Update: A support staff of Damphu Central School, who went missing in Bangkok since January 23, was found on February 1.
Although officials of the Bhutanese Embassy in Thailand were not available for comment, media outlets in Bangkok reported that he was found in Samutprakarn market.
Damphu Central School’s principal, Dawa Tshering, said it is a relief to know that Harka Bahadur Subba has been found.
The principal, who lead the school agriculture programme study tour, said his friend’s nephew, who completed his degree in architecture in Bangkok, informed him that Harka Bahadur has been found. “Then embassy officials, including the ambassador, called to inform of the news. I am thankful to everyone involved in looking for Harka.”
He explained that the school chose three support staff along with seven teachers because of their outstanding performance for the study tour.
“Harka Bahadur Subba, besides working as a cook, also took charge of the piggery and after he took over, he brought in an income of about Nu 120,000 to the school,” Dawa Tshering said. “He never took leave and even when we granted him a week’s leave, he returned within three days to work during the winter and summer breaks.”
Dawa Tshering, however, said that he is still not clear why Harka Bahadur left the hotel early in the morning that day.
He explained that the three support staff were provided basic information and briefed from Thimphu on the dos and don’ts. “After reaching Bangkok, we provided them hotel cards to show to people if they got lost.”
The principal said the group was supposed to meet on the morning of January 24 to leave on their study tour destination but when Harka Bahadur did not turn up, they assumed he got locked in the toilet or room.
It was only later that they realised he left the hotel at 6:30am.
Bangkok Post reported that Harka Bahadur was found unconscious in front of a shop on January 29, and local residents informed Samutprakarn hospital.
Since hospital staff did not know his identity and because he could not communicate in either Thai or English, hospital staff informed police, who then identified the man as Harka Bahadur.
Police then informed the Bhutanese embassy.
Harka Bahadur is recovering in the police hospital in Bangkok and he will be flown back to Bhutan next week.