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 Sri Lankan Minister among 22 killed in blast
Sri Lanka's Industries Development Minister, Mr. C. V. Gooneratne, was killed by a suicide bomber of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam 15 km south of the capital today. At least 21 others, including the Deputy Mayor of the area, Mr. Anura Silva, and Mr. Gooneratne's police bodyguard, died in the attack shortly before 2 p.m.

PM rejects Karunanidhi's proposal
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, has virtually rejected the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi's views on a Czech-like division of Sri Lanka. On his return to the capital here from a week-long holiday, Mr. Vajpayee termed Mr. Karunanidhi's proposal as ``personal view, or at the most of his party'' but not the view of ``the NDA or the Government''.

We can wait for peace with Pak., says PM
The Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, today said he was confident that India's efforts for peace with Pakistan would be successful. ``That we want friendship need not be reiterated. We can wait for it,'' he said inaugurating the Sindhu darshan festival here.

Telecom panel approves Paswan bonanza
The Telecom Commission has approved the free phone bonanza for all telecom employees announced by the Union Communications Minister, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, even as the Union Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, has opposed this step on grounds that everyone, with no exception, be asked to pay user charges.

Pak. writer seeks asylum
Mr. Aftab Hussain, a Pakistani writer, who was harassed by the military regime for publishing the poems written by the Prime Minister, Mr A.B. Vajpayee, has applied for political asylum in India.

Signing CTBT 'a matter of time'
The Defence Minister, Mr. George Fernandes, said today that it was only a matter of time before India signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), a key element in nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

Speight 'defies' Commonwealth
Even as the sound of gunfire reverberated outside the parliament complex in Suva several hours after the Commonwealth decided to place Fiji under suspension, the self- styled ``civil coup'' leader, Mr. George Speight, today asked the organisation not to interfere in the country's internal affairs.

'Pak. supplying arms to Sri Lanka by ship'
Pakistan's obsession with India leaves it little time for Sri Lanka. Barring the odd statement that it is committed to Sri Lanka's territorial integrity and sovereignty (a position similar to the one taken by the Government of India), there is little public analysis here of developments on the island.

Left flays Karunanidhi's argument
The Left parties said today the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi's statement ``defending'' his controversial remarks on Sri Lanka had made things worse, and reiterated their demand that the Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, rein in his allies.

Another blow to peace process
The Tamil Tiger suicide attack that killed the Industries Minister, Clement V. Gooneratne, today is yet another blow to prospects of peace in Sri Lanka.


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