T he Gecko is indeed riddled with remorse over the "completely unfounded"
information aired in last issue's column concerning the UN Center for Human
Rights. Most importantly, the Gecko is pleased as punch that the Center is, in
fact, not shutting down, as it shouldn't and as most hope it won't for a long
time to come.
However, the fact that the Center did close shop for two
days due to lack of funds is a cause for concern. And, as Center employees also
tell the Gecko, the fact that the phone company threatened to cut off the
Center's services due to lack of payment only adds to the concern about what is
actually going on there.
At the heart of the issue seems to be a power
struggle between those Center employees trying to get the job done and the
bureaucrats in Geneva who are using the Center's purse strings as leverage to
maintain control over who does what here.
In any event, the Gecko's was
told that last edition's three sentences on the issue appear to have rung a few
alarm bells in Geneva and funding for (only) another month has apparently been
released expeditiously. But is month by month funding for the Center really the
best way to ensure the effectiveness of the organization's operations here in
At least the Center isn't the only institution in town to have
phone bill problems. One western embassy defense attache was desperately trying
to get through to Phnom Penh from Battambang during the recent fighting out west
to report in on the hemming and hawing on the front lines only to find out that
their mobile phone service had been cut off due to lack of payment.
good to know that Samart has one system that works - alas, it's the one that
cuts off your phone when the check doesn't arrive on time.
dental students need to be applauded for their thirst for knowledge as they seek
to become experts in tooth repair.
But is Tuol Sleng really the best
place for research? The Gecko hears that a few would-be dentists were seen
stealing whole jaws from one of the genocide museum's second floor skull
storerooms to have a look-see back in the lab.
The coalition government
is having its fair share of problems although, for the time being, one major one
seems to have been resolved.
With two co-prime ministers the issue of who
gets to walk first on the red carpet at airport ceremonies was causing a bit of
Solution: simple! Order a wider red carpet built for two which
is now ready to be un-rolled at a moments notice.