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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 03 June , 2005

The Gecko: 03 June , 2005

Everybody

knows that in order to understand the work of NGOs, the best way to do so is to master

the language Developmentese. If you are fluent in this gender sensitive, eco-friendly,

sustainable tongue, the following lead paragraph from a letter received recently

by the Post makes perfect sense:

"Save the Children Australia is very pleased to be holding a national workshop

to provide an opportunity to continue the progress made during previous OVC workshops

in order to identify some of the activities required for the key stakeholders interested

in forming a collaborative to support and strengthen the strategic planning of policy

formation."

** Inquiries from around the world are still coming in regarding the midgets vs.

lions story, the one where an imported African lion engaged in combat with members

of an alleged Cambodian Midget Fighting League (CMFL) at a challenge match in Kampong

Chhnang on April 30. Of the 42 midgets involved in the ring-fight, 28 were reported

to have been killed by the lion.

The story was initially posted on the internet as a look-alike "BBC" news

story on May 5 and seems to have taken on a life of its own. College students in

the US have reportedly become enthused about the event and are hankering for more

information.

After a nanosecond of sleuthing it has been determined that the inventive mind behind

the ruse was none other than former PPPost intern Sam Davies, who undertook an "intensive"

training program at the Post from January 10 to the end of February, 2004.

Davies internship program at the Post was so successful he returned to Australia

and joined the Victoria State Police Department in an unknown capacity that kept

him so busy he had time to channel his creativity into larger-than-life fantasies.

Non-plussed by the roaring success of his Lilliputian-like hoax, Davies has moved

quickly to strike while the lion is hot. He is now offering a line of CMFL t-shirts

for those eager to support the emerging leonine sport.

** There's a buzz around town since USAID announced it is seeking applications from

NGOs to bid on a $14.4 million, five-year program to support "democratic local

governance and decentralization". A variety of organizations are scrambling

to compete for the funds.

As USG funds will go to Commune Council Social Funds, one key question is whether

this represents a tsunami-like shift in USG aid policy towards Cambodia. The answer

to that question will remain on hold as USAID can not comment on the grant until

after the bidding process has been completed.

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