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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 04 February 2000

The Gecko: 04 February 2000

Initially, it was considered just a light-hearted schoolboy prank, the kind of

idea that blossoms after the cerebral cortex has been heavily swamped with booze.

Why not steal the Japanese flag, the one along the waterfront? So thought Paul Jameson,

Joe Draper and Simon Russell early last Friday morning.

Brilliant! The flag was unceremoniously hauled down but then the coppers entered

the scene. They rounded up the lads and gave them a bit of a thumping (as in fists

on faces) as well. Several moto drivers in front of the FCC had to intervene to prevent

an all too serious thrashing.

The boys were marched to the police station and spent a hard night locked up wondering

if it might be time for hara-kiri.

Proper apologies were made and an appropriate punishment was meted out. Paul and

Simon now have to spend three months teaching the chief of the Daun Penh police station

English. It is believed the chief knows already the word "flag".

** The question of how to professionalize the Khmer-language press is a subject

of on-going concern for the Ministry of Information. At the Konrad Adenauer Foundation-funded

media round-up in Phnom Penh this week, Minister Lu Lay Sreng said that he was still

considering instituting specific degree-related criteria for who could be a reporter

or an editor. But, he noted that he was not in favor of expanding the journalism

program at the University of Phnom Penh because the Kingdom did not need too many

trained journalists.

** Noble efforts must be applauded. At long last, a move to regularize city

traffic. In an effort to convince motorcyclists and bicyclists to keep to the right,

a traffic cop now stands by the roundabout at Independence Monument, wearing white

gloves no less, with a megaphone, explaining politely to motorists what the white

line in the middle of Sihanouk Blvd is for.

** The Nokor Kok Thlok Hotel in Siem Reap has a new conference facility. The

architects-demonstrating a bold new design concept- decided that the restrooms at

the side of the hall should have doors with panes of glass from top to bottom. Any

men wishing a little privacy while they stand at the trough may want to opt for facilities

on another floor.

** The stink between the US and Cuba over the fate of Elian Gonzalez has reached

Cambodia. The Cuban Embassy circulated a new publication entitled "How long

doe$ it take to change the mind of a child?" The pamphlet summarizes a roundtable

of Cuban shrinks who explore the consequences of Elian's stay in Florida. USIS is

not expected to respond in kind.



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