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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 13 October, 2000

The Gecko: 13 October, 2000

THIS month's award for the most ridiculous, nonsensible, let's-just-rewrite-history-and-whitewash-the-past

comment goes to Thai Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nappadol Pat-tama.

In an October 2 report by AFP on the recently released memoirs of former Singa-porean

Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, in which the former PM says that China provided about

$1 billion to the Khmer Rouge in the form of cash and weapons during the 1980s, Mr

Pattama - and this is the honest-to-God truth - is quoted as saying "The Foreign

Ministry has no information to substantiate that we supported the Khmer Rouge during

that time."

Come on! Give the planet a break, would you please!

So all those Chinese weapons that were delivered over a 10-year period by ship to

the Thai Navy base at Sattahip, and then were driven in unmarked Thai army trucks

up to storehouses along the Thai-Cambodian border for delivery to the Khmer Rouge

- just imagine! - none of that ever, no absolutely never, happened?

What about Ieng Sary's repeated medical treatments in Bangkok? What about Pol Pot's

trips to China during the 80s? Are we supposed to believe that a Chinese helicopter

flew into guerilla-controlled territory for a pickup?

Hello. Earth to Pattama, come in please!

In a related news flash, the award for the best headline of the year goes to the

dry-as-a-bone humor Economist for its cover on the June 17, 2000 edition.

With a full-page picture of North Korea's beloved leader Kim Jong-Il solemnly waving

to the ever-eager masses, the caption reads "Greetings, Earthlings".

Could it be that Pattama and Kim Jong-Il know something that we don't?

On a more pragmatic plane, there is one person in town who is keen as moutard for

the Americans to take over the Youth Club and build a new US embassy there.

Andre Callabru, the eminently distinguished proprietor of the august establishment

Le Deauville near Wat Phnom, is all set for the big push. He even says he is ready

to amend his menu to include 'amburgers and 'ot dogs, and is also exploring the feasibility

of providing draft ketchup on tap.

He is not joking either. Andre confirms that while he has problems with the concept

of Americans in general, he is ready to admit that the only two he has met and has

become acquainted with are now his good friends. Moreover, he is even proud to display

a recent picture of him hugging the American film icon Matt Dillon.

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