Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 16 January 1998

The Gecko: 16 January 1998

The Gecko: 16 January 1998

Leave it to the feisty Italians - seasoned by centuries of wrestling with one

of the most unfathomable national polities on the planet - to come up with an idea

few on the Cambodian scene have advocated. Giorgio Fabretti, an impassioned lad who

hails from Rome, was in town recently touting his "Save the Life of Pol Pot"

Humanitarian Fund.

Fabretti says he is authorized to grant US$1 million to any independent neutral foundation

chosen by Pol Pot so that the old man can go into voluntary exile in a third country

for medical treatment and take time to compile his memoirs.

Defining himself as a long-time human rights activist, Vietnam war protester, pacifist,

sort-of-ex-communist, seventh generation Catholic, strict vegetarian, teetotaler,

non-smoking leftist, devotee of Jesus, history buff, research addict, once-in-a-while

sinner, specialist on victims of embargoes and fan of Jewish thought, Fabretti is

deadly serious about saving Pol Pot but realizes fully that there are few who will

listen.

"I'm waiting to meet Pol Pot and have a long listening session," he says.

"I won't ask him anything. I'll just listen. If he asks me 'What do you want?'

I'll say 'You talk for at least two months and I'll take notes'."

Fabretti says that his first thought is for the victims of war, that every war is

a "genocide" and that he wants to keep Pol Pot alive "to prolong the

space for the world to think about the victims."

He's got a million bucks. Anyone interested?

** Did somebody fire off a pistol at a major hotel two weeks ago in a fit

of pique? The stories about the alleged incident are as varied as the sources. It

was either the result of heavy gambling losses, threats that a casino was going to

be closed, the delivery of a tray of fresh vegetables that had lost their crispness,

or, as the hotel says, not a gunshot at all but rather some harmless firecrackers.

** Superbowl junkies be advised. The coffee at Mogambo Cafe will be ready

for injection at 6AM on Jan 26 for pre-game buffs. Their cook has quit so Clive,

who hasn't a clue about how American football works, has agreed to stick in out in

the kitchen and crank out the bacon and eggs for all comers.

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