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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 20 May, 1994

The Gecko: 20 May, 1994

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

Cambodia?

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.

Its

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.

Phnom Penh's

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

a stir.

Solution: simple! Order a wider red carpet built for two which

is now ready to be un-rolled at a moments notice.

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