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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 12, August , 2005

The Gecko: 12, August , 2005

Tourists:

Beware of the motorcycle rental scam. One shop in town demands a $600 deposit to

rent a motorcycle and provides you with a lock. They need to know where you are staying

and for how long. A day before the customer is expected to leave - Oh what a tragedy!

- the motorcycle is mysteriously stolen by unidentified thieves. There goes the tourist's

deposit too. Moral: make sure to use your own lock.

** Veteran scribe Mark Dodd, who was the Reuters Bureau Chief here in Phnom Penh

and used to contribute to the PPPost, now writes for The Australian, based out of

Perth.

He recently wrote an article about East Timor, which seems to have upset the East

Timorese government.

The East Timorese Foreign Minister issued a press release entitled "Ramos-Horta

comments on Mark Dodd's article in The Australian."

Dr. Ramos-Horta said, among other accusations, that Mr. Dodd: 1) is pursuing a hate

campaign against: a) East Timor; and b) the Prime Minister of East Timor; 2) is a

little-known freelancer; 3) struggles to earn a few dollars here and there; 5) was

the subject of complaints of shoddy writing; 6) is not serious enough journalist

for the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper; 7) practices gutter journalism; 8) is a

failed journalist; 10) lies; 11) is a liar; 12) claims to have spoken to Dili-based

diplomats when he not; 13) is guilty of selective reporting; 14) lifts sections of

reports to suit his bias; 16) is a gutter journalist; 17) is a bad writer; 18) is

a dishonest journalist; 19) is a dishonest person; 20) makes up stories; 21) cooks

up quotes from unnamed sources; 22) is very patronizing towards East Timor; 23) has

a colonial mentality towards East Timor; 24) is very patronizing and has a colonial

mentality towards indigenous Australians and people of dark skin in Asia and the

South Pacific; 25) is a patroniser; 26) is a colonialist; 27) is a red-neck; and,

28) is a racist.

Ouch!

Not surprisingly, Mr. Dodd is suing for defamation. He has secured the services of

another Australian as his lawyer, none other than Mark Plunkett.

** On a related legal front, word is that former PPPost correspondent Nate Thayer's

case against Ted Koppel and ABC News was finally, after dragging on for seven years,

settled out of court. Thayer won and was awarded a settlement in the low, low seven

figures. Lawyers and the IRS quickly took two-thirds of the Pot.

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