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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 10 March 1995

The Gecko: 10 March 1995

K hmer Rouge radio recently reported on the amounts of money in private overseas

bank accounts of senior government officials as an indication of corruption on

the part of key ministers. But they forgot to mention several important bank

accounts which some observers say hold hundreds of millions of dollars in

illicitly-acquired funds. Their own!!

Who has the best chilli con carne

in town, you might ask? Or perhaps the only chilli con carne in town? The Cactus

Snack Bar Tapas. Check it out. Chopped onions on top with a dash of Mexican-made

salsa, a side order of rice and French bread with butter. You'll be back for

seconds. And while you're at it, try the snails too.

The recent opening

ceremony of the C-4 power plant, funded by the Japanese and presided over by

King Sihanouk demonstrated that His Majesty hasn't lost His sense of humor in

spite of His extended bout with cancer. Referring to Minister of Industry Pou

Sothirak, the King described one of the Kingdom's most eligible bachelors as

"the Clark Gable of Cambodia."

The King is also reported to have said

when offered a glass of saki to toast the occasion: "When I drink it I feel so

much more optimistic."

Speaking of having a drink once in a while,

several foreign correspondents in town appear to have had one too many and have

now decided to go on the wagon. If you don't see some of the key resident hacks

at the regular watering holes its because they are cooling out at home under

strict, self-imposed detox programs which include massive quantities of Chinese

tea. Said one expat journo: "I haven't had a beer in two days and I feel really

bad."

Famous Welsh photographer Philip Jones Griffiths was in town

recently, doing a story on backpackers in Cambodia. He greeted some of his

friends by giving them a sticker that reads: NOTICE TO SMOKERS. You do NOT

smoke! It is the cigarette that smokes - you are merely the sucker on the other

end.

A new English-Khmer Law Dictionary being distributed around town and

produced by the Asia Foundation underscores the task ahead in reconstructing the

country's judicial system. There's a listing for "guilty" but none for

"innocent".

Anyone want to know what record economic growth has produced

in Thailand besides massive traffic jams in Bangkok? The Gecko hears that Thai

GNP is now larger than Russia's. Yikes!

Latest traffic reports indicate

that the road to Sihanoukville is bustling with activity, well-protected by

security forces who seem to be doing their job, making for an easy three-hour

trip to the coast.

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