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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 24 October, 1997

The Gecko: 24 October, 1997

W hat's wrong with this picture?

The IMF says government coffers lost WELL OVER $100 million dollars in 1996 because

of illegal logging deals involving the highest levels of government and that corruption

costs the nation about 10 percent of GDP.

Now the UNDP and the Ministry of Planning come out with what could be the most depressing

study this year.

The recently released "National Human Development Report 1997" says AIDS

could cost the country up to $3 billion in lost income by 2006 as up to one million

people may become infected with the killer disease. Also, more than 50 percent of

Cambodia's kids are stunted as a result of chronic malnutrition. Keep in mind that

"stunted" doesn't only refer to body size, but more importantly refers

to brain capacities: undernourished kids usually don't develop into geniuses, let

alone computer jocks. So, is it proper to say that 50 percent of the nation's kids

will become brain-impaired adults?

Even worse, 40 percent of the kids of the "well-off" are also stunted because

they're not eating properly.

Meantime, the nation's leaders, all of whom are committed democrats, continue to

squabble about who should run the country. Run the country where? Into the ground?

Is it any wonder the King is depressed?

Net surfers may want to check out a new web page at: http://www.mowgli.net/CAMBODIA.html.

The authors have entitled their site "Cliff notes in the Killing Fields of Cambodia"

and all you have to do is click on the skull to get info & opinions on some of

the big boys around town.

One political analyst who works for the CPP argues that the July events were not

a coup d'etat because "there is no state in Cambodia."

The debate over who has the best pizza in town has been raging furiously for months.

The Cathouse's Meat Lover pizza, recently revamped courtesy of a guest chef who prefers

to remain anonymous, is now Phnom Penh's finest according to several dedicated connoisseurs

of fine Italian cuisine.

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