but gave up the demand just ahead of a third round of peace talks in Norway. Both sides have agreed now to pursue peace by allowing the Tamil-dominated regions in the north and east to govern themselves, according to a draft copy of the joint statement.
The Tamil Tigers had long demanded a separate homeland for the island's 3.2 million Tamil minority. They complain of discrimination by the country's 14 million Sinhalese.
The fighting has claimed nearly 65,000 lives and displaced an additional 1.6 million people.

IVORY COAST
Bodies pile up amid heavy fighting
ZELE Terrified people fleeing Ivory Coast's western town of Man told yesterday of bodies piled in the streets after heavy fighting between rebels and loyalist troops.
"There were hundreds of dead. Everywhere we went was piled with corpses," said philosophy teacher Julien Adeko Achi, adding that the bodies had fallen "like dead chickens ahead of a New Year feast."
Backed by mercenaries with tanks and helicopter gunships, President Laurent Gbagbo's army retook Man on Monday from new rebel factions whose emergence has added to the chaos in the world's biggest cocoa producer.

INDONESIA
3 killed in blast at McDonald's
JAKARTA Explosions ripped through a McDonald's restaurant and a car dealership yesterday in eastern Indonesia, killing three persons and wounding two, police said.
The explosions occurred an hour apart in the South Sulawesi capital of Makassar, 1,000 miles east of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, police said.
Bombings have become a regular feature in a running conflict between Muslims and Christians on Sulawesi island.
All the victims were at the McDonald's restaurant in a shopping mall. Four cars were damaged in the second explosion.

COLOMBIA
Mayor assassinated after meeting rebels
BOGOTA The mayor of the western Colombian town of Ambalema was assassinated, apparently after going to a meeting with the country's main rebel group, authorities said yesterday.
Jesus Antonio Nunez was the 13th mayor killed this year. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, has threatened to kill or kidnap mayors who refuse to resign.
More than 300 of Colombia's 1,098 mayors have left their cities and are running municipal businesses from distant provincial capitals or Bogota because of the threats.

PARAGUAY
President faces impeachment vote
ASUNCION Paraguay's Congress voted yesterday to start impeachment proceedings against President Luis Gonzalez Macchi, who is besieged by corruption scandals and a deepening economic slump in the landlocked South American nation.
A rebellious lower house charged Mr. Gonzalez Macchi on counts including misusing state funds and buying a stolen luxury car. The Senate will have the final say on whether to remove him from office and will debate the matter in about two weeks. Both bodies are dominated by the ruling Colorado Party.

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