Gov't to convene on helping Taiwanese boy in Thailand
CNATAIPEI--A cross-agency meeting will be held to discuss how to help a Taiwanese boy abandoned in Thailand by his mother two years ago to settle down after he returns to Taiwan, an official said Saturday.
January 14, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials will meet Jan. 15 in Taitung with representatives of the Taitung county government, social welfare organizations and the family of the boy, nicknamed “Little Ma,” said Chou Yin-hwou, deputy director-general of the ministry's Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
The child, now aged 7, has lived in Chiang Rai Province in northern Thailand for two years without an identity after being abandoned there by his mother, Taiwanese media reported.
The meeting is aimed at ensuring that the boy will receive suitable care after he returns to Taiwan, Chou said, adding that the date for his return will depend on the results of the meeting.
Chou said Taiwanese officials based in Thailand have visited the boy in person and have confirmed that the boy wants to return to Taiwan. The Thai government has also said it will help the boy return home, he added.
Hsieh Li-kung, director-general of the National Immigration Agency, also said Sunday that the agency will make all-out efforts to help repatriate the boy.
The Foreign Ministry took up the case after receiving a copy of the boy's passport from Mana Karunawong, a Chinese-Thai pastor based in Taiwan who learned of the boy's plight during a recent visit to Thailand, Chou said.
The boy's mother took him to Thailand to reunite with her Thai boyfriend, but she later returned to Taiwan without the boy, who ended up being taken care of by the people in her boyfriend's village, according to the ministry.
Little Ma's grandfather, who said his daughter became ill shortly after returning to Taiwan, told a local newspaper that he really wants to bring the boy home, even though he does not have much money.