The Gecko hears that there has been some activity at the Dey Eth re-education
camp for defected Khmer Rouge soldiers south of Phnom Penh that goes beyond the normal
day-today classroom routines. Apparently 15 trainees have escaped to points unknown.
However, this may not be such a big problem as one of the CAF officers in charge
of the operation says that only 30 to 40 percent of battle-hardened guerrillas will
ever be inducted into the new army. Reasons cited for eventual disqualification include
being too old, too malaria-ridden or too many "personality problems."
The Police Department's new Crime Suppression Bureau set up to combat violent crime
in the city may want to look around for a new translator. Some of the boys are carrying
business cards with their names in English and a title that says "Police Criminal."
Friends of Cambodia who may be breathing easier these days with the thought that
the normalization of Cambodian-U.S. relations has once and for all brought an end
to a long troubled era between the two countries may want to think again, so the
Gecko was told. A visiting pundit from a Washington DC think tank was grumbling how
Cambodia's "special relationship" with North Korea might be the cause for
a few wrinkles down the road. With the unresolved issue of the Great Leader's nuclear
weapons program hanging in limbo, the thinktanker sternly mused "If the U.S.
goes to war with Kim Il Sung next year, we'll be watching closely the Cambodian response."
There's been a traffic alert issued from Tuol Kork of late. Watch out for public
busses filled with liquified Aussies waltzing their way down the entertainment strip,
especially around 11 pm.
This belated report just in from Bokor Mountain. French Legionnaires patrolling the
road up to the hill top came across a tree blocking their way. Fearing a Khmer Rouge
ambush they scouted ahead carefully only to run into a tiger.
The Gecko caught wind of what might be a new record in the fine art of siphoning
electrical power in Phnom Penh. The old King's Restaurant that was gleefully looted
so many months ago by disgruntled employees has now become a residence for members
of UNTAC Indobatt contingent. To supply the boys with power, UNTAC ran a new line
from the generators at SNC. With-in a week the 200-meter connecting line had sprouted
more than 150 feeders heading off in all directions to the surrounding neighborhood,
most of which were simply wrapped around nails stuck through the UNTAC cable.
One of the more elegant hacks in town wants all admirers to know that her new all-black
wardrobe is not an indication of chronic depression. Taking a cue from the rural
sector, she's learned that dying her clothes black is a convenient way to cover up
the stains from spilled food.