HOWARD CROCKETT, who wrote country music's classic "Honky Tonk Man," died of lung cancer Tuesday in Fort Worth, Texas, at age 69. Crockett sang his last major hit himself; "The Last Will and Testament of a Drinking Man" reached No. 1 in 1973 . . . IF POPE JOHN PAUL II refuses to apologize for his new book's chapter on Buddhism, his visit to Sri Lanka next month will be seen as "an act of aggression," Buddhist groups say. More than 100 Buddhist priests in Sri Lanka met Thursday and issued a statement saying the pope must immediately retract that portion of the book, "Crossing The Threshold Of Hope."