Keep your eyes open. Mega country music star Emmylou Harris is coming to town
on Monday. Ms Harris has joined the Ban Landmines bandwagon and will be in the capital
as a guest of Veterans International to help promote the cause.
** What's happening at Pochentong? Passengers on an MAS flight from KL on
Sept 17 were not amused when the pilot announced before landing "We've spoken
to the tower...bit of cloud...maybe rain...but we really can't tell...may take ten
minutes delay to get navigational stuff right...you frequent flyers to Phnom Penh
realize they don't have much navigational equipment... I can see the runway...going
to do a set altitudinal flythrough." The plane circled twice and then landed
** The term "opposition press" has been used so widely and unquestioningly
that its meaning has become lost. We know what it's supposed to mean but which paper
isn't against someone? If you read all slices of the Khmer-language media the question
that comes to mind is: Who is on the "for" side?
We know too well how every faction in or out of town hates "the other side",
"the enemies", "the genocidalists", "them", "the
puppets", "the man", "the Royalists", "the anti-Vietnamese
racist", "the Communists", "the extremists", and, last but
not least, "the traitors" too, which, concerning the latter and given the
political horse trading in the last 50 years, means just about everybody. (Anyone
out there in Srok Khmer with any fulfilled or yet-to-be-filled aspirations for power
or influence who hasn't switched sides once or betrayed "a friend" in the
last half century raise your hand!)
We also know that the language used to excoriate those hated has been vituperative
in the extreme. The last four years: Just a friendly, open Khmer-kind-of-debate on
substantive issues relevant to the future of the nation. Great! Meanwhile, Killings
Fields II ( a la AIDS) is already upon us.
Perhaps this paper is equally guilty? Perhaps the press only lends fuel to a fire
that has burned too long and needs to burn itself out on its own without combustible
paper ready and willing to fan the flames? Perhaps the press, opposition or otherwise,
is irrelevant and there is no hope after all?
Hang on to your hats folks! Bad press or not, in case you haven't figured it out,
there is no light yet at the end of the tunnel.
** What's the definition of Cambodian friendship? Seng Moch would have something
to say on the subject but, sadly, he died last week. May he rest in peace. After
catching a life threatening disease several years ago, the well-known journalist
told one Westerner who was helping him out with medical bills: "All my friends
** Business at the Heart of Darkness may be down. They got busted last week
for pot and had to pay $1,000. Some cops organized the raid because they weren't
getting enough tea money.