Dalai Lama arrives
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama arrived yesterday for a week-long visit at the invitation of a Buddhist group. The Dalai Lama flew in on a commercial flight from India. A small crowd greeted him, with many bowing their heads to show respect as he walked by. During his stay in the country, which he last visited a year ago, he will go to the ancient Shinto shrine of Ise in Ise and give a speech at a forum on religion in Yokohama. He will also visit local schools in Tokyo. China has opposed visits to Japan by the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing accuses of being a dangerous figure agitating for Tibetan independence.
■ SRI LANKA
Army raids Tamil bunkers
Soldiers overran six Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers and attacked them in at least three other places in the north, in violence that killed 15 guerrillas and one soldier, the military said yesterday. Government troops pushed into rebel-held territory in northern Vavuniya district on Wednesday and destroyed the bunkers, killing eight rebels, a defense official said. Twenty-four rebels were wounded in the battle, the official said on condition of anonymity, citing government policy. Elsewhere in Vavuniya soldiers fired mortars at rebel locations on Wednesday, killing five guerrillas.
Police arrested 15 activists who broke into a power station yesterday before painting an anti-coal energy slogan and chaining themselves to a conveyor belt. The demonstration by Greenpeace activists at the coal-fired Munmorah Power Station, 125km north of Sydney, coincided with the release of data showing that the country's electricity production is the dirtiest in the world per capita. The demonstrators forced their way into the station before dawn and chained themselves to machinery, New South Wales state police said in a statement. TV footage showed the activists also painted the words "coal kills" on a building.
Man told to learn German
A 70-year-old German seeking Swiss citizenship was told to go back to school to learn his own native tongue despite being proficient in German, a Swiss newspaper said. The Swiss town of Dielsdorf ordered Ulrich Kring, who has lived in Switzerland his entire life but is only now applying for citizenship, to take a German language course costing 250 Swiss francs (US$223), the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper said. The class is obligatory for all foreigners seeking a Swiss passport. Kring had lodged an appeal with a higher local authority, but had not received a reply.
Kufuor unhurt in accident
President John Kufuor escaped unhurt when a car crashed into his vehicle on Wednesday, rolling it over several times, witnesses and officials said. "The car finally rested on the sidewalk and the people around helped his security men to pull him out. The president came out holding his head," James Kobinah, an electrician working nearby said. Presidential Press secretary Andy Awuni said Kufuor appeared to be unhurt but was undergoing medical tests.
Man targeted PM's wife
A 42-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of planning to kill the wife of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Aftonbladet newspaper said yesterday. Filippa Reinfeldt, 40, is a leading Conservative politician in the Stockholm County Council where she is commissioner of health services. The man lived near the County Council headquarters, the report said. It said the man wanted to "hurt" the prime minister. The man was alleged to have been in regular contact with psychiatric services in recent years and had disclosed his plans to doctors who decided to alert the police. Police found maps and sketches when they searched his flat.