|W O R L D||
Monday, September 20, 1999
|Accord on MNF deployment
DILI, (East Timor), Sept 19 A powerful multi-national peacekeeping force is set to arrive in devastated East Timor tomorrow after their commander held successful talks on deployment with the Indonesian military.
140 ultras die as jets pound Chechnya
MOSCOW, Sept 19 Over 140 Islamic militants have been killed as Russian jets and artillery continued to pound rebel bases inside Chechnya for the third day today.
supporters clash with riot police
beefed up in Lanka
Accord on MNF deployment
DILI, (East Timor), Sept 19 (Reuters) A powerful multi-national peacekeeping force (MNF) is set to arrive in devastated East Timor tomorrow after their commander held successful talks on deployment with the Indonesian military (TNI).
Indonesias military commander in East Timor said late today he expected to hand over control of the territory within a few days, but not before Saturday.
Major-Gen Kiki Syahnakri also said the first members of the U.N. force were due on Monday morning. More than 2,000 troops, most of them Australian, are expected to arrive tomorrow by air and sea.
The TNI has been given the task to rehabilitate and the takeover will take place a few days later, said General Syahnakri, Indonesias martial law commander for the territory.
The chief of the multinational peace force, Major-Gen Peter Cosgrove, leading a 13-member advance mission, flew to the capital, Dili, and held two hours of talks with General Syahnakri in the citys main military compound. He commended Indonesias military for first-class help.
I want to reassure that the international force in East Timor will behave with sensitivity and discretion and observe the dignity of all people in East Timor, he said.
Australia, expected to eventually have more than 4,000 troops in the territory, is leading the U.N. mission, comprising 8,000 troops from 20 countries.
General Cosgrove warned the militia today that their U.N. mandate meant soldiers would respond robustly to any attack.
Pro-Jakarta militias have issued a number of threats against the foreign troops with one anti-independence group vowing it would eat the hearts of anyone included in a U.N. force.
We are anticipating some disquiet at our arrival, General Cosgrove said before leaving for Dili today. That is why we are attempting to gain some high-level transparency with the TNI.
Struggling to hold back tears, Prime Minister John Howard bade troops farewell at an army base in Queensland state.
I think we all hope that the operation can be accomplished quickly and smoothly, but it could be longer and more protracted, he added. It could take some time.
Tomorrows initial deployment of Interfet, the U.N.-mandated International Force for East Timor, is also expected to include representatives of other countries that have pledged troops, including Thailand, whose chief is Deputy Commander of the force.
Despite the firepower and number of troops, the risk of U.N. casualties still hung heavily over the mission.
Meanwhile, East Timor independence leader Xanana Gusmao arrived on today in Darwin and planned to form a virtual government in exile for his razed homeland soon, independence officials said.
The head of Gusmaos National Council for Timorese Resistance (CNRT) in Australia, Joao Carrascalao, said Gusmao would form a virtual government in exile until security was restored.
Accompanying the military officers was Ian Martin, head of the UN Mission that organised East Timors August 30 referendum which voted overwhelmingly for independence.
Martin said the United Nations Assistance Mission in East Timor, which will also oversee the transition to independence, should be quickly re-established on the ground.
140 ultras die as jets pound Chechnya
MOSCOW, Sept 19 (PTI) Over 140 Islamic militants have been killed as Russian jets and artillery continued to pound rebel bases inside Chechnya for the third day today, Radio Ekho Moskvy quoting Defence Ministry sources, reported.
By noon the Russian assault jets made 50 sorties to pound rebel camps. The insurgents were killed in the strikes last night.
However, the authorities in Grozny have claimed that 200 civilians were killed in Russian raids on villages and towns in this self-declared independent Caucasian region of the Russian federation.
Meanwhile, Moscow has amassed 30,000 fresh troops on the perimeter of Chechnya as over 2,000 rebels were making fortifications along the border with Stavropol region, NTV Channel said.
In spite of earlier denials, official news agency Itar-Tass confirmed today that the Russian troops had moved to Chechnyas border with Ingushetia to the west and had taken positions on the dominant heights in Tersk and Sunzha ridges on the foothills of the Caucasus mountains, anticipating a militant attack on this province till 1991 part of the Chechen-Ingush Soviet Republic.
For the first time in the post-world war history, Russia has sent units, including tanks equipped with powerful flame-throwers to Dagestan to combat militants in the hilly terrain with numerous natural shelters like caves and ravines.
In Dagestan, which has been mainly cleared of the guerrillas, the army is busy in mopping up operations to destroy small scattered groups of militants.
Two more accused in UK cold
LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) Britains cold war espionage scandal widened as newspapers accused two more academics of having spied for East Germany and the Opposition demanded an explanation from the government.
The BBC said it would broadcast a television programme later today accusing Mr Robin Pearson, a lecturer at Hull University, of having been a spy for the East German Stasi secret police from 1977 until the fall of the Berlin Wall 12 years later.
