Friday, November 11, 2011
Phnom Penh a Charming City!
When the Paris Agreement to end the killing in Cambodia was achieved, I remember going to the office of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNCTAC) Special Representative to oversee the implementation of the agreement, he was UN Secretary-General's special representative,Yasushi Akashi.
He told reporters then that "Cambodia and its people will bounce back to normalcy......one day"
That was 20 years ago today!! And guess what Akashi was right in his prediction and today Phnom Penh is tagged as the Charming City, and on the verge of taking off economically and it is indeed a charming and a happy place to be.
Since 1991, I had the opportunity to visit Cambodia -- to Siem Reap, Battambang and of course its capital Phnom Penh. In 1991 I visited our boys in blue who served as the United Nations Peace keepers, with valour!
And friends I have plenty over there and they are truly a real friend. Last week I was in Phnom Penh and was specially invited to a friend's wife birthday party at a club called St Tropez, and contrary to what it was 20 years ago, the club could have easily be in a posh and trendy New York city areas.
The patrons were polite and civilised and no one smoke in there I was happy doing the salsa without having to stave off cigarette smoke , or cigar smoke for that matter!
Cambodia is nowhere near perfect and there are still some poor people living in it however compared to what it was the government there is doing everything in its power to reduce abject poverty.
If you are anywhere near a hotel called Nagaworld you will see a theme park complete with a giant ferries wheel and a giant swing in a shape of a pirate ship and from my hotel I can hear a scream of children but this time it was a scream of happiness....unlike the scream of the past!
Well done Cambodia I salute you!! Read here if you want to know more about UNCTAC!
Posted by Pasquale at 6:47 PM