- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 12, 2002

Sri Lanka deathsmar truce effort

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka Scandinavians monitoring a truce in Sri Lanka called for restraint after seven persons were killed when Tamil protesters attempted to storm a police commando base in the island's eastern Tamil region.
Government spokesman G. L. Peiris said a high-level Defense Ministry team was in the area to ensure the situation did not deteriorate further. "It is an unfortunate incident," said Mr. Peiris, who is also the government's chief negotiator with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Two persons were killed immediately in Wednesday's shooting and the death toll rose to seven by next morning, officials said. It was the worst bloodshed since Feb. 23, when the government entered into a truce with the LTTE, which has largely held. The clashes came on the same day the Tigers freed six government soldiers they seized last month and had been holding until the authorities agreed to free two of their men.

Bangladesh actsto protect Hindus
DHAKA, Bangladesh The authorities detained more than 1,400 people in a security crackdown in advance of yesterday's minority Hindu community's holiest festival after temples and idols were attacked.
At least 1,421 persons were rounded up in a sweep across the capital "to ensure a trouble-free festival" yesterday, a police official said, without giving details. Bangladesh declared a "state of alert" for the Durga Puja festival after a temple was torched and idols were destroyed in three attacks around the predominantly Muslim country.

Kyrgyz, Chinesehold border exercises
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan Chinese troops joined Kyrgyz forces Thursday for two days of exercises near the common border aimed at countering incursions by terrorist groups, Defense Minister Esen Topoyev said.
The joint anti-terrorism exercises, the first of their kind, were seen as China's bid to counterbalance the growing U.S. military presence in strategic and resource-rich Central Asia. Mr. Topoyev said border maneuvers near the Irkeshtam crossing involved about 300 troops from China's Xinjiang military district and Kyrgyzstan's Defense Ministry and border forces, he said.

Weekly notes
U.S. Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill told reporters in New Delhi two days ago that the "successful" election in Indian Kashmir, in which the ruling party was defeated, should lead to fresh dialogue between archrivals India and Pakistan. The British ambassador, Sir Robin Young, said: "The people of Kashmir have shown they want to pursue the path of peace." Mongolian Prime Minister Nambaryn Enkhbayar met with Singaporean Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in the island city-state Thursday at the start of a two-day visit. A statement from Mr. Goh's office said "both leaders discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation and increase trade between the two countries."


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