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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 22 May 1998

The Gecko: 22 May 1998

** Frank Sinatra's death struck a note of sadness around the world, even here in

Cambodia. In response to a faxed message from Agence France Presse to His

Majesty King Sihanouk concerning the subject, the King responded: "I have always

admired Frank Sinatra as a singer and equally as a film star. I have at my home many

records and tapes of songs of this illustrious artist. My favorites are 'My Way'

and 'Strangers in the Night'. I will never forget Frank Sinatra, an exceptional human

being."

** How does one prepare for a ministerial post in the new government? According to

informed sources, Hok Lundy - perhaps expecting a promotion after the elections for

services rendered - recently visited Germany for some liposuction treatment on his

stomach.

** It's official. The word is out that all incoming election observers have been

advised that a visit to the FCCC and the Heart of Darkness is a mandatory component

of their orientation process.

Officials have determined that the standard training module for election observers

may lack a full exposure to the wide range of issues related to the overall polling

process, not to mention the broader "Cambodian context".

Accordingly, short- and long-term observers have been encouraged to seek out contacts

with the diverse panoply of viewpoints represented at the two distinguished watering

holes, including those of drunk journalists with a two-minute attention span, shrill-yet-caring

NGO workers, sourpuss investors who haven't made a dime but paid through the nose

for the opportunity to lose their shirts, drug-addled backpackers named "Like

Wow", highly-paid consultants who see problems as per diemed opportunities,

armchair political pundits now famous because they've latched on to a country where

finding the truth is simple, and an assorted, motley crew of rapidly-aging hangers-on

whose purpose in life is still a mystery, especially to themselves.

And if all you observers get a bit overwelmed by the cacophonous diversity of opinion

on what's really happening in-country, you can always check out the Martini Pub and

practice your sign language skills.

** The EU ambassadorial troika in Phnom Penh tasked with determining the freeness

and fairness of the elections has lost one of its legs and the diplomatic cocktail

circuit is a bit at a loss for words. The Ger-man ambassador has decided to tie the

knot which will involve nine-weeks leave. He'll be back one week before the polls,

just in time to make a seasoned, in-depth analysis of the entire process.

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