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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 14 March 1998

The Gecko: 14 March 1998

The doughnut debate is heating up. A senior Royalist with close ties to the Prince

says "Cambodia is not ready for doughnuts." Of course, three years ago

the Prince himself said Cambodia was not ready for democracy. However, politician

Ted Ngoy has a more thoughtful approach: "Elections first, then doughnuts."

** The Bayon Wanderers made history with their bonebreaking football match

in Pailin, although sports buffs are still unclear what the host team was called.

Some say it was "The Breakaways"; others allege it was "The Real Gems

FC".

The aging but eager barangs lost the match 4-2 before an enthusiastic crowd of over

2,000. Pundits are debating if the defeat was a result of the 480 cans of suds donated

by Angkor Beer, the injury to ace sweeper Tom "Ruud Gullit" Fawthrop after

he scored a goal and then flew headlong into the goalpost, the shrewd designs of

management who thought it was politically correct to take a dive, or the fact that

the Wanderers were unused to playing on a pitch with a flagpole in the middle and

couldn't adjust their offensive strategy accordingly.

Rumor has it that the hearty lads were even too tuckered out after the game to take

advantage of the taxi girls proffered by the gracious hosts at the evening's entertainment.

** When does a free press result in the throttling of freedom of expression?

When AFP writes a story about the US Embassy's plan to show the film Amistad at the

French Cultural Center on the day just by coincidence - of Ranariddh's trial. The

film was cancelled.

** The folks who distribute Johnny Walker are still wondering what happened

to their 1,000 cases of whiskey. Last July during the fighting military units came

by the warehouse and confiscated the booze saying they wanted to prevent it from

being "looted".

** Reports from a remote corner of Ratanakiri say the Khmer Rouge have already

started their own voter education drive. Along the Se Kong River roving guerrilla

units are allegedly forcing villagers off boats for 30-minute lectures. The main

talking points: The White Paper is flawed and, if there are elections, vote for Ranariddh

or Sam Rainsy.

** The Kingdom has been recently and quietly denied the pleasurable company

of the brother of the late Princess Di, Earl Charles Spencer (resident of South Africa).

The Earl was to front a BBC documentary on the "World's Greatest Train Journeys",

which interestingly enough was to include the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville trip. It was

supposed to have included a nice trainride-Charles-landmine juxtaposition. Just 36

hours before he was due, Charlie cancelled, citing security worries, much to the

disappointment of us all.

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