Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 25 February 2005

The Gecko: 25 February 2005

The Gecko: 25 February 2005

The free market has its limits in Sihanoukville. Some years back when the

numbers of tourists visiting the seaside resort started to increase

dramatically, one motodupe driver saw an opportunity to set up a business

renting motorcycles to foreigners. He did well and prospered, and soon his tiny

fleet of moto rentals increased to 14. But this did not please other motodupe

drivers who saw their own level of business decline. As an expression of their

appreciation for their compatriot's entrepreneurship, they retaliated.

Foreigners discovered that their rental motos sometimes had tires cut or they

were just stolen.

The police and authorities got involved and a solution

was found: Ban foreigners from renting motorcycles. Now a system has developed

where the cops get a cut from moto drivers who are back in business ferrying

around the foreigners who can't rent motos on their own.

**Sometimes

papers just get it wrong. Several lept on the report that US Secretary of State

Condoleezza Rice had named Cambodia as an "outpost of tyranny", along with Cuba,

Iran, Belarus, Zimbabwe and North Korea. Khmer Intelligence picked up the story

- wrongly - listing it as (1), which means as "confirmed fact".

The US

Embassy was forced to issue a press release on Feb 24 denying the report, noting

that the sixth country named by Rice was Burma. The embassy also hoped that

Khmer Intelligence would correct its mistake. Time will tell.

** Agence

France Presse correspondent Luke Hunt has had his last hurrah, his final

farewell, and his swan song declaration on the state of the universe. All the

PPPost staff wish him well as he heads to take up his post as an editor on the

AFP desk in Hong Kong, and they expect an occasional postcard as well.

** A large crowd turned out for the book launch of Tom Fawthrop and

Helen Jarvis' new publication Getting away with genocide? elusive justice and

the Khmer Rouge tribunal held at Friends on Feb 22. The book is on sale around

town. Check it out.

The master of ceremonies asked the assembled guests

to raise their hands if they thought a trial would ever take place. Only about

30 percent did so.

** Sasha Constable has unleashed her creative juices

and an exhibition of her latest works can be seen at Java Café.

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