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News In Brief

November 17, 1986



Bangalore, India

Sri Lankan and Indian leaders held three rounds of talks over the weekend in an intensive search for a solution to Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict. Sri Lankan President Junius Jayewardene and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi were scheduled to hold a fourth meeting last night, diplomatic and official sources said. Leaders of the Tamil ethnic minority joined the talks yesterday, officials added.

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The main issue dividing the Sinhalese government and the Tamils was a Tamil demand for a merger of Sri Lanka's Tamil-dominated Northern Province with the Tamil-minority Eastern Province, the officials said. Guerrillas are fighting for an independent Tamil state on the island. Tamils comprise 13 percent of Sri Lanka's 15 million people.

Japanese businessman kidnapped in Philippines

Military and police units continued to search for a Japanese business executive kidnapped by gunmen over the weekend. Police said yesterday they had no suspects and had not yet received any demands from the kidnappers of Nobuyuki Wakaoji, general manager of Mitsui in the Philippines.

Mr. Nobuyuki was abducted Saturday afternoon by heavily armed men after playing golf at a club 30 miles south of Manila, security officers said.

The kidnapping followed Philippine President Corazon Aquino's return Thursday from a four-day business trip to Japan.

Israel bombs bases in southern Lebanon

A squadron of Israeli warplanes attacked three Palestinian guerrilla bases near south Lebanon's port city of Sidon yesterday, destroying a command post and wounding at least three people, police reported. The attack came a day after an Israeli seminary student was killed in Jerusalem. The raid was Israel's 14th air attack in Lebanon this year.

Sarney's party seems set for landslide in Brazil

President Jos'e Sarney's Democratic Movement Party appears to have won a landslide victory in Saturday's national elections, according to early returns yesterday. The party looked poised to win at least 19 of the 23 state governorships, as well as majorities in both houses of the national legislature. Opinion polls said the other four governorships could go to Mr. Sarney's party, to the right-wing Social Democrats, or to the Liberal Front, a breakaway group of Social Democrats.

The national election was the first since Brazil returned to democracy in 1985 after 21 years of military rule. Stakes in the election were high, in part because the new National Congress will rewrite Brazil's Constitution. Electoral board officials reported a large turnout among the 69 million eligible voters.

Workers finish `tomb' around Chernobyl reactor

Soviet workers have completed the concrete encasement around the stricken Chernobyl nuclear reactor, the Communist Party daily Pravda said Saturday. Designed to contain radiation from the reactor core, the 195-foot-high ``tomb'' was begun after the April 26 fire and explosion at the Chernobyl reactor complex. Two of the four reactors have since been brought back into operation; a third is undergoing extensive repairs.

Irish pact's anniversary marred by riots in Belfast

Rioting broke out in Belfast Saturday at a Protestant rally called to show defiance of the year-old Anglo-Irish accord. Officials said more than 44 police men and 27 civilians were wounded in the weekend violence.Two people were killed, and looting was reported to be widespread.