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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 25 October, 2002

The Gecko: 25 October, 2002


N Legal Advisor Hans Corell took a lashing in the UN polls for seats on the International

Court of Justice. In the General Assembly vote he was 40 votes behind the Sierra

Leonian candidate and 29 votes behind the fifth place candidate from Germany. A seasoned

observer of the exhausting and now stalled KR trial negotiations between the UN and

the Cambodian government commented: "It couldn't have happened to a nicer chap."


Another grizzled trial watcher, noting that with Corell still in his current job

and the General Assembly about to give Kofi Annan a mandate to re-start the negotiations,

said it was unclear "whether [the UN] can force him to go to PP and eat a boxcar

full of dead crow."

An inside the Beltway DC politico clarified last week that US Senator Mitch McConnell,

with reference to his remarks calling for "regime change" in Cambodia,

was not thinking about a US-led Coalition armed invasion of Cambodia. He was thinking

about something else, but it is still unclear what that was.

Security will be very tight for the Asean Summit, especially for journalists.

One was refused a pass because, of the five photos requested, in one the hack was

wearing spectacles and the powers that be said he might be unrecognizable.

The perks for votes issue could get more complicated in the run-up to next year's

elections. A recent report in the New Scientist says that eating too much MSG, called

bi-cheng in Khmer, can make you go blind. AFP reported that "Rats fed on diets

high in MSG suffered vision loss and a thinner retina." Poll watchdog organizations

may need to start thinking about warning labels.

The Hotel InterContinental will be where the action is during the ASEAN Summit.

They've booked out all 350 rooms to some of the key visiting delegations, including

the Heads of State from Japan, China, Indonesia, Thailand and India. Even PM Hun

Sen and his entourage will be moving in for the duration.

Motorists are starting to grumble about the new high-tech traffic lights. The

one at the site of the old Ambassador Hotel on the road to Pochen-tong apparently

has everyone, including the cops, totally confused. Commuters who regularly use the

road say that you can now expect at least a 15 minute jam-up as you inch your way

through 7 green and red light changes before crossing the intersection. Don't plan

on dashing to the airport during rush hour.



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