T he Gecko heard at press time that the UN's showcase Centre for Human Rights was
shutting down. The Centre was supposed to be an expression of the UN's long-term
committment to the defense of human rights in Cambodia. Word is the Centre did
not have either the money to pay salaries for April or rent for May, and that no
new cash injections were expected from Geneva.
On another UN front,
rumors are circulating that one of the reasons that the UN Military Liasion
Team's mandate may not be renewed is because certain western embassies in town
are dead set against it. One disgruntled supporter of the UNMLT's presence
speculates that diplomats with their own agendas want the UN out of the way so
that "things can be done" bilaterally without the blue berets ready to report
every move to superiors in New York.
Reports are still trickling back on
the reasons for the debacle at Anlong Veng. One story has it that of the 6,000
soldiers authorized for the assualt, only half ever materialized, although funds
were provided to cover salaries and provisions for the entire 6k. Those troops
who did show up were more than a bit miffed when they realized that their
numbers were not quite what was expected, which may have been a factor why the
retreat was rapid.
The entire phone system in the capital seems to have
gone on the blink. Word is that it may take up to two weeks to get the spare
parts, although this could not be confirmed because the phone seems to have gone
on the blink.