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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 30 april 1999

The Gecko: 30 april 1999

Who says the cops aren't serious about confiscating firearms? During the

New Year festivities in Siem Reap the gun crackdown went so far as to encompass the

new generation of high-tech water pistols imported from Thailand. Many of the Day-Glo

blasters were quickly rounded up by stern-faced police who had no interest in a bit

of holiday soaking.

** One resident wonders if a bit of decorum should not be enforced at the

Toul Sleng Museum. The question was raised after seeing a French tour group taking

a lighter approach to its visit to the KR torture center.

Posing for gag shots in prison cells with implements of torture, punctuated by peals

of high-pitched laughter, and behaving like Tuol Sleng was just another amusement

ride at EuroDisney does give one reason for pause. The ghosts were not happy.

** Veteran PPPost/AFP reporter Kevin Barrington came back to town, burned

brightly for five days, lost his voice and then vanished in a flash. Barrington's

latest challenge as a copy man for an ad agency was to come up with a name for a

new margerine made with olive oil aimed at the heart conscious Irish consumer market.

At 500 quid per word, Kevin's limitless genius came up with "Tub Med",

which helped pay for his return visit.

** Two Japanese tourists may not want to attend another Rave party in Siem

Reap. They showed up to join the fun at sunset and were slipped some punch laced

with LSD. The acid kicked in and the boys stripped down, only to end up in the moat

around Angkor for a frolic.

Some police took action, and the naked Japanese ran for the bush. A crowd of villagers,

somewhat perplexed, made a hasty pursuit and wrestled the two lads down for a chest

thumping, assuming they'd smoked some of that "very bad" marijuana.

** Since the toxic waste scandal in Sihanoukville, Cam-control has gotten

real tough with importers. New regulations are in place for materials that must be

inspected by the head office. With a $50 price tag on each application, anyone importing

dye, soap powder or liquid soap must now line up and pay up to get the stuff in.

** A crew from the American TV show 60 Minutes blew into town last week.

They had no problem forking over $7,000 to rent a helicopter for two days to get

up to Pailin. But the $2 entry fee at Tuol Sleng almost caused the head honcho to

blow a gasket, with him demanding repeatedly "Why can't we get in for free!?"

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