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LTTE announces 10-hour ceasefire
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) announced late tonight that they would observe unilateral, temporary ceasefire between 10.00 a.m. and 10.00 p.m. tomorrow in the Thenmarachchi division of the Jaffna Peninsula.

'Be Jaffna CM, stop war'
The Sri Lankan President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, today offered the LTTE chief, Mr. Velupillai Prabhakaran, chief ministership of the Jaffna province if he gave up his policy of terrorism and joined the democratic process in the country's political life.

6 killed in Bihar poll violence
Six people were killed in violence during the bypolls to three Assembly seats in Bihar today. An estimated 62 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise in Raghopur where the Chief Minister, Mrs. Rabri Devi, is contesting the seat vacated by her husband and RJD chief, Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav.

Shastri explains his silence
Former India captain, Ravi Shastri, today answered Kapil Dev's query on why he had kept silent for six years on Manoj Prabhakar's charge of match-fixing against the latter, saying, ``If someone comes to you with a scandalous piece of information, you are not going to be foolish to tom-tom this to the world.''

Govt. to allow disinvestment up to 60 p.c. of AI equity
In a significant development, the Government today decided to allow disinvestment up to 60 per cent equity of Air India. This would include sale of 40 per cent shareholding to a strategic partner which could comprise a foreign entity or even a foreign airline up to 26 per cent.

Speight deaf to appeals
A new and somewhat unpredictable tension gripped the Fijian capital, Suva, today, even as the crisis arising out the ousting of the democratically-elected Prime Minister, Mr. Mahendra Pal Chaudhury, remained unresolved.

Berth for Nitish Kumar?
The Union Council of Ministers will be expanded tomorrow and new faces are slated to get inducted in a swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan at 11 in the morning. The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, was in consultation with senior aides and colleagues, and the final shape of the ``expansion'' is still subject to considerable pressures and counter-pressures. However, neither the size nor the complexion of the Council of Ministers is likely to change dramatically.

Wahid backs India
Indonesia will support India's credentials for joining the exclusive forum of `ASEAN Plus Three' which comprises all the members of the Association of South East Asian Nations and the East Asian powers such as Japan, China and South Korea.

'Terrorism, core issue in U.S.-Pak. dialogue'
The U.S. Under Secretary of State, Mr. Thomas Pickering, has reportedly stressed the Pakistan-Afghan linkage in talks with his Pakistani interlocutors today, clearly indicating that Osama bin Laden and terrorism remain the ``core'' issue in the U.S.-Pakistan dialogue.

Musharraf's Kashmir policy comes full circle
The Chief Executive, Gen. Pervez Musharraf's India policy has come full circle. Soon after the October 12, 1999 coup, he was stuck on a ``Kashmir or nothing'' approach and had belittled the Lahore process in an interview to the BBC on November 6, 1999 by terming it a ``phalana, dhimkana'' process.

'U.S. not to take any action in Sri Lanka'
The United States has told India that it did not wish to ``take action'' in Sri Lanka, the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Lalit Mansingh, said today to reports that U.S. warships had been moved from the Persian Gulf towards the southern Arabian sea.


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