Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Father & Long-Lost Son Reunited After One Year

Father & Long-Lost Son Reunited After One Year

Father & Long-Lost Son Reunited After One Year

A dream came true for a father and son early this month when the long-lost lad was

reunited with his father.

After more than a year apart, the father and son, Lik and Thong respectively, were

reunited on Dec. 12 after a relative saw an announcement the lad's rescuer had placed

on local television.

"It was the most rewarding incident to have been involved in," said CivPol's

Sgt. John Gallagher, who was with the boy when his family and home were finally found

after a long misadventure.

On Nov. 10, 1991, Thong, age 10, was found to be missing from his family home in

Phnom Penh by an unknown means.

"Likely the little fellow simply got lost," said Gallagher. And at some

time later he was "offered for sale" by what Gallagher described as an

"eccentric woman," to a cyclo driver for 5,000 riel.

The cyclo driver, Kong Young, bargained and purchased the lad for 3,000 riel, and

took the boy to his home in Oudong in Kompong Speu province where "he treated

the boy as he would a little brother," said Gallagher.

Once in Oudong, Gallagher and his CivPol mate, Sgt. John Mahon-both of whom are part

of the 40-man Irish contingent to UNTAC's Civilian Police-got involved in the fate

of Thong.

After the boy's aunt made the identification of the boy from the Dec. 8 television

announcement, Gallagher and Mahon drove Thong and his cyclo-driving guardian back

to Phnom Penh for the joyous reunion-where the boy instantly recognized his father.

"There was no question in my mind that we found the right family when we brought

the boy home," said Gallagher.

Gallagher and Mahon, who will be rotating home in January to Donegal and Sligo respectively,

said they found that the Cambodian people were friendly and deserved of the U.N.'s

effort at bringing peace to this country.

"No better people deserve this more," Gallagher said.

"We're glad to have met the Cambodian people-and their kids," said Mahon.

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in