|Sunday, April 30, 2000,
war or peace, Chandrika tells LTTE
missile defence plan under fire
gets her dowry back
|Indian among 5 killed in racial
WASHINGTON, April 29 An Indian was among five persons shot dead by a white man in a racially motivated rampage in several suburban Pittsburgh communities, the police said today. Another Indian was injured in the shooting spree.
unisex toilets, please!
graft conviction upheld
die in shooting rampage
envoy for talks with China
Choose war or peace, Chandrika tells LTTE
COLOMBO, April 29 (PTI) As the military continued to face setbacks at the hands of the LTTE in Jaffna, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has asked the Tamil rebels to choose between peace talks and relentless military option.
We invite the LTTE to join the peace process by renouncing violence and mayhem by laying down arms and ammunition.
If they are unwilling to lay down their arms, as a strong government committed to safeguard freedom and human life we are not willing to compromise with the safety of all citizens in the country, Mrs Chandrika said addressing the nation over the state television and radio yesterday for the first time after the fall of the strategic Elephant Pass and Iyakachchi Garrisons in the northern Jaffna peninsula.
Mrs Chandrika, who returned two days ago after a two-week long foreign tour to undergo treatment for her injured right eye, said the LTTE had attacked the Jaffna peninsula despite her governments efforts for the past 13 months to have peace talks with the rebel group.
Under the circumstances I wish to state that the government has unequivocally decided to protractedly and relentlessly pursue its military operations, she said.
She clarified that the war against the LTTE should not be construed as war against the Tamils. This war is against the threat to the security of the entire nation posed by he LTTE terrorism, the President said.
Admitting that the armed forces suffered a setback at the Elephant Pass, Mrs Chandrika said we also concede that there were shortcomings there. ... There may have been instances of weaknesses on the part of certain members of the armed forces and their wanting to take narrow personal advantage.
She also lashed out at the opposition United National Party (UNP) for launching a full-scale propaganda offensive over the military setbacks to politically embarrass her.
Stating that her government had inherited a weak military, she said this was because the UNP government had fortified the LTTE by supplying weapons and cement.
During the UNP regime there were instances where the LTTE was given the option to kill 600 policemen, she said.
She, however, did not respond to UNPs demand to constitute a war council and seek foreign military assistance to prevent Jaffna from falling into the hands of the LTTE.
exchanges between the government and the Opposition, Mrs
Chandrika has invited UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe and
other top leaders of the party for a meeting on May 2 to
discuss the current military situation in Jaffna,
official media said here yesterday.
US missile defence plan under fire
WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters) President Bill Clintons plans for an umbrella against missiles fired by rogue states came under fresh attack yesterday when documents were leaked detailing his negotiating position in arms talks with Russia.
An authoritative arms control journal published documents it said it got from a Russian source which showed U.S. negotiators want to base 100 missiles at each of two sites to shoot down incoming missiles from rogue states.
The details, published by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, prompted opponents to argue that such a programme would be self-defeating, encouraging enemies to further develop, rather than limit nuclear weapons.
The leak followed a week in which Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov held intensive talks in Washington that failed to shake his opposition to changes to a 1972 treaty necessary to allow the missile defence system to go ahead.
At the same time, President Clintons plan was blasted by a leading Republican for offering inadequate protection. Russia and China reiterated fears it would neutralise their arsenals and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said it could spark an arms race.
To go ahead with the system, Washington must get Russia to agree to change the treatys provision allowing the defence of one major city, not the whole nation.
That pact, signed by the USA and the Soviet Union, was based on the idea that building national defence systems only encourages people to amass more missiles. It is a cornerstone of international arms agreements.
Critics like The
Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists, founded by
participants in the research project which led to atomic
bombs devastating Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, see the
national missile defence (NMD) as an invitation to
enemies to get more of the very weapons it is designed to
Bride gets her dowry back
LONDON, April 29 (PTI) After a three-year legal battle, an Indian bride whose marriage lasted only 70 days has won a victory after her in-laws were ordered to return her dowry.
Twenty-three-old Bobita Verma, a mortgage consultant here, sued the grooms parents for the return of wedding gifts, including gold jewellery, tapestries and silk clothes.
Bradford County court ruled in her favour after a three-year legal battle in what is stated to be the first public judgement in England on an Asian marital dispute, it was revealed on Thursday.
According to the ruling, the womans in-laws, Balkrishan and Radha Verma, must return the dowry or the monetary equivalent. A hearing has been set to value the gifts, worth up to $ 40,000.
Bobita and Rakesh Verma, 29, a commercial manager for Marks and Spencer, married in August 1996 in Bradford, West Yorks. The dowry given to the bride included a traditional Indian tapestry, a double bed and other gifts by her parents, Faqir Verma, a retired goldsmith, and his wife Shanti.
The dowry items were taken to her in-laws house in Leicester before she went on a two-week honeymoon to Barbados.
Bobita told the Daily Telegraph the marriage was consummated but we got off to a bad start. He just wanted to stay in the holiday apartment and wouldt give me any money.
I am vegetarian and couldt stand the food. So I had to live on pringles and Coco-Cola.
We had a row and he made up a story about his father being ill, so we came back early after a week.
He told me on the plane it was an excuse and he was bored and missing his mom. I knew the marriage was over then. We went back to live with his mom and dad but it did not work out. My mother-in-law kept saying he was good for me and that my parents did not spend enough on the wedding ceremonies.
