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Mong takes third in origami flight

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Mong takes third in origami flight

Published: 20/09/2009 at 08:51 PM

Chiba, Japan – Mong Thongdee, the stateless boy representing Thailand in a paper plane flight competition, took third place in his solo event after winning the team event on Saturday.

Mong, the 12-year-old boy from the northern province of Chiang Mai, is scheduled to return home on Monday.

His paper plane stayed aloft for 10.53 seconds, taking third place in the individual event for competitors aged 12 years old. On Saturday, Mong was part of a three-person team, including two adults. His team won the champion with Mong’s paper plane flying for 11 seconds.

Born to ethnic Burmese parents in Thailand, Mong, a Prathom 4 (Grade 4) student at Ban Huay Sai School in Chiang Mai, entered the limelight when he was refused travel papers by the minister of interior on Sept 2, on the grounds he was a security risk.

Newspaper stories and a countrywide outrage forced the minister to change his mind, and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva personally stepped in to help to arrange the temporary papers necessary to send Mong to Japan. Because his parents are both foreigners, Mong’s birth cannot be officially registered either in Thailand, and Burma refuses to accept back any refugees.

Mong travelled on a so-called yellow passport, a temporary travel document issued by the Thai Foreign Ministry’s Department of Consular Affair on Sept 4. (TNA)


Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 20, 2009 at 3:14 pm

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