Sam Rachel, daughter of Rainsy and Saumura, was recently elected president of
her class at the International School in Phnom Penh. The sparkling nine-year-old
even put together a mini-platform during the run-up to the elections. Inside, although
perhaps "biased", sources say that the three key planks in her campaign
were to bring down violence in the classroom, organize activities on Sundays for
the kids, and put on a play and give the proceeds from it to charity.
President-elect Rachel was recently queried by one reporter about what she planned
to do now that she was in office. She said, "I don't know," then dove into
a swimming pool where she was playing "Shark" with some pals.
** The diplomatic cocktail circuit is abuzz with chatter about the state of
the First Prime Minister's marriage. An official in the Office of the Cabinet of
the First PM says "it's a private matter."
** Sources say that several attempts by King Sihanouk to obtain visas for Palace
staff to go to North Korea have all been denied. One visa request was for an official
to go to Pyongyang to access the King's personal film archives there to obtain materials
that would be used in the upcoming Southeast Asian Film Festival. After repeated
"No visas" the King has stopped asking.
** Diplomatic observers are befuddled as a result of Foreign Minister Ung
Huot's recent one-day visit to Paris. Cambodian Ambassador to France Hor Nam Hong
(CPP) did not greet his foreign minister at the airport, nor did he attend Huot's
meeting with the French Foreign Minister Hervé de Charette, as diplomatic
protocol would normally dictate.
Speculation on the reasons why vary between the possibility that Nam Hong was busy
with the visit by the Queen to open the exhibit of Khmer art to rumors that both
FUNCINPEC and the CPP have issued directives that respective ambassadors abroad not
cooperate with foreign ministry officials from the other party.
** The pumped-up Phnom Penh Anglophone soccer team had the wind taken out
of their sails last Saturday when they got trampled on by the French team 4-0. Further
insult to the injury was added when the French later that day came from behind to
beat the English in the Five Nations Rugby Cup - and on an English pitch to boot.
** Several observers want to know why a regular denizen of the Heart of Darkness
drops trou and then asks members of the opposite sex to sprinkle Tabasco sauce on
his manhood. This "down under" mystery has yet to be resolved.