Date sent:        Wed, 11 Feb 1998 09:28:02 -0500 (EST)
From:             Benny J Peiser
Subject:          Re: Cambridge Conference
Priority:         NORMAL


From: Sir Arthur Clarke

Dear Benny,

Yes, by all means send my messages to anyone interested.

As you can imagine this is taking a lot of my time and energy but it
has been a heart warming experience because so many people have rallied
around me.

Pete Worden will be giving me the gen on Greenland.

All good wishes.

                         10 Feb. 98

Sir Arthur C Clarke, Kt, CBE
25, Barnes Place, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka.
Phone: (94 1) 694 255; Fax: (94 1) 698 730


Independence Day Banquet, 5 Feb 1998

After  running  a  gauntlet of  journalists  outside  President's
House, I went upstairs to the main Reception Room, where some 300
VIP's were being lined up to meet Prince Charles. I was delighted
when President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga grasped my left
hand  (the right was holding my stick!) and shook it  vigorously,
saying "I'm so glad you were able to come!"

Then  some  kind official jumped me up the queue to  meet  Prince
Charles as early as possible. After we'd shaken hands, (and  been
photographed doing so) I reminded him of our last meeting at  the
2010  Premiere.  He asked, "Are you still  writing?"  I  answered
"Yes,  Sir  - I've just sent half a million words to  my  agent."
Then, as there were some 200 people waiting behind me, I left him
and sat in the back of the room, where I was greeted by literally
dozens  of  local  dignitaries, all very friendly.  One  was  the
Maldivian  Ambassador, and I asked him to give  President  Gayoom
the good news that global warming isn't going to happen.

In  the main Banquet Hall, I was seated at the table adjacent  to
the  main  one, so I had a clear view of the  President  and  the
Prince,  who  were obviously enjoying themselves and  engaged  in
animated conversation. Their ability to keep going after standing
for two hours to receive guests absolutely astounded me.

I was sitting at the table with the U.S. Ambassador and his wife,
and next to the Indian High Commissioner. I was delighted to find
that he'd read 3001, was a keen science fiction fan, and had seen
all the latest films. And he was anxious to learn SCUBA diving  -
so needless to say, I told him about Underwater Safaris.

The  Banquet was excellent but didn't finish until  about  12:15,
when  it was announced that a cultural event would take place  on
the lawn. So I left quietly, rather tired, but very happy.

While waiting for my car I was again accosted by British  report-
ers  with TV cameras and microphones, asking if I had any  state-
ment  to  make. I referred them to the Press  Release  which  has
apparently already gone around the world. While I was doing this,
a gentleman in Arab dress came up to me, shook hands, engaged  me
in  conversation and said: "I am the Ambassador from  Kuwait."  I
was delighted that the reporters were able to observe this.

I left about 12:30, after one of the most enjoyable and  possibly
important evenings of my life.


As - obviously -  I am now taking legal advice,  I cannot go into
details, but I realise that responsible members of the media
deserve  some  kind of statement, and that  silence  can  easily,
though wrongly, be taken as an admission of guilt.

Having  always had a particular dislike of paedophiles,  few
charges could be more revolting to me than to be classed as  one.
However,  as  I have already said,  the  allegations  are  wholly
denied.  Indeed  the accusations are such nonsense  that  I  have
found  it  difficult to treat them with the  contempt  that  they
deserve. My conscience is perfectly clear.

In  any  even,  I  categorically  state  that  "The   Sunday
Mirror"'s  article is grossly defamatory and contains  statements
which  in  themselves and by innuendo are quite false, grossly
inaccurate and extremely harmful.

However, one good thing which has come out of this is that I have
received  support from so many friends and admirers all over  the
world;  some  of  whom I never knew I had. I wish  to  take  this
opportunity to thank them for their support and express my regret
for the embarrassment the allegations in the "Sunday Mirror" have
caused to them.

Sir Arthur C Clarke, Kt, CBE
25, Barnes Place, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka.
Phone: (94 1) 694 255; Fax: (94 1) 698 730

CCCMENU CCC for 1998