(A Sri Lankan undertaker announcing deluxe funeral services including choice of hearse, a new Volvo or horses; smaller Volvo for the bereaved; mahogany coffins and other trimmings as flowers and red carpets. The deluxe package costs a whopping SLRs 102,500 or $ 1,090)

*** "I WOULD STICK it in my garden and hold functions in it... I was lucky enough to travel on it many times, but I think it is a great shame that it did not lead to something better..."

(Tim Rice, a UK lyricist, hoping to park the world's first and the only supersonic passenger plane Concorde in his back garden which includes 33,000-acre estate to give the just retired aircraft the treatment that it deserves)

*** "I AM THE STAR."

(Estranged husband of Hollywood diva Liza Minnelli, David Gest, alleging that she repeatedly beat him during their 16-month marriage and acted up as a superstar during the fits. He has filed a $ 10 million suit in Manhattan Supreme Court this month)

*** "THIS IS NOT A WAR against terrorism, this is a war against Muslims and Islam. This is the month of Ramazan, and the Muslim community is suffering every single day because of this administration."



(Executive Director of the Muslim-American Freedom Society, Mahdi Bray, speaking at anti-Iraq-war rally in Washington attended by some 25,000 protestors who demanded return of troops and labeled US President a 'liar'. Similar rallies were held in other cities of the US the same day)

*** "APPEARING NAKED before a camera or television is not women's freedom but in my opinion is to entertain men. We condemn Vida Samadzai, she not representing Afghanistan's women, and this is not women's freedom."

(Afghan minister for women's affairs Habiba Surabi condemning Miss Afghanistan as Vida Samadzai became the country's first woman in the post-Taliban era to appear in a bikini during a beauty pageant in Manila)

*** "SIMPLE AND CLEAR is our request. What we want is for both sides to drop guns and establish normal state relationship to co-exist peacefully."

(North Korean spokesman commenting on US President George W. Bush's offer of written assurances of non-aggression in return for dismantling of nuclear weapons programmes by his country)

*** "WE HAVE HAD a lot of enquiries from high profile people in Mideast although as yet none from any celebrities elsewhere."

(British inventor Robert Leeds talking about interest in the family submarine developed by him as the world's first underwater sports car. The "Gemini" would cost $ 845,000 and its commercial version will take 3 people in cramped bucket seats to depth of 50 meters for up to 3 days at a time)

*** "IT WAS ONE OF THE CLASSIC all-American cover-ups... Why would our government put Israel's interests ahead of our own?"

(Retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff US, Admiral Thomas Moorer, accusing the former President Lyndon B. Johnson and his defence secretary, Robert McNamara, of suppressing the findings on an enquiry. He claimed that the late president ordered the inquiry to 'conclude' that the 1967 Israeli attack on intelligence gathering ship USS Liberty that killed 34 servicemen was an 'accident')

*** "MR BLAIR'S RESPONSE to the disaster of the war is to attack those who stood against the war and root them out of British politics... It was a travesty of justice... a politically motivated kangaroo court whose verdict clearly had been written in advance in the best tradition of show trials."

(Britain's most outspoken Iraq war critic and flamboyant politician George Galloway denouncing Prime Minister Tony Blair for orchestrating his expulsion from ruling Labour Party after a part hearing in London)