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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 15 August 2003

The Gecko: 15 August 2003

The Teo Hotel in Battambang has come up with a new twist to its restaurant fare.

Their menu now offers "Salad bin Laden", described delectably by one curious

diner as an "icky, white, oily, mound of mess". Gourmands are speculating

that the one inch ring of mayonnaise on top is supposed to resemble a turban.

** In Phnom Penh, the GooChi Restaurant has added a new chapter to the concept of

haut cuisine. When you order a bowl of green pea soup with ham chunks, you also get

three buttermilk pancakes as a side dish. Feeble efforts to order Maple Syrup in

Khmer (yul teuk dam cheu Amerik Leu pa'iyaam) were not successful.

** Khmer Intelligence, that wondrous email purveyor of rumors and half-truths, circulated

this report on Aug 13: "Figures published this month by the Finance Ministry

related to the...State budget for 2003 show that the Hun Sen government... borrowed

US$40 million from the National Bank of Camboda and other banks to finance the CPP

election campaign ...The IMF office in Phnom Penh... has not reacted yet to this

unorthodox and inflationary way of financing."

The PPPost checked with the IMF and its ResRep Robert Hagemann replied as follows:

"There are many ways of interpreting budgetary data. I think the promulgators

of this story have a responsibility first and foremost to present the data on which

they base their story and the basis of their interpretation."

** Everybody be talkin' the gubba'mint reshuffle. Some random, multi-sourced excerpts:

"Kun Kim is too ill to replace Ke Kim Yan, so watch Pol Saroeun. Tea Banh gets

a Deputy PM slot; Kim Yan replaces him; Saroeun takes charge of RCAF. That's good

because he's a moderate." "I guarantee you Sirivudh will either end up

Foreign Minister or a Deputy PM." "Sok An is not budging. Why should he?

He has his finger in every pot in town." "Rainsy is in the new government....absolutely.

You watch. In four weeks-Tripartite Government." "There is no way Rainsy

will be in the new government... no way. If he joins, the government will collapse

in two weeks." "My bet is on Aun Pon Monireth as the new Finance Minister.

He's competent and a Hun Sen man." "These guys will go, no matter what:

Hok Lundy, Kun Kim, Tea Banh." "You Hokry? Whatever happens, he's in. He

needs the job." "I need a job. I'll take anything."

The only thing all sources agreed on was who the next PM will be. Surprise, surprise!



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