MOFA officials in Thailand to help abandoned Taiwan boy
By Joseph Yeh, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Officials have arrived at a village in Thailand and met with a Taiwanese boy whose mother left him alone in the East Asian country for two years, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesman said yesterday.
January 10, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
Officials have expressed gratitude to villagers who have been taking care of the 7-year-old during his time in the nation, MOFA spokesman Steve Hsia told local media yesterday.
MOFA representatives are now in talks with Thailand immigration authorities to resolve the boy's visa overstay issue, he added.
Asked if the ministry will help the boy return to Taiwan, Hsia said that the ministry has to first be given authorization by the boy's family members in Taiwan since he is only 7 and he needs a guardian to accompany him during his flight back home.
The ministry is willing to offer all necessary help to repatriate the boy once his family in Taiwan is ready to receive him, Hsia added.
The 7-year-old boy, identified only as “Little Ma,” has lived in Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand for two years without an identity after being left there by his mother, according to MOFA.
The boy's mother, who took him to Thailand to reunite with her Thai boyfriend in March 2010, later returned to Taiwan without the boy because of her visa was set to expire. Little Ma ended up being taken care of by the villagers.
The ministry first took up the case last October after receiving letter from a villager in Thailand who has been taking care of the boy and learned of his plight.