Wednesday, October 21, 2020

New Indian Ambassador sees off latest repatriation flight



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Another Air India repatriation flight left Phnom Penh International Airport yesterday, returning a new wave of Indians stranded in the Kingdom amid the pandemic.

The flight was seen off by the new Indian Ambassador to Cambodia, Devyani Khobragade, who was on hand to make sure the process went smoothly.

Second secretary of the Indian Embassy Subba Rao said: “162 passengers boarded the flight, consisting of 161 Indians and one Cambodian.”

“The Indian passengers on board were chosen to return to India for a variety of reasons. Some were stranded after losing their jobs in Cambodia, some returned for personal emergencies and others needed urgent medical treatment,” he said.

“We will review the situation and assess whether we need to arrange more flights in the future. It will depend on the number of requests we receive and the reasons behind the requests,” added Rao.

“All the 162 passengers paid for their own flights and related expenses to return to India,” he said.

“The embassy does not perform background checks on the passengers who request to book tickets. We only collect information about the purpose of their travel back to India to prioritise the list of potential passengers,” he added.

A friend of one of the passengers who came to say goodbye, Anbin Ezhilan, said: “My friend’s wife had come to Cambodia with their four-year-old son in February but got stuck here due to COVID-19. She is pregnant and wanted to return to her home country to get proper care for herself and her son. Her husband is sad she is leaving, but during the pandemic, they felt this was the right choice to return home. Health comes first,” he added.

21/10/20 Scarlett Green/Khmer Times

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