Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - King makes appeal for hostages



King makes appeal for hostages

King makes appeal for hostages

T HE father of British captive Dominic Chappell had an audience with His Majesty

King Norodom Sihanouk, who said he would try to win the hostages

release.

David Chappell, 55, spoke after a seven-minute audience with His

Majesty inside the Royal Palace grounds.

David said the King told him he

would make an appeal to the Khmer Rouge who are believed to be holding Dominic,

25, his Australian girlfriend Kelly Wilkinson and their British friend Tina

Dominy, aged 23.

He said: "He really did apologize for what had happened.

He thanked me for coming and said he wasn't sure why they were holding them,

whether it was for money, resources or political gain.

"He is issuing an

appeal for the captives to be released unconditionally without any further

delay."

Freelance cameraman and writer David, originally from Mansfield,

Nottinghamshire but who has lived in Hong Kong for the last five years, went

down to Sihanoukville where Dominic and Kelly ran a Mediterranean-style

restaurant called Cafe Rendezvous. He spent two days in the port and resort town

being updated on the latest developments in investigations by the police and the

Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

As a result of his trip he said would ask

British Ambassador David Burns to press Cambodian authorities to appoint one

officer in overall charge.

He said: "I'm quite happy that the Cambodians

are doing everything possible but if two organizations are doing the same things

it can't be very efficient."

David left Phnom Penh to return to Hong

Kong on May 3. Kelly's brother Sean and father Peter remain in the

country.

Dominic, Kelly and Tina were snatched by guerrillas from their

taxi on the road between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville during a regular run to

stock up on supplies on April 11.

The Khmer Rouge abducted US national

Melissa Himes, 24, in Kampot province on March 31. Her employers, Food for the

Hungry International had still not negotiated her release at press

time.

David said on May 2 he had been told by the British Embassy that

the Cambodian authorities had still not made contact with the captors and no

demands had been received.

The Westerners are thought to be held in

densely-wooded hills a few km from the road, 120 km southwest of the capital in

a known KR area.

David said: "My biggest worry is about their health,

the food they are eating and the water they are drinking and the worry they

could get malaria.

"Apparently the guerrillas are quite well off in that

area from logging so hopefully they can afford things like mosquito nets and

keep them in reasonable conditions.

"The one I feel sorry for is Tina

because she is fresh out of England. It must have been pretty traumatic for her

being marched off into the jungle at gunpoint."

David added: "I believe

the King does have some influence over the guerrillas and I am very thankful for

his help."

Tina, from south London arrived in Cambodia with three of

Dominic and Kelly's friends and had decided to stay on after they left to

celebrate the Khmer New Year in Sihanoukville, David explained.

Despite

their ordeal David said he hopes Dominic will stay in Cambodia after he is

released.

He said: "He loves the country and had found a sense of purpose

here."

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and