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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 26 May 2000

The Gecko: 26 May 2000

Wink Dulles, the guy who wrote the Cambodia section in The World's Most Dangerous

Places in 1995, came back to town recently. He said there was no need to do an update

on Cambodia as it wasn't very dangerous any more.

Back at his hotel, minding his own business, two Aussies suddenly approached him

and started to beat him up. "I was flabberghasted, floored. Literally. Totally

bizzare," reports Wink by email from the safety of his Thai retreat. "So

I had them busted."

Even worse, it turns out the guys were Aussie cops. A bit of a marathon standoff

ensued in the hotel lobby with the Cambodian cops in a quandary on what to do. The

arrests were finally made but Wink says at the station he was forced to take a cash

settlement after being pressured by embassy diplomats. The icing on the cake came

when he then had to pay off the local police for doing their job.

ïï A for effort; F for accuracy. Yesterday at 10am an urgent email came over

the wires from Sam Rainsy: "Hundreds of Hun Sen's soldiers and military policemen

are preparing to attack the Stupa in front of the National Assembly ... Please alert

all democrats and justice-loving people."

The email, which went to 329 addresses, had journos scrambling only to find dozens

of bodyguards and drivers watching the cars of their MP bosses as they convened at

parliament.

ïï A recent unscientific, non-formal survey of consumers of soft drinks has

indicated that Orangina is the most popular beverage in town, but the problem, analysts

say, is that it's hard to find.

ïï With all the flak the PM takes from the "legitimate" opposition

for being a "communist", one aid official recently noted "If you want

an indication that the Prime Minister is focused on economic integration with the

region and is committed to a free market, all you have to do is consider that Hun

Sen is learning to play golf. That says everything."

And apparently the PM's game is improving. One golfing source said that lately the

PM has won 30 million riel in matches with links partners. Although, it was noted

that some of his opponents seem to be less than aggressive when it comes time to

putt for dough.

ïï Feast or famine, stick with the Irish stew. A customer at the pub Delaney's

in Bangkok ordered an "Irish salad" which was described in the menu as

"all the good things found in an Irish garden". When the dish arrived he

discovered a plate with lettuce ... topped with lettuce .. .and then topped with

more lettuce, plus a dollup of mayonnaise on the side.

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