Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 07 May 1993

The Gecko: 07 May 1993

The Gecko: 07 May 1993

Is anyone getting a little tired of all the death threats being bandied about

the country. The Gecko is. It's as if in this pre-election period the idea of threatening

to kill someone has become a national past time. For a while now the Gecko has been

hearing of one new death threat per day. UNTAC has been receiving their unfair share

as have some of the newspapers in town. The KR is posting death threats in villages

up north. DESs have been threatened by illegal loggers.

A local businessman was heard muttering the other day about how disappointed he was

to learn that his staff had been stealing him blind. He said that in the last five

months of running his grocery store he'd been milked for over $8,000 worth of goods.

What hurt the most was that it was his own relatives, which he thought he could trust,

who were ripping him off.

Did anyone catch the recent standoff at the FUNCINPEC office near Wat Phnom? About

100 SOC police cornered two moto thieves who decided to try and hide out inside the

party office. The Gecko overheard one SOC police officer comment on how bad it was

that the Vietnamese had left town because otherwise he would have been able to get

something to eat and a cold drink while the snafu was being unravelled.

Many of the veteran journalists in town have been raising a stink of late over the

swelling crowds attending the UNTAC noon press briefings. The numbers have grown

so fast in recent weeks that seasoned scribes can't even get inside the conference

room to hear the press spokesman. This wouldn't be so troublesome if it were only

competition with colleagues. Alas, the word is out on the backpacker circuit that

if you pick up some bogus press credentials in Bangkok you can come to Cambodia and,

with an UNTAC press pass, pretend you're a journalist. One UN official guesstimated

that at least 30% of the press cards issued in recent months were probably based

on phony i.d. cards.

Tourists, adventurers, overlanders and a variety of other fun-seekers are apparently

not only jamming the briefing sessions but, more to their liking, are also bopping

about the countryside with press cards in hand on free UNTAC helicopter rides. The

word is out on the Asian traveller circuit that Cambodia is "the only war you

can go to for free."

With all the jitters businessmen are feeling about the situation in Cambodia one

enterprise in town still feels confident enough to put on a bright face. Literally!

The Gecko heard that the Standard Chartered office on Sivutha Blvd. is getting a

new coat of paint, just in time for elections.

 

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