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Carry on in Colombo: Tamils have high expectations from the Prime Minister

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Drivers step on the herbs

Some of India's top scientists and politicians were convinced: Ponnaiah Ramar Pillai, a school drop-out from a poor Tamil Nadu village, had made the most revolutionary discovery of the century. Using a few herbs, he could transform water into petrol.

Obituary: Silk Smitha

Silk Smitha revolutionised southern India's prolific film industry through her song-and-dance and cabaret numbers in some 300 films.

Army masses for assault on Tigers

Colombo (Reuter) - Tamil Tiger rebels said yesterday that Sri Lankan troops were massing for a major offensive against guerrilla bases close to an army camp overrun by the separatist organisation last week.

Obituary: Sanjiva Reddy

Sanjiva Reddy rose from humble peasant beginnings in southern India to become the country's sixth president during one of the more turbulent periods in Indian politics.

Congress split shatters myth of Indian unity

With the elections has come the end of an era in politics, but the outcome remains unclear. Tim McGirk reports

Poll boosts Congress victory hopes

New Delhi - India's Prime Minister, PV Narasimha Rao, received a welcome boost yesterday when a late poll said his Congress Party would have a slight lead in a hung parliament after a third phase of general elections this week.

Fair play keeps polls calm

Indian elections: Millions vote in searing heat and cyclone

Time running out for India's Machiavelli

The Indian Prime Minister, Narasimha Rao, is more noted for his patrician guile than his ability to electrify crowds. Gnomish, balding, and with facial expressions that run the full range from a scowl to a frown, Mr Rao, 74, is not the man to singlehandedly wrest another victory for his Congress party in the upcoming general elections.

Politicians add brawn to India's campaign trail

TIM McGIRK

OBITUARY:M. Krishnan

M. Krishnan was the biggest name in Indian wildlife photography. Without him several of India's wildlife sanctuaries would never have been set up and the conservation work of Operation Tiger would have been far the poorer in concept and design. Within the Indian Board of Wildlife his was the voice of the forest. Like the footprints of the Elephas maximus (the Indian elephant) that he photographed so extensively, Krishnan's stature will be measured now, after he has passed on.

How to set up an Indian orphanage

Had you ever thought of building an orphanage for some of those destitute children we see on television? I hadn't. It seemed as far- fetched as setting up my own business. Here's what you don't need: much money, any previous experience, a lot of time, and membership of a vast organisation.

Fanatical Tamils take revenge for Jaffna

That a bomb should explode yesterday in Colombo surprised nobody. Ever since the Sri Lankan army took the Tamil Tiger rebel stronghold in Jaffna in December after a 50-day battle, it seemed inevitable that the Tigers would strike back with their favourite weapon: the suicide bomber.

Jaffna sealed by troops

THE Sri Lankan military said yesterday that its troops were on the verge of capturing the rebel citadel of Jaffna. A military spokesman said the town was sealed off by government forces leaving the Tamil Tiger rebels inside with two choices: "either to surrender or commit suicide by swallowing the cyanide capsules hung around their necks".

Separation by suicide

In Sri Lanka, children as young as 11 are being recruited as soldiers to the fanatical Tamil Tigers. Tim McGirk reports from Batticaloa on a war without end
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