Two more academics Mr Vic Allen, a retired sociology professor, and Mr Gwyneth Edwards, a former German studies lecturer were named by three British Sunday newspapers.
Mr Edwards was reported to have denied passing information on other British academics and dissident exile writers to Communist East Germanys Stasi secret police.
Mr Allen was quoted as having told the BBC that he did not regret passing information on Britains campaign for nuclear disarmament, of which he was a member, to East German intelligence officers.
It was perfectly legitimate that I should do that as the faction I belonged to was the pro-Soviet, the pro-GDR (East German) faction, Mr Allen said. I have no shame. I feel no regrets about that at all.
Another newspaper, the tabloid Sunday Mirror, went so far as to say that the Soviet KGB spy service had during the cold war infiltrated two agents into Buckingham Palace, where they planted listening devices to eavesdrop on Queen Elizabeth.
The newspaper said Soviet agents also tried to befriend the Queens cousin, Prince Michael of Kent.
The allegations come days after an 87-year-old British great-grandmother and a former policeman were named as former Soviet spies, based on KGB files provided by a Soviet defector.
Meanwhile, British Home Secretary Jack Straw rejected calls for an investigation of the countrys counter-espionage efforts despite yet further revelations today about Britons who spied for the Soviet Union and East Germany, adds DPA.
It is wholly unrealistic to believe the fact that investigations have been carried out or the detail of them should routinely be made public, Mr Straw said.
His remarks came in response to Anne Widdecombe, home affairs spokeswoman for the opposition Conservatives, who had demanded that Straw should provide a comprehensive report to parliament about what London knew of the extent of the espionage activity in Britain.
Earlier Ms Widdecombe, said Home Secretary (Interior Minister) Jack Straw should explain how many accused spies had emerged as former Soviet bloc files have become available, how serious the allegations were and whether Britains security service had kept ministers informed.
The BBC said the security service, popularly known as MI5, had known about Mr Pearson since 1994.
Mr Pearson had not denied the allegations when confronted. theres a story, but I cant tell it, Im afraid, without talking to other people, the lecturer told the BBC.
The BBC said Mr Pearson, who teaches economics at Hull University in North-East England, had been recruited by the Stasi in 1977 while a university student at Karl Marx University in Leipzig, and had been given the codename of Armin.
Quoting Stasi files, it said he had later betrayed friends and colleagues, supplying East Germany with information about those who went on to work for NATO or the Ministry of Defence.
Anwar supporters clash with riot police
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 (DPA) The Malaysian riot police fired tear gas shells and jets of water today to disperse several thousand supporters of former Deputy Premier Anwar Ibrahim at the national mosque in Kuala Lumpur, on the eve of the first anniversary of his arrest.
Eyewitnesses said between 2,000 and 5,000 supporters, chanting reformasi (reforms) and free Anwar Ibrahim, held a noisy protest at the mosques compound, where they were addressed by several speakers including Anwars eldest daughter, Nurul Izzah.
They then tried to march to the nearby national palace to hand over a petition to King Salahuddin Abdul Aziz, but were pushed back by scores of riot policemen armed with batons and shields.
Scuffles broke out after the protestors refused to disperse and pelted riot police with flower pots, stones and wooden planks. Several protestors were also seen being detained by the police.
It was the first time since Anwars sentencing to a six-year jail term last April on corruption charges that riot policemen used tear gas and water cannon to break up the demonstrators.
Some Anwar supporters, including Nurul Izzah, later went to the palace gates and handed to a palace aide an appeal to the King, asking him to order the government to hold an independent probe into Anwars claim that he was poisoned with arsenic by the police or prison authorities.
Yesterday, his supporters made similar appeals to Malaysias nine royal Sultans, who, together with the King, are ceremonial rulers with limited powers over religion and Malay rights.
Government and ruling
party officials, however, dismiss the claim and protests,
which erupted again this month after a five-month lull,
as a publicity stunt to coincide with the anniversary of
Anwars sacking last September and his arrest on
Security beefed up in Lanka
COLOMBO, Sept 19 (PTI) Security was further beefed up in Sri Lankas troubled northeast today as an uneasy calm prevailed in the country after yesterdays massacre of 54 Sinhalese by armed LTTE cadres in the East.
|Major wanted to
LONDON: Former British Prime Minister John Major wanted his predecessor Margaret Thatcher destroyed, according to the secret diaries of his closest political adviser. Judith Chaplin, who was Majors Political Secretary from 1990 to 1992, records two such outbursts in her journal, according to Sunday Telegraph. The newspaper said extracts from the diaries, which it is serialising, revealed for the first time the level of bitterness between Mr Major and Ms Thatcher, whom he succeeded in 1990. Reuters
Indian art collection
5 die in plane
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