A few expats who are trying to save the life of a Khmer friend of theirs who is
suffering from liver cancer want to express their gratitude to His Majesty King Sihanouk.
In an effort to get a temporary passport for the lad so he could be flown to Bangkok
for treatment, the only response received from the proper authorities in Phnom Penh
was a painful silence. The King was faxed in Beijing, after all other avenues failed,
and His Majesty responded in several hours to get the wheels - finally - moving.
The CDC has an interesting sign on its premises. In the reception area behind a secretary's
desk is a poster which reads "No Bribes allowed."
If you want to get a good flavor of what's really happening in the provinces, the
CCC weekly security report is chock-a-block with lots of details on various "incidents"
which take place around the Kingdom. Some of them might be reprinted herein, but
the CCC says on the reports that they "are not for publication." So, if
you want to have a look-see, you have to walk into any of a number of NGO offices
around town where it is stuck up on bulletin boards for one and all to peruse at
A bit of excitement this week with the report that there was a baby Kouprey in captivity
on the military side of the airport.
One journalist raced out to Pochentong, talked his way past the guard post and was
wide-eyed and camera happy when some soldiers showed him a rather strange looking,
cow-like animal in a pen which they said was definitely a "Kouprey", Cambodia's
national animal and the world's rarest bovine.
The pics were developed and then Mr. Sun Hean at the Wildlife Protection Office of
the Forestry Department was sought out to get his advice. He took all the wind out
of the scoop by calmly declaring that the animal in question was only a hybrid offspring
of a domesticated cow and a banteng.
At the very least, the baby bovine is worth having a look at if you find yourself
out Pochentong way. Banteng's are also endangered. And in the same pen are four baby
Sun Bears, one of whom fell in love with Matthew Grainger at first sight, and a Sambar
Deer. All the rare animals are under the care of First Prime Minister Ranariddh,
who the guards say visits them from time to time to check on their welfare.
A recent ad in the Economist by the CDC encouraging investment in Cambodia says that
the Kingdom enjoys MFN and GSP status.
But the U.S. Embassy says not so.
MFN has been passed by the House and is still pending in the Senate. GSP hasn't even
been considered yet.