Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 12 March, 1993




The Gecko: 12 March, 1993

The Gecko: 12 March, 1993

The Gecko heard that South Korean emissaries approached His Royal Highness

Prince Norodom Sihanouk recently to inquire about the possibility of opening

diplomatic relations with Cambodia. The idea was rejected out of hand by Prince

Sihanouk who is reported to have said, "As long as I am alive there will be no

South Korean embassy in Cambodia." The Gecko heard rumors that the Prince's

North Korean bodyguards were seen smiling for the first time since their arrival

in Phnom Penh.

An UNTAC report on local attitudes in Kompong Cham

province noted that people said that there were no Vietnamese in the area "until

UNTAC brought them." Referring to Vietnamese prostitutes, villagers said that

they were coming in UNTAC cars and boats. The locals couldn't understand why

UNTAC didn't take seriously their accusations that Vietnamese prostitutes are

spies who are sent to "keep UNTAC from doing what they are supposed to be

doing." The ancient Khmer story was told of the Khmer king who fell so madly in

love with a Vietnamese mistress that he gave up all of the provinces in the

Mekong delta.

There's been a lot of debate about foreign donor support

for Cambodia's education system of late. The Gecko heard that last week Hun Sen

told an official from the Ministry of Education that no one country would have

the "lock and key" to Cambodia's system of higher education and that the country

would have a "multi-party" approach to receiving donations from

abroad.

The gecko heard that a senior UNTAC official was overheard giving

this definition for the U.N.'s precedent-setting mission in Cambodia: Unnatural

Nightmare Total Almighty Cock-up.

One employee at the Supreme National

Council came up with a good idea. Apparently some buses donated to the SNC by

the generous Japanese were not being used all the time so rather than let them

stand idle they have now become part of a private bus company plying the road

between Phnom Penh and Kompong Som. Just a little entrepreneurship in action.

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