I tried to make the marriage work but they did not give me a chance to adapt to their way of life.
She claimed her in-laws said if she agreed to annul the marriage on the grounds of non-consummation she would get her dowry. But Rakesh filed for divorce, which was granted last year, on the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Bobita said Rakesh and his parents refused to let her collect the property when she arrived at their home with two police officers.
Ordering its return, Judge James Barry said it may be that each of these young people left some resentment that their parents played so great a part in arranging their marriage.
Indian among 5 killed in racial carnage
WASHINGTON, April 29 (PTI)An Indian was among five persons shot dead by a white man in a racially motivated rampage in several suburban Pittsburgh communities, the police said today. Another Indian was injured in the shooting spree.
The suspect, Richard Baumhammers, a lawyer from Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania, was arrested soon after the killing spree which occurred in a 32-km range through suburbs surrounding Pittsburgh yesterday.
Anil Thakur, 31, a native of Bihar with no known relatives in the USA, was killed when the gunman fired at the grocery shop he was working in.
No unisex toilets, please!
LONDON, April 29 (DPA) Women like the latest convenience. Men, it seems, hate the idea. The split between the sexes became apparent with a newspaper report on the latest British unisex facility: the office lavatory.
The report in The Telegraph on Thursday said in a new office building close to the Bank of England, 200 workers were sharing the loos. According to Nick Hayward, whose firm Nexus created the communal operation, users found them pretty trendy after the initial surprise.
However, the paper published what it called a random survey of potential users who were definitely opposed.
Olivia Richards, 27, of Paddington, West London, was alarmed that they might be the dreaded womens urinals that Sweden was trying to export. She said: Im entirely against that concept. She was relieved to be told there were no urinals.
A sign shows a male and female figure with an arm interlocked. Inside, is a row of cubicles, each with its own lavatory and wash basin. Afterwards, both sexes share a large mirror.
Richards told the London paper: I cant see any objections, as long as they are clean and private and not smelly. I think theyre all right.
Lindsey Reynolds, 27, of Fulham, agreed. I think its quite acceptable. You share a family bathroom at home, why not one at work? however, I imagine some established firms might offer resistance. It might be a great way to make more friends, especially of the opposite sex. In addition, it will probably speed everything up, what with the traditional queues in a womens loo. Men are usually much quicker.
Men, the papers survey found, loathed the unisex concept. Jamie Land, 28, a London relocation consultant, said he already has to share a lavatory at his office.
Im the only male employee on the staff and I have to use their toilet. I cant say I like it, he told the paper. If I dont put the seat down Im in big trouble.
He added, There are certain activities that should be kept secret from women. Its a personal part of the day. Id be very conscious of all the noises. In a big office, there is also a lot of boys talk, of football scores and tasty girls. No, count me out.
The smallest room debate has intrigued Britons since the first permanent public lavatory for women in central London opened in the Strand, opposite the Royal Courts of Justice, in 1893, the paper said.
Women were provided for
at the great exhibition in 1851. But, apart from medieval
London, where primitive latrines were built for all to
use over the Thames, it was thought immodest for women to
be abruptly excusing themselves from company outside the
Anwars graft conviction upheld
KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 (AP) The Court of Appeals today upheld Anwar Ibrahims corruption conviction and six-year sentence, prompting the ousted Deputy Prime Minister to accuse the court of cowardice and political persecution.
We have reached a unanimous decision, announced the president of the Court of Appeals, Lamin Yunus, who was flanked by two other appellate court judges.
In a move that surprised
the lawyers, diplomats and journalists in the packed
courtroom, Justice Lamin refused to read aloud excerpts
of the appellate courts 59-page ruling. He instead
asked Anwars attorneys to read the ruling for
Five die in shooting rampage
PITTSBURGH, April 29 (AFP) Five people were shot dead yesterday when an immigration lawyer went on a racial shooting rampage, the police said.
The killing began when Richard Scott Bauhammers (34), a resident of the upper-middle class Pittsburgh suburb of Mt. Lebanon, allegedly killed his next-door neighbour and then started a fire in her house, the police said.
Bauhammers then left in his jeep on a shooting spree that appeared to target racial and religious minorities.
Taiwan envoy for talks with China
TAIPEI, April 29 (AFP) Taiwans top mainland affairs envoy today appealed to Beijing for a resumption of peace talks to relieve tension in their sovereignty dispute.
Mr Koo Chen-Fu, Chairman of Taiwans Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), also urged the two sides to return talks with the definition of one China left open to interpretation, an agreement he said was the basis for his historic Singapore summit in 1993.
SEF and ARATS were organised in 1992 and authorised by their respective governments to handle civil exchanges between the two sides in the absence of official contacts.
Mr Koo asked Beijing to set aside the decades-old disputes over the one China principle, recalling the background to the 1993 summit.
The reason we were able to hold the dialogue was because the two sides had arrived at the agreement of one China, whose definition was open to interpretation, he said.
We agreed we did not have to discuss the content of one China, Mr Koo said.
China had halted
dialogue in mid-1995 to vent its anger over the landmark
US visit by Taiwanese President Lee Teng-Hui, a trip
Beijing claimed was intended to help split the island
from the motherland.
approves Topol-M missile
grounds 40 choppers
officers, 3 rebels killed in Nepal
3 beheaded in
780 kg of
closes down on May 1
million of dollars on books
Costly beer boon
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